Introducing CBT to my life

Introducing CBT to my life, mental health, mental health blogger, blogger, CBT, blog post, photography
Introducing CBT to my life

Through my search of self-help techniques that I hope can help me through life and help me in overcoming a few of my mental problems I came across ‘The Anxiety Journal’ that very briefly introduced me to CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and was instantly intrigued by it. (You can read my review of ‘The Anxiety journal’ HERE)

Despite my insistence on doing things on my own from now own, even I am aware I can’t do everything alone and there are times where I do/will need the help of others.

So firstly let’s explain briefly what CBT is

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy also known as CBT for short is a talking therapy that can help many people to manage and cope with their mental/physical problems through thought and behaviour. It is commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but has been known to be useful for other mental and physical health problems.

Due to this being a highly sought out remedy to those who suffer from anxiety and depression, I felt like this was something I needed to introduce to my life and give ago. Everything else I have attempted so far has only led to failure or has led to part failure but I’m not ready to give up, so why not try out CBT? It could be the very thing I’ve needed in my life all along.

Now that we know what CBT is, how does CBT work? Or more accurately, how is CBT meant to help you?

So, CBT is based on the concept that YOUR thoughts, YOUR feelings, YOUR physical sensations as well as actions are interconnected, and through that, negative thoughts and feelings can find a way to trap you in a vicious cycle.

CBT is aimed to help people to cope and deal with their overwhelming problems in a more light and positive way by breaking them down into much smaller parts. CBT helps open your eyes to show you how to change these negative patterns/cycles to help improve the way you feel.

Unlike other talking treatments, CBT deals with your current situation/problems, rather than focusing on all the issues of the past and looks for practical ways that can help improve your state of mind on a day to day basis. (I understand the need for opening up and letting the past out but I also understand that being able to move on from the past you have to stop giving into, stop talking about, thinking about and letting it into the present. For some people only opening that door again will they ever be able to close and lock it forever, but for others like me, I’ve already found the lock long ago and know unlocking and reopening doors will cause more damage than good to my mental state and wellbeing).

CBT isn’t just for those who suffer and want to overcome their anxiety and depression. CBT has been shown to be an effective way of treating a whole range of different mental health conditions as well as in addition to depression or anxiety disorders, CBT has and can help people with the following:

  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Eating disorders – such as bulimia and anorexia
  • OCD (Obsessive Compulsive disorder)
  • Panic disorder
  • Phobias
  • PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • Psychosis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sleep problems – such as insomnia
  • Problems related to alcohol misuse

CBT has also been used to treat people with long-term health conditions, such as:

  • IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome)
  • CFS (Chronic fatigue syndrome)
  • Fibromyalgia

CBT cannot cure the physical symptoms of these conditions, CBT can help people cope better with their symptoms. Which sometimes it’s all you can hope for, is a little help in coping if you can’t rid yourself of whatever condition you have.

I hope this short explanation of CBT has helped explain what it is and maybe it’s even got you thinking, wondering if this is something that can help you…

As I stated at the top of this post, I have been trying to find as many self-help techniques that I possibly can but even I am aware that help is going to be needed somewhere down the line. you can’t do everything on your own, sometimes a little help is needed if you have any hope or chance of helping yourself.

Accepting help doesn’t make you weak. You’re stronger than most if you are able to seek or accept the help offered to you, most go through life trying to do it on their own in the hopes that no one sees their struggles and to me…that’s weak. It’s easy to hide and pretend, you need some steel hard balls come out of hiding, to accept what’s going on but to not accept that that’s how you are going to live out the rest of your life.

Not hiding your problems and instead choosing to fight them with everything you’ve got…now that’s brave.

I’ll be continuing this conversation on in a different post when I do an update on CBT and how it’s affected/helped me. I’ll be going into more detail about what ABT is, what it does and how exactly it’s meant to help as well as what to expect when attending CBT sessions with your therapist.

World Suicide Prevention Day 2019

Today marks ‘World Suicide Prevention Day.’

