Three Years

A Personal Piece

Today, I can officially say that I have not cut myself for three years. Three years! I’m actually really proud of myself.

There have been times in the last three years, which have been the most difficult I’ve ever faced, but instead of my usual go to, when I would reach for the blade, I have messaged a friend, or journaled, or tried to focus on some other, less damaging way of dealing with things.

I won’t lie, and say that there have never been times when I’ve felt like giving up; when my resolve has been weakened, but I’ve stayed strong, and now, I can sit here, typing this post.

I have to say, I’m pretty terrified about posting this piece, but I am fed up of hiding. This is a part of my past, and this blog post is about me looking towards the future. I’m not saying that I intend to shout it from the roof top, but I don’t want to make up excuses any more.

The fact is, that there are times when life becomes hard; overwhelming, even, and in these moments, I used to turn to something self destructive, but now, I am choosing to look for other ways to cope. Sometimes, that takes the form of medication, and sometimes it means simpler things.

The fact is, that I am not ashamed of my scars any more. They are a part of me, and they show the battles that I have gone through; and the battles that I have won. They show both my failures, and my successes.

They are a part of my journey, but I won’t let them define me any more.

Last year, I got a tattoo, decorating some of my scars. Last Autumn was the first time in over ten years, that I have worn a short sleeved shirt, without any kind of arm covering.

Today, I added to that tattoo. It isn’t finished yet, but it will be soon.

I am not trying to glorify self harm in any way, and if you are considering, or actively self harming, then I beg you to talk to someone, and to get some support.

The thing is, I don’t see beauty in my scars. They are a visual reminder of my destructive impulses, but the fact is that they are there, and I wanted, not to cover them, but to create something beautiful out of something so negative.

I just want to say, to anyone reading this, who might be going through some tough times. It isn’t easy, and if anyone tells you otherwise, then they are lying, but you are strong, you are beautiful, and you can get through this.

And things will get better…


If you want weekly updates from me, please click here 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Mental Health Days

And why it’s okay to take them…

Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

Over the last few days, I have been struggling with a particularly bad patch of depression. It has been one of those times when it has even been a struggle to get out of bed, and all I’ve really wanted to do is curl up in a ball and read, because when I read, I can escape into another world that isn’t mine.

The thing is that I had to decide which battles were worth fighting. I could have dragged myself up and forced myself to persevere with what I ‘should’ have been doing, and would have probably got none of it done, or at least, done it very badly.

I couldn’t concentrate on anything much at all, and every time I tried to think, I just kept falling back into that black hole.

This is when I knew that I needed to make the decision on whether I carried on throwing myself against a brick wall, or whether I just decide to practice self care, and give my body and mind what it wants.

That’s the thing with depression, or any other kind of invisible illness. Sometimes, you have to pick your battles; and sometimes, it’s okay to accept that you need to take a minute, or an hour, or a day.

My usual limit on mental health days is three. If I need to, I will allow myself three days off, but after that, I try and get back into some kind of routine. Although I still try to practice self care.

There are several ways of self care, and they can range from simply watching a favourite movie or tv show, or reading a favourite book, to taking a bath, or giving yourself a manicure, or even taking the dog for a walk.

The thing to remember, no matter how guilty you feel is that the world won’t stop turning just because you need to take some time to look after your own mental health.

It’s a battle sometimes; I know that, but it’s really important that you learn to accept your limitations and that you listen to your body and mind, because, when it comes down to it, if you’re not going to listen, then who wil



Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Invisible

A Poem

June 2

Photo by Rúben Marques on Unsplash

Would you even notice?
 Would you even care?
 Would you even wonder,
 If she wasn’t there?

That girl in the background,
 On whom you depend.
 The girl hiding behind,
 Just looking for an end.

You’re surrounded by people,
 You don’t even look round,
 Will you even see her,
 When she hits the ground.

I know you don’t care,
 No, not deep down,
 You just leave her sitting there,
 With her worried frown.

