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.

Journaling

Journaling

And why I keep one.

I have kept a journal in one form or another, since I was about ten years old.

I remember when I first made the decision. I had told my uncle that I wanted to be a writer, and his response (apart from telling me that there would be lots of rejection), was to tell me that if I wanted to be a successful writer, then I would need to start the practice of keeping a journal. I stated that very day, in a little, spiral bound notebook, where I had to write the date myself.

I don’t look back at those journals often, but its a nice feeling, knowing that they’re there.. pieces of my younger self, preserved in paper form, within a book.

My way of journaling has changed, grown, and developed over the years. At first, I only used words; Now, though, I use a mixture of words, poetry, and images. I’m still learning about new, and different journaling techniques. I don’t honestly ever think that I’ll stop learning, and you know what? I’m totally okay with that.

Over the years, my journals have been supporter, confidante, and friend, sometimes when I felt like I had no-one.

The thing is that having a journal means that you always have a way to get all of those horrible, messy, nonsensical thoughts out of your head, and, trust me-it really works.

I don’t know if you already journal, or if you’ve never even considered it, but I would really, highly, recommendit. It is a lifelong practice for me, and I can honestly say that it has only ever served to enhance my life.


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.

Forgiving You

Forgiving You

The battle within

Photo by Felix Koutchinski on Unsplash

Of all the possible emotions to feel, anger is one that I really struggle with. Most people who know me, know that I don’t really ‘do’ anger. It confuses and scares me.

However, lately I have been feeling angry; angry and hurt. I’ve posted a couple of times in the last couple of months about friendship, and I’m now, more than ever, feeling incredibly let down and hurt by someone that I thought was a friend.

I don’t think this person knows this. I don’t think that they are even aware that the friendship has ceased. They are very busy, with an awful lot on their plate, and I don’t think that they actually have any more space for another person.

The thing is, that I don’t mind if that’s the case, but the total inconsideration is something that I’m really struggling to get past.

On Sunday, it was my birthday. The person in question didn’t even realise that I wasn’t where I usually am on a Sunday morning. They didn’t wish me a happy birthday, and I haven’t heard anything from them except to ask for something that they wanted.

And you know what? That. Hurt. It really hurt. Over the last few days, I have found myself dwelling on this, and several other incidences, and I realised today that it’s eating me up inside, and that I really need to let it go.

I don’t have space in my life any more, for things, and people that cause me heartache. I don’t think I’m even angry any more. I’m just over it. I don’t know if I can fully forgive this person yet, but I am going to work on it, but in the meantime, I refuse to let them take up space in my thoughts and in my life. I’m just done.

I’m hoping that by blogging about these feelings, I will be able to release them a little, and that in doing so, it will make forgiveness just that little bit easier.


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.

Friendship

Friendship

And when you know it’s over.

Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

Over the last couple of years, I’ve learnt a lot about friendship. I’ve learnt that there are people who are true friends, who will be there for you no matter what, and no matter how much you try and push them away.

I have also found people who will say that they’re going to be there, but when it comes down to it, they simply aren’t. They are either too busy, they can’t be bothered, or they don’t have the time, and you know what? I’m learning to be okay with that.

I’m learning that these are people who aren’t really friends, and while I would have been desperately upset about it a couple of years ago, now I am confident in those people that I can call my true friends; those people who I could call in the middle of the night, and know that they would be there for me.

Over the last couple of months, I have been coming to terms with the fact that someone I thought of as a friend, not only isn’t, but that they never really were in the first place.

Now, I would be lying if I said that this realisation didn’t hurt, but as I’ve spent the time getting used to it and accepting it, in a way, it feels like a weight off.

In the past, I would have felt compelled to try and make things right, and to try and ‘mend’ the friendship, but the truth is that some friendships are just not reparable.

This is one of those friendships.

So, how can I tell?

1. This person and I have not had more than a two minute conversation in over a year.

2. It always falls to me to make the first contact.

3. They are only interested in me when it comes to asking me to do something for them.

4. They will abruptly end a conversation with me when I dare to start talking about something other than them.

5. They don’t value me. Not as a person, nor with a view to my chosen vocation.

I know this sounds very harsh, but it’s the truth. It’s a hard, and painful truth to accept, but now that I have accepted it, it feels like a huge burden has been lifted. I no longer have to fight for a friendship, which, quite frankly, isn’t worth saving.

I know how hard the decision to end a friendship is. I know how much it hurts. I’ve been there; and the only thing I can say to you now, is that if you are going through a similar thing, you can do this. You can be the one to call it a day. You are worth more than a half hearted, façade of a friendship, and when you realise this, you too will feel lighter for letting that friendship go.


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.

Not Giving Up..

Not giving up..

And why it’s not the easy option…

by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Lately I’ve been in a real funk! It’s the kind of funk that I call ‘pure depression’, where I can’t even find a specific reason for it, I just wake up, feeling a bunch of yuckiness (yes, I know it’s a not a proper word… Microsoft Word told me with a red wavy line, but screw that line, I’m using it!).

The thing is, that when I wake up feeling like that, it is VERY hard to get myself motivated. It actually, genuinely feels exhausting and part of me really can’t be bothered to do anything other than curling into a ball and going back to sleep; a pseudo-hibernation, if you will… until the clouds clear and the sun peeps out once more.

However, doing this, I’ve found, is the single worst thing I can do for myself. I waste a large proportion of the day, doing nothing productive, and I find myself feeling even worse that I did before, because I’ve not done anything creative or productive, which just makes me into a failure.

I mean, I know that there are some times, when I need to listen to my body and my mind, but there are also other times, when I just simply need to give myself a good talking to, and then get up, and push through, and get on with things, because when it comes down to it, I know that all the while I am creating, I am not worthless.

So today, I will give myself that talking to, and I will get on with things, because in the end, I know that it’s good for me, even if it seems like the hardest option in the world sometimes.


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.

Butterfly

Butterfly

A Poem Without Rhyme

by Suzanne D. Williams on Unsplash

The butterfly flaps,
Its wings faster;
Fast.
It’s life fast lived,
So much to do,
Before it expires,
And does it really have the time,
To sit amongst the flowers.


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.