A journey I can not take.

Often blogs give the impression of a rosy, perfect life. We post only the edited things we want people to see. A magazine imprint of our lives.

Sometimes it is important to know that behind the scenes we are all human, we all have challenges and ups and downs.

This week my sister relapsed in mental health and was admitted to hospital. This has been a heart breaking journey, and one where I have had to realise I can support but I can not rescue. Like a traveller on a foreign shore, I am sending her love and support from a distance until a time when I am able to reach her in person and give her the biggest hug.

I am posting flowers daily on my social media so that at some point she will know that she is in my thoughts every day. Mental health is hard on so many levels. Devastating for the individual experiencing it, devastating for the family left behind. My heart goes out to anyone reading this with lived experience of mental health and anyone supporting or caring for someone in this situation. A big shout out also to all the health professionals helping in very stretched services.

For any other siblings in a similar situation: Rethink run a fantastic Sibling Network you can find here.

21.02.21 World Building…

Hello…..My name is Emma,

In February 2020 I set off on a personal journey to complete a PhD using my skills in writing to create a contemporary Choose Your Own Adventure book, taking a reader through the experience of a mental health journey.

Why am I doing this?

I have worked in the NHS since 2001 as an occupational therapist, specialising in mental health and vocational rehabilitation. A lot of my job involves re-sparking inspiration in life and supporting people to re-structure personal narratives and perceptions of the world.

I want to write something that conveys the human experience of mental health illness and also aims to challenge the way we think and feel about mental health experiences. I am particularly interested in the way that the stories we tell about ourselves, and others tell about us, shape our identity and how we think and feel about ourselves in the world.

So far my research has taken me back to the beginning of mental health care, looking at historical aspects and also narrative theory in relation to my writing. I’ve been using auto ethnography to explore my own personal experiences and to begin to consider characters and structures that I would like to include in my writing.

In essence I’m at the beginning of world building. Something we all do in the creation and making of stories. My biggest challenge setting out in this journey is fitting in my job, research and home schooling during lock down.

I’ve been buying myself some time at Base Camp by setting the kids off creating their own fantasy worlds (see pics at the top of the blog) for anyone interested in doing this with their kids I can recommend this excellent book which gave us our inspiration: Fantasy Mapping, Drawing Worlds by Wesley Jones.

Goals for this week:

  • Daily reading.
  • Getting to grips with One Note (reccomended by a fellow researcher).
  • To write 500 words. (One small step at a time)