1 in 4 of us will suffer from Mental Health problems! That means in a family of 4, 1 of them will have symptoms of Mental Health at some point in their lives! Sadly because we don’t see mental health as the same as physical health, the way in which we support people in their recovery is completely different… If someone has a physical health problem then flowers and cards are bought, telephone calls supportive messages and visits are made, yet when someone suffers from Mental Health problems, they are ignored like they have the plague!
Did you know that within mental health their recovery is helped by just a kind word, a supportive ear and sometimes even a cup of tea!
Let’s start today by reducing the stigma of mental health! If you know someone suffering with a mental health problem, send them a supportive message. You never know, you may just have saved their life!
So if you’re like me then you’re probably suffering with the January blues… It’s that black hole between having geared up for Christmas and now getting ready for spring…. Except mine has been crazy placement time, Christmas, back to uni and now deadline after deadline of assignment work due in… I have an essay due in on the 17th January, another essay due in on the 7th February and then a role play and transcript due in on the 20th/23rd February…. At the same time of being in lectures…. Life is definitely like a rollercoaster at the moment and I cannot get off because I am half way through my nursing and can say that next year I qualify as a mental health nurse…. Plus as one good dear departed friend Della once said “Mel you’re tenacious like a rabid dog” lol… In my terms I am a stubborn old cow …..
At the start of the year I had all these good intentions of being fit and healthy and having a rocking bod! yeah so that has kind of been put to the wayside and it is easier to be snuggled under the cover and eat crap instead 🙂
So this is where my friends come in… Hubby bought me a fitbit for christmas which I wear every day for my step count etc, but I am lacking in doing much exercise apart from my weekly clubbercise session which I love…… So if you have a fitbit, please do add me and cheer me or taunt me to get me to do some more exercise because god knows I need it to get more energy… Add me here Mel’s fitbit
So it’s been nearly a year since my last post, but I am back and better than ever. So this post is a reflection on what has happened over the past 12 months and what my plans are for 2017..
The last time I posted I was on my first placement of my mental health student nurse journey… Since that placement I have done 2 more and I can now say that I qualify next year in 2018 🙂 I am really proud of myself because I have come a long way to where I am today.. Someone who is more confident and more positive and much more of a fighter…. I tell myself everyday how lucky I am to be a student mental health nurse and how privileged I am to be involved in the care of the patients I work with, especially when they are in the acute phase of their illness.
So this past year has had many highs and some lows…. I often wanted to quit my nursing degree because I am not academic at all, even now while I am writing this it is a distraction from the essay that is waiting for me with a due date in 10 days time! I am the world’s best procrastinator…. If there was an olympic sport I would excel in it….
So where is the best place to start? I’ll start with how it all started…..
In January 2011 I started dating a 22 year old. I never thought it would get serious, I mean come on I was 39 years old! What would a 22 year old soldier want with an old hag like me? I had just come out of a long term relationship and I was a single mum to 4 amazing children and I didn’t have the energy to deal with another person in my life at the moment, so I thought I would have some fun. For those not accustomed to the term, we had a “Friends with benefits” 🙂 relationship… Only thing was, was we fell in love!
I remember discussing with a good friend that I had fallen in love and what should I do because he was 17 years younger than me… That good friend told me to go with it and just enjoy it… She said even if we just had 5 years, it would be 5 years of fun I wouldn’t of had if I had walked away…..
I took that advice and this month we have been together 6 years and this July we will be celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary… Times haven’t always been easy, this life is no picnic in the woods or walk in the park and there have been times where I have really wondered why I was married to a soldier, especially when they miss your birthday or you cannot go home for christmas because they are working, but I know I wouldn’t change it for the world and I am glad I took that leap…
Being an army wife can sometimes be a lonely existence. When you move onto a camp you start making friends and then their husbands get posted and they move again, but when you make friends with a forces wife, you make friends forever. This year I went to my first ever wives christmas function with a good friend Danni… What an amazing night and an amazing friend I have in Danni.. Spending New Years Eve with Danni and her family and friends was awesome… I even learnt new German words! some not fit for public consumption I might add…
I am also lucky to have one of my children living on camp which means I get to see him a lot too even though most of the time it is when he is doing dangerous stunts as he is part of the White Helmets who the army motorcycle display team.
So what has the past year been like for me? I have had some exciting times like going to Fuerteventura in March, Antalya in October and a girls weekend away to Weymouth in October which meant I got to see friends that live in my hometown and that I don’t get to see very often…. I have lows like missing my children and also failing an assignment which saw me having to wait until 3 days before the start of the new term to see if I was going into year 2, but all in all this past year has been a pretty good year and I am looking forward to 2017 and what it has in store for me….
So let’s start showing you my last year, not just in words, but in pictures…..
