Have you dared to write your own ending to your story? Are you ready to step into your power and ‘show up’, unashamedly, in order to give hope to others who might be struggling? 

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Have you dared to write your own ending? Are you ready to step into your power and ‘show up’, unashamedly, in order to give hope to others who might be struggling?

KindaProud needs YOU! Find out how to share your story of emergence through adversity here….

 

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This is a not-for-profit project funded by the Missing Kind Charity. All proceeds from book sales will go to providing free books to hospital wards and mental health organisations in order to provide validation and a light of hope for those in darkness ❤

To find out more, or read the stories of these amazing faces who have emerged as being ‘Kinda Proud’ of their journey so far, CLICK HERE 

KP Collage Sept 2018

 

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Dee tells us how a tragedy in her life led to her creating positive change

Dee from Maidstone in Kent has channeled the pain of her best friend’s suicide into campaigning for positive change in social housing law for vulnerable people, and we are Kinda Proud of her for all she has achieved! Dee tells us the tragic story that catalysed her passion…

Dee Bonnet

So what does “My Side of Suicide” feel like?

Initially, 18 months ago, it felt “horrendous”. A rollercoaster of extreme “highs” and “lows”. How could I feel “high” in such a dark time? The answer being the peace I felt “knowing” my hun was in a better place; his pain was over. This would lift my spirits, though just for a short while, along with the many memories we had made together.

But the “lows” would soon find me crashing again, when alone. The very person most would say was the strongest they knew, wanting to scream, shout and cry, yet there was so much fear, alongside such powerful emotions. Fearing it may never stop, I would lay motionless on my bed, knowing it was one of those “wobbly” moments, which would soon subside, yet so very scarily draining.

So “My Side of” Suicide” 18 months on, is now being written by a different version of me, for no one need tell me I’ve changed, I feel it every day. This different me finding new ways, strategies, goals to get through each day. For those who die from Suicide, their pain is passed onto those loved ones left behind.

So what did “My Side of Suicide” do?

I joined my local SOBS group; such a blessing, connecting with those that “get” you. I became very aware of various emotions surrounding suicide; loss, guilt and anger being prevalent for others. I can remember people saying to me in the very early days I would become angry. I feel blessed yet again. No, never!!! Why would I? That’s my hun; never a cross word was exchanged in life either.

I started a Campaign, to fill that void that will never quite be filled, for I’d lost my hun, my soul friend.

On reflection, remembering vividly not wanting to be 5 minutes without him, I’ve come a long way 18 months on, yet there’s still a long way to go too. My better days are so, my bad days will always remain so, there is no doubt of this and something I have somewhat resigned myself to.

So I literally threw myself into my Campaign to try remain focused to bring about change for others. I had little expectations, and yet there have been some incredibly overwhelming outcomes, including my hun being at Downing Street, the details of which can be read in the Campaign links below.

Give Up Your Pets or Your Home?

In Loving Memory of John Chadwick 💕

On March 16th 2017, my world was turned upside down, etched in my heart forever. Since then I made a promise to myself, that I would not just accept this tragedy had happened, by just walking away and saying nothing at all…

My very best friend, my ‘hun’, John Chadwick, became a victim to suicide on this day, after being forced to choose between homelessness and giving up his beloved pets, Theo, Tinkerbell and their feline best friend Gizmo. I feel it’s therefore vital to give some insight into my hun’s life and struggles, and certainly how his furbabies had such a positive impact on his mental well-being; indeed they were the difference between his life and his death….

My hun was born in Salford, and he eventually walked out of his troubled life some 12 years ago and became street homeless in London for a couple of years. He was found wandering the streets by St Mungos Homeless Charity. They had assessed he was in a vulnerable state of mind, his physical well being having been affected too. He had become addicted to alcohol to survive living on the streets, to get through each day. St Mungos placed my hun into their care and later transferred him to a detox unit in Kent. From there, my hun was transferred to Kenward Trust, in Yalding, Kent, in 2007, a Drug and Alcohol Rehab. He completed a 6 month rehabilitation programme and later secured a tenancy with a private landlord in Maidstone, Kent.