World Suicide Prevention Day. blogger, mental health, mental illness, mental health blogger, lifestyle blogger, suicide, trigger warning, suicide prevention, WSPD
World Suicide Prevention Day

A day where everyone across the world comes together in the hopes of preventing any more suicides from occurring/ helping those who are currently tormented by suicidal thoughts/behaviour.

There are many things as a group or even as individuals that you can do in support of ‘Suicide Prevention Day,’ Such as;

  • You can open up about your own story of surviving suicide
  • You can talk openly about your suicidal thoughts
  • You can open up about your attempts of suicide
  • You can share a family member’s story (with permission of course)
  • Or you can share a story of someone close to you who lost their life to this terrible thing
  • You can host a little get together where you open up, talk and learn more about suicide and ways to stop it in others/prevent it.

This year I have decided to take part in, ‘World Suicide Prevention Day’ (WAPD) by joining others across the world in lighting a candle next to my window at 8pm TONIGHT. In honour of those fighting, suffering and in memory of those we have already lost to suicide.

The IASP is preparing “World Suicide Prevention Day Light a Candle Near a Window at 8 PM” e-cards or postcards in various languages so supporters can send these reminders to friends, colleagues and loved ones. Also, these e-cards or postcards can be used by bloggers, writers and others so that they can share information about suicide, suicide prevention and World Suicide Prevention Day. Click here to download e-cards to send to loved ones

WORLD PREVENTION DAY SITE

You can find out more and get involved more by checking out their website ‘World Prevention Day.’

I would ask that all my viewers to join me in lighting a candle at 8pm tonight in support of suicide survivors, in support and acknowledgement of those with suicidal thoughts and in memory of those who have already lost their life to suicide.

And when you light your candle I would love for you to share a picture of it with me on social media! (I’ll be sharing some of them).

You can share you pictures with me here:

Instagram - @LittleTinkablee

Twitter - @Tinkableeblog

Facebook Page - @LittleTinkableeblog

There are many things we can do to help others around us whether that is simply messaging a friend/family/colleague and checking in on them or posting helplines so people know where they can go to for help they don’t feel comfortable talking to someone they know.

Suicide is something close to me. Having my biological father commit suicide was hard but not nearly as hard as having my little brother age 7- 8 (at the time) try to commit suicide due to bullies. Nor was it as hard as having to hear/know that my siblings and mother have either attempted or strongly thought about attempting suicide.

It’s a thought that can get stuck in your head and there have been a few moments in my life where I even thought about ending my own life, moments where I thought I could make the world around me go quiet….

What’s helped me get to my 22nd birthday (an age I honestly never dreamed of even reaching) is my need for helping people, especially my family. My family suffers greatly from mental illnesses and there are a lot of strong negative emotions that circle my family. It seems there is a never ending cycle of bad things occurring.

What has stop me from following through with my own dark thoughts is knowing that my family have the same thoughts if not stronger thoughts than I do, and if I’m not here to help them, to be that person they can talk to, vent to or turn their emotions out on, then who will?

Who will help them when they need it, who will listen to their thoughts when everything becomes too much?

Suicide is no laughing matter, and it certainly isn’t something that should be hidden under a rock. I believe more helps needs to be put into place for people who struggle just Living in such a confusing and critical world.

I believe schools should be forced to do more when it comes to education the young mind of mental health and mental health illnesses.

Schools really aren’t doing enough, or all they can to help protect our children and it really angers me that they are so….dismissive almost of mental health/illnesses.

Some records show that a person dies every 40 seconds by suicide and up to 25 times as many again make a suicide attempt. It is responsible for over 800,000 deaths, which equates to one suicide every 40 seconds. Every year, suicide is among the top 20 leading causes of death globally for people of all ages.

  • In 2018, there were 6,507 suicides registered in the UK, an age-standardised rate of 11.2 deaths per 100,000 population; the latest rate is significantly higher than that in 2017 and represents the first increase since 2013.
  • Three-quarters of registered deaths in 2018 were among men (4,903 deaths), which has been the case since the mid-1990s.
  • The UK male suicide rate of 17.2 deaths per 100,000 represents a significant increase from the rate in 2017; for females, the UK rate was 5.4 deaths per 100,000, consistent with the rates over the past 10 years.