My dogs are such a huge part of my life. Ted the turd is a mummies boy and follows me like a turd on a string, everywhere I go. Isobel bitch bag used to be a mummies girl, but now as soon as daddy comes home she is off like some floozy traitor lol… They have such amazing personalities. If they were humna, Ted would be a london gangster and Isobel would be a parisian princess who daren’t get her paws dirty or wet…When the hubby is away, they are the ones waiting for me when I get home with their tails wagging…. Even now, Ted is laying on the sofa watching my every move….
So we all know about honey G, but I bet you didn’t know that our family has its own Honey G aka Minge Kennett my mother in law! When the Kennett’s and Bourner’s get together it’s a crazy time like the time in Turkey (2016) when we crammed into a lift and my brother in law Reece wanted to take a photo or when we went to a Halloween party, with the below being the end result 🙂
I am not normally a bling person, but when your husband takes you into the local Pandora shop and tells you to pick anything you like, well I am going to go for something that stands out as it’s my first ever piece of Pandora…. However I am still a shrewd person and went for the cheapest one possible….
Being able to afford things sometimes is a novelty for me… I’ve never had money and always had to scrape by… There were times in my life that I went hungry so that my children could eat.. Something that I have only told people recently because they preferred to believe other things about me rather than ask me the truth… You see, when you’re down and don’t have enough money or need help, i’ll be there and would give you my last penny to help you.. Which is why, when I got the chance to help the homeless this christmas in Dorset I jumped at it. The best way to make you appreciate what you have , however little, is to visit and work with those who have nothing and yet are more happier than those who have everything. One of the people who were homeless had made a christmas tree out of tin foil and used scraps of tinsel to make it look better… He had made his home in an underground car park out of sight of people. When we gave him a christmas present he cried…He couldn’t believe that people were being so nice to him.
My in laws also do their bit for charity, but due to husbands work and my student nurse placements, we were only able to appreciate this from Christmas eve until Boxing day before we had to come back to Dorset… Every year my inlaws and others in Westfield, Hastings, East sussex, put christmas lights up to raise money for St Michaels Hospice in Hastings. This year everyone involved raised £11,642.61
So people that know me, know I love scenery and love living in Dorset. On my last placement at St Ann’s I used to walk down the hill to this view at Sandbanks. This photo was taken in November!… What a truly amazing place to live in…
Hubby and I love walking the dogs exploring Dorset. On a recent trip to Wareham forest, we came across this christmas tree in the forest all decorated.
Over the recent bank holiday Hubby and I decided to finally visit Durdle door. If you type Dorset into google, then the image it shows is Durdle door. I am so lucky to be able to live near such beautiful places! I truly feel blessed.
Hubby even got me to walk up this hill, well I say walk, I crawled on all fours because I am scared of heights. It doesn’t look high and is very deceiving until you get to the top and see the other side that is like a sheer drop into the water, well that was me done! I just sat there like a crow and waited for hubby to do what he needed to do up there and then with legs like jelly, descended back down to civilisation….
Once down we walked along the gorgeous beach. The water was so crystal clear…. The photo below of my wellies is actually me standing in the sea….
Through the years I have changed a lot and the below photo’s show just how much.
So what does 2017 have in store for me? Since starting my Post graduate diploma in Mental Health Nursing, I have found confidence and opened my eyes to lots of other things so this year my goals are:
- To get fit – I have already started by going to Clubbercise every friday night in Poole. It’s like going clubbing as you get glow sticks and the lights are turned off and all your favourite 90’s music like Children by Robert Miles, Call on me by Eric Prydz etc are played while you do aerobic exercise. The only thing missing is the bottle of bud 🙂 I am even toying with joining Ricky’s class for Insanity at the end of the month… .One step at a time
- To stop procrastinating and to start on my assignments as soon as I get them… I have always found academic work hard… All the theory gets me down… The trouble is understanding what is required of me… Once I understand it, I can do it to an extent…. Give me placements any day, I love them and my grades for placements show just how much I learn while I am there…. I am determined to I will pass and be a mental health nurse in 2018!
- To teach myself French… I bought the kit a few years ago and have never used it… It is time to start and to teach myself French…..
- To teach myself British Sign Language…. I started this a few years ago and never finished so now it is time to start this again and by the end of this year I will be able to hold a conversation..
- To do the jar challenges
So that’s been my past year and also my next year’s goals…. What does 2017 have in store for you?
So 2016 is nearly upon us and as usual there are the posts about how crap this 2015 has been for people and how 2016 has to be better. Me however, I am going to be thankful and grateful that I have had this year because so many of my friends haven’t.Things might not have gone as I had originally planned, but they have gone how it was meant to be for now.
I am taking time to reflect on what I have in my life rather than what I haven’t. There are people in parts of the UK that have lost their entire homes to flood waters and yet they are not thinking of themselves, they are thinking of their neighbours.
When we moved to a new area in Dorset in March and I knew no-one. I had to leave my job that I loved and friends that I had made as the journey to and from work everyday, would be just too much. Rather than be upset, I looked at it as a new challenge, a chance to start afresh and this is just what I did.