I met my hun in 2008 and was so inspired by his story, I too became employed by Kenward Trust in 2010, and continue to work for them to date.

So my journey with my hun had begun, little did I realise the full impact of this until after his tragic death…

In 2009, my hun walked back into his life in Salford as his father had become ill. On his returned to Maidstone, those old feelings he thought he had faced in therapy came back and he relapsed heavily. He was detoxed and returned back to the community some 2 weeks later. My hun had left the gay clubbing scenes behind him in Manchester, and as I felt he needed a purpose, I got him a kitten called Gizmo. A couple of years later he acquired Theo and Tinkerbell, 2 Jack Russell cross puppies, and his family was complete, they were his furbabies.

Dee Pets

My hun had a small close network of friends here in Maidstone, and would accompany my family for Christmas Dinner; he was part of our family. I was always aware that his Mental Health presented as a “quiet” condition, no one would really ever know just by speaking with him. He was a gentle and kind man and one of the most grounded people I knew, our 9 year friendship was so consistent. He was loved and respected by all that knew him.

The unconditional bond he had with his furbabies, Theo, Tinkerbell and Gizmo I cannot fully describe, it wouldn’t do it justice. When I reflect upon the memories no one can take from me, tears well instantly. His furbabies absolutely adored him as much as he did them; an unconditional love that cannot be fully expressed unless you had been there to experience. When I say we as his friends were not enough for my hun, it’s no reflection on us as people, my hun loved us all dearly, there is no doubt in my mind of this…but his furbabies were his everything…

My hun was later served with a section 21 at Christmas 2016, as the private landlord wanted to sell up. I knew then this wouldn’t end well, having worked in a housing related role, I knew he wouldn’t be able to take his furbabies to temporary accommodation and highly unlikely a permanent tenancy would allow them either. He was evicted on March 6th 2017 and after a meeting with the council he was placed in B & B. That was the last time my hun saw his furbabies and his mental well being deteriorated rapidly.

He was quickly offered a flat by the council on the 7th floor and where animals were not allowed. Their so called duty of care was to house him ,without looking at the bigger picture and the evidence provided regarding his previous homeless issues, addiction and the therapeutic benefits his furbabies gave him. He needed them to wake up to and go home to at the end of each day. They gave him a routine, were a great source of comfort, and impacted positively on his mental well-being. I advised the council that he wouldn’t survive without them. Theo and Tinkerbell had become distraught without him, and they were also sperated from their feline best friend Gizmo.

On March 16th 2017, my hun took a fatal overdose of prescription medication and alcohol at the B &B, after sending a goodbye text to myself and his best friend Shane, who was caring for Theo and Tinkerbell. My hun told us he loved us and would wait for us. This was also the anniversary of his mothers passing, someone he loved dearly.

I later started a Campaign calling for a Positive Pet Policy in Housing, I remembered thinking after my huns death; “what he’s dead and that’s that??!! Am I supposed to just walk away now?”

My campaign is not to proportion blame, it will not change what’s happened. But by keeping my hun’s memory alive, his tragic story may help prevent this happening again, becoming part of a much needed change for all. Suicide/mental health is a very misunderstood subject, one which many avoid to discuss, therefore leaving those who suffer, to do so in silence. Pets are proven to have therapeutic benefits impacting positively on physical and mental well being, particularly for those deemed as vulnerable, alone or homeless.

Since the Campaign really started to take off towards the end of last year, I have been truly overwhelmed by not only the response from the public, but various organisations and the media alike, who have assisted with pushing the Campaign forwards.

In July 2018 a New Pet Policy was implemented by my local Council as a direct result of my huns tragic death and my campaign. Those who are now facing homelessness are able to take their pets with them to temporary accommodation if the properties are suitable to do so. However, in terms of more long term tenancies being offered with pets by Private and Social Housing Landlords, my local Council’s hands would still remain somewhat tied.