Suicides in the UK

In 2018, a total of 6,507 suicides were registered in the UK, 686 more deaths than in 2017 when there were 5,821 deaths (11.8% increase). This equates to a statistically significant increase in the suicide rate, with 11.2 deaths per 100,000 population in 2018, compared with 10.1 deaths per 100,000 population in 2017.

Following several years of decline, the latest UK suicide rate has increased to the level seen when it previously peaked in 2013 (11.1 deaths per 100,000). Suicide rates tend to fluctuate on a year-to-year basis. It is therefore too early to say whether the latest increase represents a change in the recent trend.

The factors behind any increase in suicide rates are complex. However, as detailed in Section 3, Things you need to know about this release, a change in the standard of proof used by coroners may have affected the latest figures. The latest provisional figures for England (2019 registrations for Quarters 1 and 2), which are subject to change and not finalised, show similarly elevated levels of registrations in the first half of 2019.

You can find out more by clicking here.

I understand that suicide can be such a sensitive subject to talk about as it’s almost too terrible to even comprehend that a person could feel so bad that they would even think to take away their life.

But without people speaking up and breaking silence on this very shocking and sensitive subject then we only leave the world to stick to the terrible stigmas that has surrounded suicide and suicidal people.

As disturbing as the thought is there are people out there who use self-harm and suicide attempts to keep people with them or to stop people from leaving them. But this isn’t everyone! It’s a very small group that are like that, most of the time people are just looking for help because they’re just stuck. Stuck in the same cycles, feeling the same emotions over and over (and that’s if you haven’t gone numb by that point).

As previously state, I have had people incredibly close to me attempt suicide and talk openly about wanting to end their own lives. It’s such a horrible sinking feeling knowing that the people keeping you grounded are experiencing these feelings and I feel as though there isn’t anything I can do.

My boyfriend had once been roped into a “friendship” as the person would consistently use self-harm and attempts at suicide to bring him and other people in when the person felt as though people were leaving them out. I myself have been placed in similar situations. It’s not nice.

I now know that just letting them talk and being an open ear is more than enough sometimes. Sometimes we just need to feel as though we are being heard and validated.

I now know that walking away from people who use such a heartbreaking thing against you is the best thing to do and that I am no held responsible for their actions, only mine.

I want to thank you all for taking the time to read this post and I ask that you please share this one around. And if you EVER need an open ear, no judgement, just an listen ear, then please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Or you can contact one of these suicide prevention hotlines –

Uk Suicide Helpline

Samaritans – for everyone
Call 116 123
Email jo@samaritans.org

Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) – for men
Call 0800 58 58 58 – 5pm to midnight every day
Visit the webchat page

Papyrus – for people under 35
Call 0800 068 41 41 – Monday to Friday 10am to 10pm, weekends 2pm to 10pm, bank holidays 2pm to 5pm
Text 07786 209697
Email pat@papyrus-uk.org

Childline – for children and young people under 19
Call 0800 1111 – the number won’t show up on your phone bill

USA Suicide Prevention Hotlines:

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (http://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/) is a 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.It provides Spanish-speaking counsellors, as well as options for deaf and hard of hearing individuals. It is only available in the United States 

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (ESP) can be reached at 1-888-628-9454

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Deaf & Hard of Hearing Options) can be reached at 1-800-799-4889

You can also CLICK HERE to be direction to a list of International Suicide Hotlines.

My Body Image Ongoing Journey

This year for Mental health Awareness Month I’m going to be talking a lot more openly about my own mental health, sharing in more depth and detail the battle that goes on behind the closed door.

For Mental Health Awareness Week I’m going to be joining in with Mental Health Foundation cause in spreading more awareness for mental health and this years Mental Health Awareness Week topic is: Body Image.

I thought I would use this to take the opportunity to explain very briefly what body image is before sharing my ongoing journey with my body image.

What is Body image?