***

If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂

Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

On Being An Outcast

On Being An Outcast

And Why We Should Let People In

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

There are times when you feel like you just don’t fit in; times when you couldn’t feel more like the odd one out. More often than not, I feel like I am standing on the outside, looking in, but then something happened, which made me realise that this was more to do with my feelings than with anything else.

Sometimes, we can think that we are all on our own, when, really, there are people out there who care, and who want to be there, if only we let them.

In the midst of a depression, it can be all too easy to think that nobody cares, but we need to remember (especially during these times) that people do care, and that they want to be there, but in order for them to do that, we need to actually let them in.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

The Bridge

The Bridge

A Poem

Photo by Fabio Comparelli on Unsplash

It comes to mind,
In darkest of times,
A place to go
To make everything end.

The pain to stop,
The hurt to cease,
The memories that make,
Her so ill at ease.

She can’t go there,
Or she’ll be nowhere,
She has to resist,
Pain that’s too much to bear.

Things will look different,
When another day is spent,
In time she’ll feel better,
Her life will depend.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Pageant

Pageant

A Poem Of The Self

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

A vision of perfection,
The mask is put in place,
Bright smile now pasted on,
She hopes it’s not a waste.

The darkness crashes in,
She’s lost, and all alone,
Yet coming from within,
She’s toppled from her throne.

The old ones never tell,
Eyes unseeing, see,
They say that all is well,
But it will not ever be.

She fell and now she falls,
Freely breaking down,
She won’t go to the ball,
But sits there with a frown.

Tears will flow down cheeks,
And her beautiful dress is crumpled,
She’s been sad for weeks,
She’s broken, trodden, trampled.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Social Media Breaks

Social Media Breaks

And Why I’m Taking One

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

Lately, (thank you depression), I have found myself spending more and more time on social media, not actively commenting and talking to people, but simply passively reading posts.

It has become somewhat of a time killer for me, and I have far too many things that are important to me that I need to spend time doing, so I am taking a forced social media break.

I have three deadlines coming up at the end of the month, and I have a LOT of work still to do before they are ready to submit. I also have writing ideas actively flying around my mind, which I really want to be able to focus on, and I know that if I don’t cut off my social media time, then I won’t get anything done, because sometimes, it is simply less painful to read about other people’s lives, that in is to engage in my own, but this is not something that I want to do.

I’ve also found myself becoming very jaded about social media. While it can be used massively for good, I have also noticed that so many people seem to simply play lip service to others, and this isn’t something I want to be a part of. It is fake and untruthful, and not for me.

As an example, in the last week alone, I have witnessed people leaving friendly comments on others’ posts, even though I know that they don’t get on, or even like said person. This is not for me. If I can’t say anything nice, then I will not say anything at all, but I won’t say something nice in public, simply to stab the knife into someone’s back in private. I will not do this, and I have seen it one too many times lately, so I am going to take a break for a while. I am still going to post my daily photo journal, which I named #myy33project, because that is a year long project, which I don’t want to lose. I will post this on Instagram and share it to Twitter and Facebook as normal. I shall also share my blog posts, but that’s all.

To be honest, and without meaning to sound maudlin, most people won’t really miss me anyway. I’m okay with that. I am used to being fairly invisible, and it makes this transition far easier for the moment.

So, I guess, unless you read these blogs, this is goodbye for the foreseeable future.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Back On Track

Back On Track

A Rough Week

Photo by Hasnain Babar on Unsplash

This week, I haven’t posted much on here. I’ve been feeling quite low and I’ve not really done much, if I’m honest.

I guess that’s what I have to deal with thanks to my depression and TMJD *eye roll emoji*. Seriously, I’ve spent most of the week with a pounding headache and pain shooting down my neck and through my eyes.

Added to that, I found a lump in my dog’s neck. The vet did a fine needle aspiration, but there was a forty eight hour wait to get the results back.