But, I will continue to Campaign for other areas to make changes to their Pet Policies. I’m aware this is no easy feat and there is no miracle around the corner, but I do feel truly blessed that the change was first implemented with us here in Maidstone, where my hun’s life ended.

Please help me campaign to other areas by signing the petition link below and circulating both this and the New Pet Policy News Link to continue keeping this important message out there that pets are a vital source of well being for many and are part of the family.

Petition Link:

https://www.change.org/p/helen-grant-mp-introduce-pets-as-support-systems-for-the-more-vulnerable-members-of-society/u/21955552

New Pet Policy :

https://www.kentonline.co.uk/maidstone/news/pet-owners-suicide-leads-to-policy-change-186708

Dee Bonnet

About me:

I have worked in Social Care since I was 18. I have two daughters and 4 grandchildren.

I have been a Drug and Alcohol Worker with Kenward Trust, Yalding, Kent since December 2010.

🐾 Theo & Tinkerbell are rehomed together and their feline best friend Gizmo is with my daughter 🐾

Do you have an inspiring story to tell which has resulted due to either your own suicide attempt or that of a loved one?

Would you like to share your story for Kelly’s KindaProud book, #EmergingProud through suicide? 

Please contact Kelly to find out how by contacting her at:  kelly@positivityprincess.com

 

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Ivy tells us how her physicality became linked to her emotional environment, and how she now recognises the ‘void within’ as a sacred space to be honoured

Behind all coping mechanisms there is a story of heartbreak. All stories are different, and yet the knowing that in sharing our stories it can help others to connect and feel less isolated, can too help us to heal.  Here Ivy from New Jersey, USA, tells us how she still struggles to make sense of her ‘wild experiences’, but that’s okay because; “Spirit always provides an inner strength that survives every disaster. Spirit says that I must not disappear, and I have a choice” …

Ivy Chaya Shiffler

Alcoholism, financial struggle, and fighting between my parents intensified.  A month after we had sold our house and seven of us were living in a small 2 bedroom condo, my mother disappeared.  No notice, just gone after a terrible fight. Older siblings fled. My 9 year old brother, me, 11, and our father were abandoned without a clue.  My father laid in bed for days and my brother and I had to fend for ourselves. Lonely and afraid, I went to check on my dad one afternoon. Lying in bed he said, “I don’t think I can go on anymore.”  That was the first time I had ever heard an adult, someone who I thought was unbreakable, so bereft that he told his 11 year old that he didn’t want to live. The terror of losing both parents wounded my soul.

No sign of my mother until Easter Day.  She mailed us each a box of chocolate. No phone call, no contact for months, I got this box of chocolate in the mail, surreptitiously filled with jelly.  I always hated the jelly filled kind. A thought crossed my mind that maybe she sent me the kind I didn’t like because I was too fat, hoping I wouldn’t eat too many.  Even though this wasn’t true, I felt like it was, and no one was there to convince me otherwise. As I remorsefully bit into the first chocolate from the mail and unexpectedly tasted this awful jelly pouring out, it was as if mom had sent me an edible weapon.  My insides melted and poured out just like the terrible jelly.

My self image started to affect my emotional well being.  I used to be a skinny kid with no worries. Then all of a sudden, I realized I looked and felt different, and my family was falling apart.  My physicality became linked to my emotional environment.

Before my 12th birthday, mom still missing, I went to the bathroom and discovered I had started menstruating.  I had never had the talk with my mom, and my teenage sisters were not very involved. My oldest sister threw a pad in the door.  I never used one before. I clumsily put it on. Off to school, I entered womanhood ashamed and dejected.

My poor self image started to replace my sense of self.  I was now the chubby girl in the mirror, embarrassed of what anyone saw when they looked at me.  I felt others’ gazes and immediately calculated in my mind what they saw, wanting to disappear. This lead to body dysmorphia, which became progressively worse over the years.

