Mental Health Awareness Week 2024

Mental Health Awareness Week 2024

Most of what we create is intended to raise a smile (we seem to specialise in watery ones), to bring comfort, to impart wisdom to carry around with you or to simply illustrate facets to this wonderfully complex thing called life. 

I am aware that I have quite a distinctive voice (they didn't call me foghorn at school for nothing).  I also write as I speak and I know that I am not to everyone's taste... but the positivity I get from interactions with customers through this business is very special.  I count myself very lucky to have been running this for 21 years now and, although it hasn't always been easy, am still lucky enough to be in a position to continue creating new gifts.

Having created "The Thought Factory" pins last year, I set about to write random facts about myself to try and show where I'm coming from... I think it probably just confuses but I do hope it entertains (to some degree).  So to celebrate this year's Mental Health Awareness week.  Here's more about little old me 🙄😬  I can keep going at this for years by the way.  I have thousands of anecdotes, opinions, quirks, weirdnesses.  So I'll just start at...

#1. I don’t know my times tables.  I can’t remember numbers which is one of the reasons I gave up history aged 13 when I singularly failed to remember any date of any important historical event.  This lack of numerical memory is also really very embarrassing when I'm selling in person as I remember the price of nothing.  I worry that if I were in an accident, the paramedic would ask me what year it is and I'd fail the test (I'm not kidding).

#2. I never sit with my feet on the floor.  I’m always curled.  It has probably done untold damage to my back over the years but can’t be stopped.  I am also hypermobile, a diagnoses I only received about 10 years ago.  It explains much.

#3 I will often look at a pet (including my own cat) and wonder if humans have simply been kidnapping them for centuries and that they only show loyalty because of some weird fucked-up canine/feline Stockhom Syndrome.

#4 I genuinely wouldn’t be able to pick a Kardashian out in a line-up with a gun to my head.  Don’t get me wrong, I’d work really hard on a guess… but I’d definitely be dicing with death.

#5 I skip reading dreams in novels because they’re not real. Similarly, I don’t like films that mess around with reality vs dream state. I know how irrational this is considering it’s simply a further level of make-believe. I paid a babysitter to go and watch Vanilla Sky at the cinema many years ago and I was so angry at the loss of hard earned money and much needed sleep that if I ever say that a film was terrible, my family will ask ‘was it as bad as Vanilla Sky?’. The answer is always no, because no film is, or ever will be, as bad as Vanilla Sky.

#6 If I’m late to a meeting, send the police/ambulance/fire brigade/the cavalry.  If you’re late I will judge you harshly.  If you invite me to a party, I will turn up at the designated time... if you set the time as a 'loose thing' when you'll likely still need time to get ready, don't invite me.  Having said that, I'm happy to pour snacks into bowls whilst you're having your shower.

#7  I have an extreme sense of fairness.  I find injustice and being misrepresented intolerable. I don't think I'm unique in this. 

#8 A friend of my family’s 12 year old daughter called me ‘kiddo’ once and, even though I was only 5 at the time, the memory still makes me cringe.


#9 If he’s very lucky, I’ll read the subject lines of overnight spam emails out loud to my husband (the other shadow in the photo) over morning coffee.  The subjects usually involve leaky bums, some serious neuropathic pain with prostrate issues and the words ‘can’t poop?’.  There are some that are so ludicrous that we will get the giggles.  I then beat him at Wordle at which point we will get on with our respective days.

#10  Miniature things make me very anxious. The thought of a human sized hand being held by a KingKong hand is too much and simply by typing this and thinking about it I’m trying to get the image out of my mind because it makes me feel panicky.  I experience similar anxiety when seeing a basketball next to a ping-pong ball or a decorator’s paintbrush next to one for fine art.  Whenever I have mentioned this phenomenon to a psychiatrist they have no idea of what I’m talking about.  I only know of one other person who has experienced this (and tried to explain it to me when they were very little thinking no one would understand).  It was my eldest child who is more like me than either of us feel comfortable with.

#11.  If I’m not learning, I’m not living.  
 
#12. I put up a question on Facebook last year asking for any recommendations for t-shirts that can cover my long body (I have short legs) and was told to look for ‘longline’ tees - Next being the obvious place to try.  Changed my life.  Every day I put on a t-shirt that even the most vigorous of high window opening allows bystanders to not recoil in horror at an exposed cottage cheese midriff and think the words ‘longline, who fucking knew?!'  It seems that everyone, in fact, knew.  I’m so grateful for the recommendation.

#13. I remember the truly profound moment that my birth mother showed me a photo of her pregnant with me - I was 32 when I met her for the first time.  We both kinda ruined the moment when I exclaimed ‘Oh! We’ve got the same knees’.  Her response, entirely deadpan, was ‘yes, I’d clocked we were both wearing trousers’.

#14. I will nearly always keep busy but I can also slump and watch an entire box set without a muscle twitch.