So a brief explaining of what body image is: A way an individual views their own body, whether that be they have a positive or negative view on their body. It’s down to how you see YOUR body. It isn’t just what we see in the mirror, thanks to social media it’s so much more than that. It’s about what we think and about what we feel when looking at our own bodies, I’m very accustomed in knowing that the worst critic can be ourselves.

My Body Image – Ongoing Journey


So let just get into it. I was very aware of my body at a rather young age, suffering with really bad skin problems I was the girl that was always cover head to toe so no one could see how bad my skin was. I think I must have been 8 at the time when I truly felt self conscious about having incredibly bad eczema.

It became so bad that I’d risk getting heatstroke, covering myself up as much as possibly (and typically I’d only wear black as it was simple and made me blend in) whenever I left the house.

Then high school start, along with puberty and girly problems. I never wish puberty upon anyone and really, really feel sorry for those coming and soon to be coming to puberty. It really wasn’t an easy ride for me. As I believe it wasn’t for most people.

I quickly looked to using my hair as my shield against my new anxiety and bad body image as soon as my mum allowed me to dye my hair at the age of 14. I was so, so happy that she had finally allowed me to dye my hair, ever since I was little I’d see my mum dying her hair a pretty purple or deep red (usually purple as that’s her Favourite colour) and I really wanted to dye my hair purple like hers.

I walked into school the following week with the most confidence I had ever had up until that point. I was so happy and even more so when I got compliments from my friends, teachers, other students…and my high school crush at the time (this was like 3 year before I met my second major but first major and forever crush).

Of course like every good thing, the good feelings never lasted. My small hold of confidence was quickly sniffed out by my own insecurities and self doubt in my own skin.

Colouring my hair a different colour helped distract me for a while from my body, I become infatuated with dying my hair crazy colours. My hair became my security blanket .

I hated everything about my body, the way it looked, the way I moved in it and the way I felt in my own skin,. I still have these feelings often to this day. I have always had a small framed body, I suppose back then I had a body that had the potential of looking like a athletes body, I was very active, you’d either see me riding my bike or climbing a tree with my friends.

I’d never bring in my P.E (Physical education) nor would I ever bring in my swimming kit when we had swimming. I wasn’t comfortable showing so much of my body off to people. I’ve also found it so wrong that school makes us change around each other or try forcing us to swim. I understand the workout side of thing, I don’t understand why they choose things or ways that makes us the most uncomfortable.

I’d do everything and anything I possible could that would avoid me showing skin or clothing that showed off my body. For years I walked around in dark bagging clothing in the hopes to blend in and not draw notice or attention to myself. Partly because of my anxiety and partly because of my issue with my own body image.

When I got with my boyfriend, my body image changed in my eyes. He’s made me feel as though I’m the most beautiful woman in the world. He’s loved every inch of me, every imperfection that I own and he made me feel as though they weren’t there or as though my imperfection weren’t imperfections. He taught me to love my body for what it was, flaws and all.

With him I feel free and comfortable to wear what I what, when I’m around him I can wear skirts, dresses, short sleeved tops and crop tops. But every other time if its just me, I’ll throw on baggy clothes, tights or leggings and go back to trying to blend in with the background of the world.

Without him, I wouldn’t be caught dead in a dress never mind a dress as pretty as this one was! (These photo were taken at his sister’s wedding two years ago in June).

Of course that doesn’t mean I still don’t have a bad body image. Due to my eating disorder my body changes all the time, I’m always up and down (more often down) about my body. Last year and the year before that I lived in nothing but shorts, tights, leggings and my boyfriends hoodies as none of my clothes fit me any more. I’d lost too much weight.

To this day I’m still shopping in the children section – early teen section for clothes as my body is still so small and unhealthy from years of unintentional abuse. To this day I hate the way my body looks, but I do get moments where I’m happy with it. The moments are few and far but when I do get them I grab hold of it for as long as I can, never knowing when I’ll feel good about the way I looked again.