Begin bulimia.  It took hold gradually, but soon I was able to purge most of what I ate just by bending over.  By age 14 my parents were back together. We had a new house. Same underlying family problems resurfaced, but I had managed to get thin and built a social life that helped me escape.  Admittedly, the thing that made me feel better was not just my parents and the new house. They still worked all the time, were miserable together and emotionally unavailable. What really made me feel better was the reflection in the mirror.  I was acceptable.

High school into college: another divorce, devastating addiction, abuse, betrayals, led to more pounds shed.  Now every meal, every day, every action could be broken down into caloric intake and expended calories. I barely ate for days at a time and would struggle silently with depression and hunger for as long as I could.  I’d have to eat eventually but it always had to be purged. Food was like a drug and the purging an addiction. I would drive to a store, buy food, eat it all in the car hysterically, and then throw it up in the woods.  These binges and purges took hours. I was unable to stop once it began. Bodily chemicals released during these binge and purge rampages eventually made me pass out. I went from size 8 to size 0 jeans. My boyfriend stole the “zero” jeans and threw them away, terrified that I was making myself disappear.  Too close to a statistically healthy BMI to get emergency inpatient care, too sick to live without constant suffering, I reached out to my parents for help.

I bounced around from one psychologist/ psychiatrist to another, talk therapy and SSRIs were the method.  The antidepressants helped at first with the major depression, but overtime changed my mood and I developed a cycle of mania followed by depression.  The goal was to extend the creative surges of energy and shorten the depression; it worked for a while. I stopped the antidepressants cold turkey, started a new relationship, and had an unplanned pregnancy at the end of college.  Tragically we lost our son at about 6 months and labor had to be induced. My body did not know my baby was dead. My breasts leaked milk as I wept for him.

I allowed myself to eat normally for my baby, thus gained weight during the pregnancy.  I went from frail to plump. When I returned to work, a staff member stopped me in the hall to ask why I gained weight so suddenly.  I was struck with grief and replied that I had been pregnant and gave birth to my dead son a few weeks ago, and was still holding some of the excess weight.  I was not obese, I was just a little different than the year before. But people openly scrutinizing me for superficial reasons reinforced the lie that my perfect fatless body was my suit of armor, and any ounce of visible fat was a weakness.

I moved to another district and worked several jobs at once, plus painting gigs on the side. Every waking hour was comprised of work or exercise.  I rode my bike miles to work skipping meals to make sure I had enough exercise. No matter how hard I worked or how fit I was, I was still an open wound invisibly seeping pain and sadness.

Life did not get easier.  Losing both my grandparents within weeks of meeting my husband awakened something in me.  Life keeps challenging me with more heartache and trials, but I began to realize that the void within is not just emptiness, it is sacred space.  This knowing started small, silently, barely felt, yet undeniably present.

Miraculously, I remain.  My mother is back, resurrected many times since.  I am thankful for her healing return, and her undying love.  I need to cherish our continuing journeys.

Since marriage and children, the eating disorder dissolved into the bigger picture of constant change and trudging forward.  In 2011 spiritual emergency struck. I still carry all my wounds but maintain a foothold. I wish I could say that my transformation turned all the pain and struggle into purity and freedom.  In some ways it has. I recognize my potential gifts, spirit speaks through me, I have known unfathomable worlds. However, at this stage I am still trying to grasp my wild experiences. Spirit always provides an inner strength that survives every disaster. Spirit says that I must not disappear, and I have a choice.

Ivy’s depiction; “Circle it in red” 

 

Ivy Chaya Shiffler

Artist: Ivy’s Facebook Art page

Does this subject resonate with your own experience? 

Would you like to share your story for Amy’s KindaProud book, #EmergingProud through disordered eating, body image and low self-esteem? 