#15. I don't remember nice dreams so I, ostensibly, only have nightmares.  My psyche is so fucked that I'll often wake up standing trying to escape, in sobs of tears or in a sweaty panic.  I had a dream many years ago about a cat called "relax" who was a big cigar smoking, gravelly New York accented character who was trying to convince me to feed him even though I knew his owner two doors down would be very angry with me... it didn't end well.  But in just the few minutes of interaction we had I fell in love with him. My one good dream with Relax The Cat is legend in the family so my eldest drew him for me.  Definitely captured the eyes 🤣

#16. I'm an absolute nutter for butter.  Salted on crusty bread.

#17. I can’t watch people falling over - it literally makes my head tingle and I'll get an involuntary jolt at the base of my spine.

#18. I am, what we coined in the 90’s a ‘control freak’.  I organise everything and will think of all outcomes ad infinitum.  My son struggled with separation anxiety as a child.  When he was 12 he called home from a school trip having a panic attack.  When I asked him what the actual issue was, he responded with ‘the curtains weren't blue.’   My husband wondered what TF he was going on about.  I knew exactly what he meant.  It illustrated perfectly the massive amount of pointless motherf’cking overthinking I do.

#19. I can never remember a quote.  It’s become clear over the years that I assimilate the words and will repeat them incorrectly but with the meaning still intact.  It causes much mirth in the home.  It also makes winning an argument quite difficult “you JUST said….”  “No I DIDN'T just say that”.  Luckily I live with a man so clearly ADHD that he can’t win the argument because he’s got distracted by his coffee machine.

#20. I can take pain in short bursts and have had root canal treatment without anaesthetic because I fear my lips being numb more than the pain.  Having said that, I think next time I’ll take the numbness.  Fillings without anaesthetic are a breeze as I ask my dentist to count down from 10 during the procedure… 10 is when I sit in the chair, 1 is when I leave.  If I know where I am I’m golden.  He, on the other hand, winces throughout.

#21. I have a very good sense of direction, especially in cities.  If I look at a map for long enough I can usually visualise my route enough to not refer to it again.  Conversely - forests are impossible as I find visual referencing trees so difficult.  I have been lost in a forest with ensuing panic attacks and so avoid them - I feel no need to rectify this.

#22. I read very quickly.

#23. I grew up wanting to be an anchorwoman.  I think that my being able to read very quickly would enable me to excel at reading the news. I would also write on my job application that I was the proud recipient of the Year 7 prize for "Written & Spoken English" at school.  I'm pretty sure it was because I was one of the few who enunciated all my words, which in turn didn't make me enormously popular (I was basically the loud 'posh' one).

#24. I'm trying to push out of my self-inflicted comfort zone at the moment. I'm getting old and I fear I will look back on my life with regret that I allowed fear to prevent me from experiencing more. I'm a (often knackered) work in progress.

#25. I’m very quick to laugh.  But most emotions bubble at a very shallow level.  I can sob, laugh, shout or panic at any given moment.  I think I regulate very well but sometimes feel like a kettle about to explode into full on complete and utter bat-shit crazy.

 

I have already resigned myself to this never being read by anyone and that's ok. If you have read it and would like to encourage me to do more, by all means leave a comment.  If you'd like me to desist, please don't leave a comment... the silence will be enough to discourage 🤣

There are various pins that I designed with #mentalhealthawareness very much at the forefront of my mind.  All have blogs attached and all very personal to me (they are also limited edition - ie. I designed them, had one set made and do not intend to make them again).

 

Back to blog

14 comments

I like your blog & love the recent FB photo galleries. You are interesting and entertaining (and sometimes a bit weird, but aren’t we all in some way!) Like your other commenters, I am with you on several of the points on your list and have quite a few of my own :-)

Rachel

Love this. I also am #1 when I had a brain hemorrhage in hospital they asked me to count back 100 in intervals of 7. I just laughed at them and said I couldn’t do that before. I got assessed as dyslexic at university and mental arithmetic or patterns I officially can’t do (I have a report that says 94% of people are better at this than me 🤣🤣 however I can do other things well)

Claire Withnall

Ha, I love this blog. Definitely write more. Quite happy to see that I am not the only one on a few of your points; namely 6,7 and 22! I know there is something both exhilarating and anxiety inducing about putting yourself out there in this way- but you are crushing it! Keep going please, I’m really enjoying it.

Jenny

I LOVE your blog. Much of this post is so relatable. It’s a great comfort to know that we’re all in it together! Keep up the great work Kiddo!

Anon

I love your blogs, so relatable – please please keep writing them. Oh and because of one of your pins, I’ve realised I have Misophonia. Thank goodness for that I just thought I was the bad tempered middle aged women who just wanted people to stfu, stop breathing, chewing (you get the picture). So thank you for that – phew xx

Ronni Hunt

Leave a comment