In this photo I feel like is shows just how sick I was here. How small my body frame had become, how small and thin my arms were. I had no muscle to me, I couldn’t even lift myself up onto the counter top like I used to when I was a kid to get to the top shelves of the cupboards in the kitchen.

This year I have taken steps to changing my unhealthy ways and in changing the way I view my body. I’ve started a new diet that has been helping me gain weight for the first time since I was a teenager, I started yoga last year (You can CLICK HERE to be directed to my yoga post) to build muscle I never had due to being so sick in my body. And little, light workouts to build more. I’m starting to go on more of my adventures again and still looking at new ways I can help myself.

It isn’t easy and with social media and all these filters and ways to modify how you look using apps it can have a big helping hand in bringing me down about my body image. And with my body changing all the time, its so hard to like never mind love my body image. I hope one day I can see myself the way my boyfriend sees me.

This, like most personal/mental health related posts wasn’t easy for me to write and it’s even harder for me to post but one of my reasons for starting this blog was to open up more about what I’m going through, to jot things down and share them, to help others going through something similar and little bit to know I’m not the only one with these thoughts and feelings.

So I hope this has given you a little insight on how I view myself which isn’t in a very good light, however my mission to stay positive and push through until I achieve my body goal is ever growing and with the support of all my friends, family and fellow bloggers I’m hoping to share in more depth how body image affects me and those around me.

I also hope that this has shown you, that you aren’t the only one who has bad thoughts of themselves, who hate the way their look. I’ve lost count of the amount of people what have told me I am too skinny, or that I shouldn’t be depressed, self conscious or sad because I’m skinny. I can tell you right now that skinny is NOT everything. It can get very life threatening and I’ll be sharing a post on that later tonight.

I want this post to help other’s open up more about their own body image but also want this post to help you understand that body image is just that, its an image that you can change at will. It’s hard, and it’s not always something that can be achieve but a day of bad body image doesn’t mean that you HAVE a bad body image. It just means that that day was a bad day, tomorrow may be better.

I’d love to hear/read about your body image journey and I really hope this post have inspired you to share your own body image journey, as I stated above that my next post today will be about my weight and the way others see me, rather than how I see myself.

We are all beautiful, no matter the size, the colour, the markings on our skin. It’s all beautiful and it all makes us who we are. It all makes us different and uniquely us.

My eating Disorder Story

My Eating Disorder Story

(So I started writing this post last week during eating disorder awareness week and ended up putting it on pause and writing other posts instead, I guess I wasn’t as ready as I thought I was to have my full story out there but it is something I want to help spread awareness on and so without further ado here’s my story so far).

Some of you may already be aware of ‘Eating Disorder Awareness Week’. A week dedicated to spreading awareness about eating disorders, people who have them, what it’s like and how to help.

This one hits home a little personally as I have been suffering from an eating disorder for many years now that I haven’t really spoken up on and haven’t really sought out any help on until recently. I have only recently just accepted and become aware of my own issues, after living blissfully (or so I thought) in denial for far too long, allowing those who loved and cared for me watch me turn into something… that could barely pass as a hallow shell of who I once was.

I had easily convinced myself that I was fine, I didn’t have an eating disorder, that everyone was being overly paranoid about my weight because I was just skinny, being skinny through my years I’ve heard it all about my weight. But back when I was younger I never really had a problem with eating, I had what was probably a great relationship with food but as I grew and my body grew so did my taste buds and the food went from tasting like heaven to tasting and feeling as though I had ripped off a piece of cardboard and popped it into my mouth.

I had started going days and weeks without eating when I felt too bad I would drink a lot of tea and suck on a few pieces of chocolate to get me through the day… That was only a year ago for me. It was only a year ago that I accepted that I did have a problem with food.

Because I’ve had so many people talk to me about my weight, worry over me about my weight I never paid them any attention. I’ve had so many people ask me if I suffer from anorexia or some other eating disorder, I didn’t care for it and didn’t want to hear it, it just started making me feel self conscious about myself. I went from only mildly caring about what I looked like to spending up to two – three hours getting readying and checking myself in the mirror. I started wearing more baggier clothing and avoided people I knew instantly would have something to say to me.

