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In April i spent a few days in Belgium, just a week after the attacks. I spent one evening sitting next to the river, drinking beer and discussing in depth with the conference organiser the impact of the extremist acts. It was truly a humbling, and what I deem to be a pivotal moment in my life. 
The fact that a stranger sat and opened up to me and one of my colleagues in such a personal manner, about such a difficult topic, is something that we felt to be in response to how unified and strong our countries are, and how they have supported each other. We discussed politics, extremism and more – and it definitely felt as though we were from the same country and as if we’d been friends for years. 


For the conference to still take place just days after the Brussels attacks was incredible, and definitely was an act of unity. The conference organisers responded to outpours of love from all across the world, with the conference name suitably including the word ‘European’ it was a powerful reminder of how we are stronger together. 
I am genuinely upset by our decision to leave the EU, and I sure bloody hope that the decisions we make in the coming days are the right ones that not only impact us in the ‘United’ Kingdom but also those across Europe.

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Wahey!

Dearest Someone,

Oh hey, just another day older.

But… today… I’M FEELING 22. yeaaaaah

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgFeZr5ptV8

In case you haven’t guessed, it’s my birthday haha. I’ve been waiting for years to run around singing Taylor Swift on my 22nd birthday, and this song without a doubt will be the soundtrack to the next year of my life. So merci Taylor!


I have so much to be thankful for it’s unreal. And even though today may be the anniversary of some stuff… today I don’t care! On a personal level I have come so far this past year and I’m so so proud of myself (woo) and I am so incredibly thankful for all the wonderful, awesome, sassy, hilarious, fantastic people in my life!

I’d planned to write a lovely blog post about everything that I’m grateful for etc. etc. but I got really distracted editing this image:

22

And now I need to go…

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Dearest Someone,

If your experience of mental illness (and life in general I reckon) is anything like mine then you’ll be familiar with the sense of feeling like you don’t actually know yourself. Even though you are probably (like 100%) the only person who truly knows you – you also feel that at times others might know more about you as a person than you do…

I am so so good at comparing myself to others, but I am always a pro at creating illustrious perceptions of what others think of me. I’ve managed to convince myself that like 99.9% of the people I’ve met over the past few years are all judging me, that they all think negatively of me, or that they are doing everything in their willpower to get away from me. (Or they are just trying to please me so to not upset me or make a scene…) 

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PlanningI’ve a lot to be thankful for lately in terms of my Dearest Someone, mental health blog. I recently blogged for Time to Change and in addition to this I’ve been asked by several other campaigns etc. to ‘guest blog.’ So alongside planning for these posts I’m also in the process of planning new stuff for my Dearest Someone, blog. The nature of my blog posts via Dearest Someone, is often unplanned and solely focused on what I’m feeling at that present. However in the past I have posted several pre-planned posts about certain topics (such as the very popular post concerning the matter of Suicidal Thoughts). I’ve found that when blogging about mental health it’s okay to write as and when, I find that’s the best way for me to clearly portray my own experiences and to engage with current debates.

My most recent post Big Decisions: What are your tips? was an impromptu post I’d written this afternoon and has already received interaction over on Twitter. I find that blogging ‘naturally’ is a great way to fight stigma, and to add to the discussion of mental health. I personally think it keeps things honest and ‘human.’ That being said I have found myself planning ideas for the blog this afternoon (I have a lot of things that I want to talk about!) I think discussing mental health is so very important, and I want to do this in the best possible way. Which is why I’m currently planning new concepts and ideas that will open up the discussion to people further afield. I was very overwhelmed and humbled by the interaction with my Time to Change blog, and it’s opened my eyes to how powerful blogging can be. So… keep a look out for any new posts via Dearest Someone, and enjoy the lovely picture of my not-so-helpful cat Smokey (who was ‘helping’ me plan things.)

Adios!

On Friday Time to Change (the national campaign to end mental health discrimination) published a blog I have recently written for them. Read more about it via. Dearest Someone,

Dearest Someone,

Time to Change

I’m feeling very overwhelmed, blessed and ridiculously pleased… so much so that I haven’t blogged via Dearest Someone, because I’ve been busy responding to everyone via Twitter and Facebook!

On Friday (17th July 2015) Time to Change, the national campaign to end mental health discrimination published a post that I’d written specially for their #StoryShorts campaign. Getting involved with Time to Change wasn’t a tricky decision at all, I feel very strongly about the work they do, and have often sought information from the campaign – and I regularly keep up to date with the blogs!!

My post: ‘Why I am sharing my PTSD story’ was shared across the campaigns social media streams as well as on the national website. I am still in slight disbelief at the incredible response from people who read the blog, loads of you got in contact via Facebook to say thank-you, and share your…

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