Please contact Amy to find out how by contacting her at: info@soul-shine.org.uk

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Meet our KindaProud Rep for ‘#Emerging Proud through NOTES’ Dr Nicole Gruel

We’re SO delighted to have Dr Nicole Gruel (aka ‘The NOTES Coach’) from Australia spearheading our KindaProud book; #Emerging Proud through NOTES.

Here Nicole explains what ‘NOTES’ are, and why she’s so passionate about this project;

Read Nicole’s personal NOTE story and find out more about why she’s so passionate about this subject here: Introducing our KindaProud Rep for the #EmergingProud through ‘NOTES’ Pocket Book of Hope and Transformation

If you’d like to find out more about how you can share your story for Nicole’s KindaProud book, #EmergingProud through NOTES

Please contact us here 

To thine own self be true

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FREE: Oxford #EmergingProud film screening and peer support group launch

Are you experiencing or have you experienced Spiritual Crisis / resonate with having had a spiritual emergence, or even just felt like you don’t fit into the world as it is?

A spiritual crisis or “spiritual emergence” is a turbulent period of spiritual opening and awakening that can become unmanageable for a person. People may experience psychological distress as a result.

Join us for the FREE *Emerging Kind Peer Support Group OXFORD Launch Event (Donations welcome on the day to cover costs)

CLICK HERE TO BOOK A PLACE 

Saturday 22nd September 2-5pm

At the Quaker Meeting House 43, St Giles Oxford

There will be a showing of the film:

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An inspiring documentary that shows how people have successfully lived through spiritual crisis. We will then hold a Q+A and discussion circle on the topic after the film; feel free to come and watch, listen and share if you feel drawn to.

This event is hosted by Alan Foulkes, Oxford tEK Peer Group Facilitator, and Katie Mottram (#EmergingProud Founder) Find out more about the project here:
www.emergingproud.com/emergingkind

Following the Launch event Alan’s peer support group for people resonating with the subject will be established in Oxford. All attendees will be invited to register an interest in the group at the Launch, if they so wish.

*Emerging Kind is a group of people who have experienced spiritual crisis and have been extensively trained to arrange and facilitate peer support groups around the country for people experiencing spiritual emergence.

MediumEmerging-Kind-Logo-with-STRAPLINE copy

If you have any questions prior to the event please contact Alan Foulkes on foulkesalanm@gmail.com

CLICK HERE TO BOOK A PLACE 

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World Suicide Prevention day; by speaking out together we can save lives

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Today is World Suicide Prevention Day 2018, but we can make EVERY day a day to provide hope to those who may be struggling…

Suicide is a subject close to the heart of our Kinda Proud Rep Kelly from both sides of the experience; both as a Survivor of a serious suicide attempt, and as the daughter of a loved one who took his own life. Here Kelly explains why spearheading our pocket book of hope: #Emerging Proud through Suicide is so important to her:

Read Kelly’s full story HERE

Your story is important

Does this subject resonate with your own experience? 

Would you like to share your story for Kelly’s KindaProud book, #EmergingProud through depression, anxiety and suicidality? 

Please contact Kelly to find out how by contacting her at:  kelly@positivityprincess.com

 

If you are struggling and need help, please talk to someone. You can find helplines and resources here:

International Association for Suicide Prevention

 

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I chat with Karina about her work as an Integral Therapist

A few weeks ago Karina Simieli #Emerged Proud. I wanted to give her the opportunity to talk more about what she offers, as she’s been such a wonderful support to me on my journey to ‘awaken my Being’… She’s not one to speak out in loud self- promotion, but I think her gentle and authentic nature comes across beautifully here, I hope you can feel it too…

Karina offers a ‘sliding scale’ option for sessions (pay what you can). If you’d like to contact Karina to find out more about her work, here is how to get in touch;

Click here for Karina’s website

Karina’s Facebook page

Karina’s LinkedIn

Muchas gracias Karina for all you bring to the world! ❤

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