2018, summer, standing next to my blue haired pixie sister. It was the first time I had left the house in something other than my boyfriend hoodie and baggy leggings.

It always got to me the way people think they have the right to tell me what they think about my weight, It always seemed cheeky to me that they’d feel comfortable enough to let me know they had been staring at my body and decided that I was too skinny for them. I’ve had people who work with people like me treat me like I’m some delusional fool, I’ve had them think they were helping me when in reality they couldn’t have made things worse. I’ve had someone laugh in my face after telling them something someone has said to me about my weight or lack of as well as my flat-chest. This coming from someone whose job requires them to be sympathetic, understanding and no judgemental unfortunately it’s a trait people don’t know how to rid themselves of.

My spine was always sticking out, you could play it like a musical instrument if you had some sticks.

I guess that’s why I had spent so long in denial so determined not listen to them, telling me they were only letting me know because they were worried about me was starting to come off a lot more like that of scolding a child. It’s never a nice feeling to have everyone around you knock your character down to something small, tiny and voiceless. People started looking down on me, assuming they knew what was best, assuming I can’t handle a life of my own. People already have their thoughts on what they think I want, and they’ve never been so wrong in all their lives.

So with people making me feel as though I was on my own, that we weren’t on equal footing it made me distance myself a lot more from everyone. It made me cloak myself in the saying, “Don’t care what people think of you.” And I had, I’d really stopped caring what people have to say about me, about my life about the things they think I will or won’t accomplish in life. Or at least I thought I’d managed to stop caring.

I started to loose a lot more weight. I wasn’t necessarily that under weight when all of this started, being a small and petite female I have a really petite body frame and of course because of all that I was lighter for my age than others. But I never lost weight to the extreme of fitting into my petite 10-11 year old sisters clothing, it wasn’t to the stage that I was forever seeing every bone that my upper body owned, I had thighs, I had bum and little boobs. I wasn’t bad.

2016 was when my weight started to really drop, my boyfriend was concerned and always trying to get me to eat whenever he could. I was worrying my mother and siblings but I wasn’t paying attention to the way my health was affecting them. I’d convinced myself I was fine, and so that’s what I was, I was fine.

Reduced to nothing but fighting for something.

But I had stopped caring about what I looked like, I stopped caring about the things I wore. I stopped fitting into my clothes and settled for living in tights, leggings and my boyfriend hoodies. Sometimes I’d make an effort in what I wore but I had to borrow my 10-11 (At the time) year old sisters clothes as mine were too big and she was the only one closest to my size.

In 2017 I’d got hit with a really bad virus that had left me bed ridden for a month. I had spent days and nights throwing up whatever I could while not being able to eat anything or keep any liquids down. My family and boyfriend were really worry for me by this point but I kept telling them I was fine. I’ll get over it like I always do and get on with life as normal. Except once I had recovered from it I had taken a look at myself in the mirror and got a shock of my life.

I had found out why everyone was looking at me with worried glances, why my boyfriend wanted me to eat or drink whatever I could, why my mum (who due to her own eating disorder is very understanding with mine) was practically begging me to go to the doctors and seek out help.

I went from being skinny to being…nothing. In that month I had wasted away into nothing and to see that nothing staring at me in the mirror? it was a truly terrifying thing to experience, to realise. The week after I got myself down to the doctors and I have been in the hopes that they have been able to help. So far I have had major struggle getting help from any professionals however I have made my own steps in gaining the weight back since then.

Right now I am waiting arrangements from Talk-Liverpool and an Eating Disorder Clinic in the hopes that they can help me. I have taken my own steps in helping myself including, by keeping an eating journal and through yoga practice.

Left is when I was really underweight, the right a recent photo after doing a yoga workout

Stay tuned next week as I’ll be posting what steps I took in order to help myself once I came to terms with my eating disorder and what other eating disorders there are out there, I’m personally shocked by how many there are that I was so unaware of! I’ll also be sharing what a year of yoga has done for me and what it could do for you.