Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Talking About Suicide And Self Harm

I don't normally talk about the more serious topics on here. But actually I want people to know that it is okay to discuss this especially after the AQA exam board has taken their suicide lessons off of the syllabus. As this was a special request it gave me more reason to talk about it in a little more detail. This is hard topic to discuss for anyone no matter your age, gender or ethnicity as it can have a huge impact on people. So in order to hopefully make it a little easier to talk about, whether you know someone going through this, you are personally going through this or you just want to know a little bit more. I hope this helps...

1. Lose the taboo 
I think this is a clear beginner if you are going to discuss this top to try to lose the taboo associated with not being able to talk about it for one reason or another. It is perfectly acceptable to talk about them. One way that we can help people loose the taboo connected to this topic is to not say "committed a suicide" as this can easily connect it to being a crime in which suicide is definitely not. Instead replace the word "committed" to more respectful words like attempted, thought about or completed suicide.

2. Don't assume they're using it for attention - even if they seem happy
You can never know exactly how someone is feeling inside. If someone always seems happy and confines in you, this doesn't mean they are doing it for attention. The same as if someone is always sad it doesn't mean they are doing it for attention. Most often than not they don't do it for attention, they do it because they are struggling with the stresses that their life holds. Suicide or self harm is a way to communicate pain and are unhealthy coping methods and when we think about it that way, we are thinking that suicidal thoughts and self harm are ways to cope with pain whilst still holding in there.

3. Understand that both self harm and suicide are different things and don't come together
Someone can self harm and this doesn't mean that they are also suicidal. The same as if someone is feeling suicidal doesn't mean they are self harming. They are different things, although they can be linked together it doesn't mean they have to be addressing both and just because someone is having suicidal thoughts does not mean they will be self harming and via-versa.

4. Refer them to someone like the Samaritans or their local doctors
You don't have to feel like you have to help them on your own, actually it is healthy for them and you to encourage them to seek help or with the other people they have told. If you don't feel like you can help them enough on your own, or with the other people they have told. Ensure to refer them to either the Samaritans or local doctors in order to help them receive a little more help that you may not be able to give them and if your friend said they got help and it didn't help, explain to them that there is a range of help and you would be happy to go with them if they would like.

5. Understand that it is hard for someone to talk about 
It's okay to find this topic hard to talk about as it is something that shows that someone you love and care about is struggling or if this is about you it's okay to find it hard to talk about. The most important thing is that the person struggling doesn't go through this alone as that makes it a lot harder and once you open up this conversation, it does not have to be the only thing you talk about. Talk about their strengths, what things they like to do and all the other things you talk about as friends.

6. Make it clear that there are people that care about them... you being one of them
When their talking about it, make sure that you don't cut them short because if you do it's most likely that they will not trust to confine in you again. Show them that you care by prioritising them and offering to meet up again to either help take their mind of it or talk about it a little more. Also keep inviting them out, they may keep saying no, however that invite let's them know that you care and can make a world of a difference to them.

7. Don't assume 
When I say this I mean don't assume that this is because someone has depression or if you know someone that has depression that they must self harm or think about suicide. This isn't always the case. Someone could have depression and do or have these thoughts, just the same as how they can be diagnosed with it and not.

8. Try not to use the words
For some people using the words "suicide" and "self-harm" can make is hard to talk about. So check in with your friends to see how they want to refer to these words, even maybe come up with a funny code word for suicide or self harm, like "I am having cheery thoughts again" this can help them to feel more comfortable with talking about it. Remember you are not a counsellor trying to fix there suicidal thoughts, you are a friend trying to provide support.

9. Keep it confidential
Whatever is said to you about any of their problems or their feelings or their actions. Make sure you keep it confidential, by this I mean not to spread the word that they are feeling like this. If for example you are really worried it's okay to tell their parents or their loved ones but let them know that you are doing this and encouraging them to tell their parents or a loved one first with you. Supporting someone who is struggling can have an impact on your own mental health. Therefore, talking to someone about your friend can be a really good coping tool. When you do talk about them to another person, you don't have to use their real name.

10. Understand there are different forms
By this I mean don't assume that everyone who self harms cut their wrists or all people who suffer with suicide overdose. There are different ways that self harm and suicide can affect them. If they say something that they consider if one of the two, possible look it up and get a little bit more further research. Also, remember all of us feel pain in different ways and cope with pain differently. When was the last time you felt stressed and had a beer to chill out or smoked a fag to deal with anger or read a book to loose yourself for a while. Self harm and suicidal thoughts are ways to deal with pain.

N x

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Where Have I Been?

Some of you may have noticed that I haven't been blogging that much recently compared to the amount I normally blog. I normally try to have two posts per week, preferably one on a Sunday and the other on a Wednesday but I haven't managed to get around to doing that for a long time. I have however had a few posts in the waiting line, I just want to make sure they are fully ready and to the best standard before I post them.

With that said I thought I'd talk to you about the things that have been making me so busy. To start with I have recently just got home from a beautiful holiday with my three closest friends. I had a lovely time and made so many memories that we will remember for a long time. We spent a fair amount of time at the beach which is unusual for an England holiday, but other than one typically British day the weather was surprisingly lovely for us.