When I left my old job I realised how much of a difference I had made to my customers lives. I was a customer services team leader and account manager for Premier business audio and I loved my job, my work colleagues, my customers and my customers loved me. Sure we had some ones that didn’t like me, but then not everyone likes each other, but the ones that liked me, made up for it.
When I moved to Dorset from Wiltshire, I got a new job and I applied to go to university. My new job only lasted a few months as I was accepted to Bournemouth University on a Post Graduate course for Mental Health Nursing which I would start in 2015.
I also got to go to Turkey for 2 weeks spending some quality time with my husband. A holiday in the sun, something, quite a few years ago, I thought I would never get to do. Life has certainly changed for me over the past few years, sometimes for the worse, but always for the better in the end. You see I became a buddhist nearly 6 years ago due a relationship change and I have never looked backed.
For years I had always played the victim and I revelled in the attention my victim mentality got me, but then I realised that people started to get fed up of me constantly being negative and they started to distance themselves from me. One day I watched the film “What’s love got to do with it” about the life of Tina Turner and how Buddhism saved her. I went to a gathering one day and I haven’t looked back since. I love meditating and chanting as it brings me inner peace.
It’s not been easy and the negativity does creep back in, especially when I see people being what I think is idiotic or having a victim mentality and then I snap myself out of it because you never know what is happening behind closed doors. Whenever I feel like i’m slipping back, I remind myself of how lucky I am or think of grateful things in my life. Every morning I think of at least one grateful thing in my life to start the day off.
The things I am mostly grateful for are my children, my 2 crazy dogs and my amazing husband. They are the constant light in my life. If ever I need help with anything, my husband is always there for me.
I’ve not always been the person I am today and there are things i’ve done in my life that I am truly sorry for, however I refuse to pay for them for the rest of my life. There’s only so many times you can say sorry for something. One of the things I had to do first to be able to move on in my life is to forgive myself. This isn’t the same as blaming others and not yourself, it’s about taking responsibility for things and forgiving yourself and learning to love you as a person. I’ve never really liked me as a person, heck I didn’t even know who Mel was for quite a long time as i’ve always tried to be what others wanted me to be, the good wife, daughter or mother.
It’s funny how things happen. When my marriage broke up in 2010, I went shopping for the first time and I stood in Tesco’s thinking what do I like? I mean for years I had bought what my dad liked, what my children liked, or what my husband liked and yet, I never actually knew what Mel liked and that was a very strange, scary and yet liberating feeling. It was like I had been born again and I could start looking at the world for the first time.
I had counselling with an amazing counsellor and I became a buddhist and that’s when things started to change for me. When you look at the world through negative eyes, only negative things happen. When you look at the world through positive eyes, there’s a whole new world of opportunities to explore.
So today I sit here with the thoughts of 2016 on my mind and what I want to achieve from it….. So here is my draft list:
- Not procrastinate as much as I do.
- Study harder as a student nurse.
- Be more tolerant of people, even if they’re not tolerant of me.
- Be more assertive.
- To not make instant judgements on people.
- Be the bigger person and apologise, even if I didn’t do anything wrong in the first place.
- Be more positive.
- Try to make people around me more positive.
- Eat more healthy.
- Not drink as much caffeine and drink more water.
- Exercise more.
- Do at least one random act of kindness a week because there are people worse off than me.
I’m sure it was only Christmas eve when I opened my eyes and yet today is 4 days later! No sooner have I got up, then it’s bedtime again… Slow down days…. I know you’re in a rush to finish this new year, however I would like to get into this new year looking a lot less windswept! Mind you the windswept look might help me with my wrinkles!
I am still off university until a week tomorrow, when as as Mental Health student nurse, I start my first placement. I am so excited I can hardly breathe. I’ve always wanted to be a nurse, but things in life always got in the way. Things happened and I could never fulfill my dream until now.
Don’t think for one minute I have it easy. Living with my Lupus makes days very hard sometimes with the pain, but I manage because I have a dream that i’m focusing on and I WILL achieve that dream.
One of the major obstacles of being a student is my husband’s career of being in the army. When we met, I always said I would support him in whatever he does and I still do because sadly in our relationship the Queen and the army come before I do, so to love my husband means to support him in whatever happens in his career. Our life is also uncertain at times, but we make the best of it and we have a lot more than most, especially at the moment, when the North of England is flooding and so many are losing everything they ever had in this world.
I am so lucky that my husband opted to move to this posting we are at currently so that I could go to Bournemouth University. I just need this steam train of a life to slow down now so that I can enjoy each day rather than it just keep going past me. I have spent so many years thinking that I was poor and I spent so many years having nothing, when in reality I have everything. I have children, a husband that adores me and 2 crazy dogs. What more could I want?
So before this train stops, i’ll take this opportunity to not say goodnight, but godbless like my nan used to say.