Now, forty eight hours doesn’t seem like a particularly long time, but when you’re waiting for results of something like that, and you have this charming little thing I call ‘writer’s brain’, which has a tendency to imagine every possible scenario, and automatically panic about the worst case, then it can feel like YEARS!

Thank goodness that when I phoned the vet, they said that it was just a swollen lymph gland, and that it should go down by itself.

The reason I’m telling you this, is because it explains my absence. I have been a nervous wreck, with no real drive to write, or post, or create, even; but now, I’m ready to get back to it. I can’t promise anything particularly brilliant, but I’m willing to try, and I just hope that you will like what I write.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Depression

Depression

The Cold and The Darkness

Photo by Matthias Heil on Unsplash

I’ve struggled to name this post. I’ve been wanting to write something about depression for a while now, but the words have always failed me when it actually came to writing it down.

It’s hard to write about depression. It’s even harder to live with it. Some days you wake up and everything’s good. You feel energised, and ready to take on anything. Then there are the other days. The darker ones, when all you want to do is roll over in bed and sleep and sleep until the darkness fades and the sun shines again.

The thing is that ‘depression’ has become a buzz word. It has become something that is all too common for people to talk about, with phrases like; “I’m sooo depressed” and “I’m just a bit down” being thrown about everywhere.

The people that say this very rarely have any idea of what they’re claiming to have. Depression isn’t fashionable. It isn’t a quirk, and it certainly isn’t something that is fun to have.

There are so many aspects of depression that people don’t talk about though; the unglamorous things, like when you haven’t taken a shower in over a week, because you simply can’t summon up the energy, or when you eat junk, because you can’t be bothered to cook, and you aren’t really sure if you’re hungry anyway… There are too many examples to list.

When I was fourteen, I felt exhausted all the time. I struggled to get up in the morning. I couldn’t focus for more than a few minutes at a time, and I was off school for a number of weeks. It was like life was just too much like hard work.

My Mum took me to the doctor, and they did all the usual stuff, and then took blood samples, to check if I had glandular fever. The bloods came back negative, and the doctors (in their obvious wisdom) decided that I was just making it up — nice! In their defense, it was almost twenty years ago, and back then, children and adolescents weren’t diagnosed with mental health issues.

At the time, I didn’t really know what was happening to me. I just knew that I felt exhausted. I didn’t have the energy to do anything. I was scared; and when the doctor said I was making it up, I was hurt.

I wasn’t making it up.

Back then, I didn’t understand, but now, I know what it was. I was clinically depressed, and the doctor missed it. I’m not angry with him. It wasn’t his fault that the rules were like that back then, and I didn’t tell him everything, because I was ashamed.

I still feel ashamed today, but there’s nothing I can do to change it. I have depression. It is a part of me, and all I can do is make the most of the good days, and make the best of the bad ones.

And above all: I must not give up hope.

We must not give up hope.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Crochet Mood Blanket Update

Crochet Mood Blanket

An Update

Well, January’s done. Am I the only one that thinks it kind of flew by? I can’t quite believe that we’re already a good week into the second month of the year.

I’ve had a bit of an up and down type of January, thanks to illness, and some other stuff, but I’ve also been quite creative, having done five illustrations, learned to knit (I’m not very good and need a LOT more practice), and started working on another novel just for fun.

I also kept up with this crochet challenge. I’ve managed to crochet one row for every day of January. I narrowed the colour palette down, but in reality, this was a mistake, which I intend to rectify this month.

It doesn’t look anything like a square, but you know what? I’m actually okay with that. I added in quite a lot of extra stitches, so it gets wider as the month goes on. I’m hoping that this month, I can avoid doing that.

The thing that this project has taught me already is to really think about the way the day has gone, because we can get so caught up in fleeting things, and sometimes they are no where near as bad as we think they are.

This project has helped me to keep these things in perspective. I’m hoping that the same can be said of this next month. And the good thing is that even if I am having a truly bad day, with this project I’ll be able to look back and say “Yeah, it wasn’t a good day, but I created a part of something.”


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.