Above is a grainy photo taken from the Mentality Facebook Page which is an amazing project ran by Off The Record. As you can see from the sign it is all about "young people, changing minds" and trying to make more people aware of mental health. Which is something I am very passionate about as you can probably tell from recent posts. This is another thing that I have been up to recently, which is volunteering and helping to raise awareness.

I have also been spending a lot of time with loved ones, whether that's been days out or in my spare time as I will be leaving for university soon. I have been cherishing the little moments with them and appreciating the things that I most often take for granted. 

N x

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Lessons I Have Learned During Sixth Form

Apologies for the while since I blogged last, life has been a little hectic. But today I am back with a post collaboration with the wonderful Girl On The Bench. We've decided to do a video along with a blog post discussing the things we have learned at school. So without further a do, here are a few of the things that I have learned during my time at sixth form.

1. Don't be afraid to be who you are. You don't always have to follow the crowd. This was a struggle for me as I have always wanted to fit in but over my time at sixth form I have ended up in a very happy place due to being myself. It has also given me a handful of amazing people who support my choices.

2. Follow the path that you like and do the things you love. I felt especially at sixth there was a pressure to go to university even if you didn't want to. At first this felt very daunting and made me get a little lost with what I wanted with my future. But luckily I managed to find a course that wasn't due to pressure but was something that I felt passionate about in an environment I love. At the end of the day your life is yours no one else's.

3. You never stop learning. It sounds cheesy but the saying is true. You do always learn something new everyday.

4. You're not going to always get along with everyone - that's okay. Not everyone is supposed to like you and your not supposed to like everyone else, it's human nature. So don't pressure yourself to be around people you don't like or don't respect you.

5. You're never too independent to ask for a little help. I have definitely become a lot more independent since starting sixth form for a range of reasons. But you have to understand that you're not always going to be able to do everything so never feel afraid to ask for a little help now and again. Even if that's financially or a good catch up with a good friend.

Now that I've left sixth form and have been able to reflect on my time I have definitely realised that it was a big journey which has taught me so much about myself. I have also gained some amazing friendships over the time and with my social life I have definitely learned a lot outside of the sixth form environment.

N x

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Prom 2016

Friday 8th July 2016... I had my leavers prom for sixth form. If you have been following me for a while you might recognise some things from my "Throwback To Prom" post, like the people and my dress. Luckily I bought my dress with the intention of wearing it twice, so I just thought I'd put that out there before we begin. 

Prom 2016 was much more casual than my last prom but still gave us all an excuse to dress up a little more fancy than we normally would. We were welcomed to this beautiful building with a glass of champagne which made the whole event feel far more fancier and sophisticated. As there are four "campuses" to my overall sixth form it gave everyone a chance to talk and catch up for one last time before we all part our separate ways into the scary world of adulthood. Prom 2016 was definitely one of the more positive memories from my time at sixth form and made all the hard work from the past two years worth it.

My Best Friend

The View

A Selfie With The Girls

The View After Sunset

On The Way

N x

Sunday, 17 July 2016

My CD Collection

Ever since I was a little girl, music has been my escape from the struggles of life along with the celebrations. I have always been a big fan of music and I am one of those people who can be easily influenced by the songs that are playing. 

If I'm out and about you can always be certain that I have my ipod, full of all 1,860 songs, on me majority of the time. Washing the dishes, popping to the local shops, making dinner, train journeys and walks to visit friends: you will most likely see me wearing either my black headphones or my electric blue earphones. So it's not a surprise when I tell you that my CD collection is fairly large, with way over 60 CDs and counting.

So I thought I'd share a few of my favourite CDs with you. I would like to quickly put a disclaimer out there that I am by no means "bragging" amount of CD's I own, I have the amount I do because I have been collecting them for over 14 years. Also, although I may have a slightly diverse taste in music, all opinions are of my own and this is not sponsored in any way. With all that said, I hope you enjoy reading and it possibly gives you some ideas for your own purchases.

Suck It And See - Arctic Monkeys 
* * * * *
I own all the Arctic Monkeys albums along with a vinyl. The fact they're my favourite band makes it hard to pick a favourite but at the moment I'm enjoying this album the most. 

Oh Wonder - Oh Wonder
* * * *
This is one of the most recent additions to my collection, but after listening to a few of their songs I fell in love and had to purchase it.

Cry Baby - Melanie Martinez
* * * * *
This is most likely one of the more personal album's in the collection, I also love the fact that it tells a story throughout the tracks.

Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand 
* * *
I enjoyed listening to their music when I was younger, especially "take me out" so I had to have it for all time sake.

New Glow - Matt and Kim
* * * *
This is my only signed version of any of my CDs. I managed to pick this up after one of their gigs that I went to back in February. 

Feline - Ella Eyre
* * * *
This is another artist that I was lucky enough to see live and her stage presence was exceptional. I've always loved her music hence why I own the CD.

N x