My Village: Shedding the light

Hosted by FeedBack Mental Health Service users forum, 22nd June Lowestoft Leisure center. 

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My Village is the thing that holds me together, it is my chosen family, community, places and all the different support that’s needed for me and Dynoboy to be ok. I first plotted it out when we really weren’t ok. I talked indepth about finding it and leaning into it, as an example of recovery. I took this forward as a simple workshop task.

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Tod asking poinient questions that I forgot mid answer. smooth.

Work Shop – Your Village

Post talk, in the pre lunch break out session I had a table that I filled with paper,  glue, stickers, pompoms, crayons and markerpens. I had invited those who listened to the talk to plot out there village.

The audience was brave(though one of their other options was scaling a climbing wall, which takes a different kind of braveness)  The interaction among the group was really interesting and valuable. There was lots of bravery and sharing

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pom poms AND stickers!

at the table and advice was given on where to access support in the area for different points I had covered.

One awesome lady said thanks for sharing my recent coping method to avoid PTSD dream hangover all day, hitting voice record and sending them to a trusted friend in order to avoid a full blown, debilitating PTSD replay loop.

There were people who were engaging in services,some that were no longer in need of services,private therapists, mothers with children like Dynoboy and a couple of young people who I thought were brilliant for being there, lots of talk about SEND education, how to navigate a Mother-ectomy. It was so good to see other people use an idea that helped me workout where I was in the world and a concept that keeps me going today.

Being in her part of the map the lovely Lizzy (seen herein the middle) a very talented artist and friend came to give me a bit of suport and went away with more to think about. Mz Cowell will also be exhibiting in Finding a Voice18, Anteros, Norwich, October 2018.

Two women separately asked how I got into the position to do what i’m doing. Which was tricky to answer, as it’s been one big strange new step after the other. I think a lot of why I got to the point where I’m invited to speak at events has a lot to do with how passionately I believe in the Compass approach, it was within that that I found my voice and was willing to do things like go to anawards bid and do a short presentation on my experience with The Compass Outreach Team. Once I had a film crew in my living room recording an interview about our experience with Compass to help promote with in the wider team how their work made a difference. Having a arts background and putting on an exhibition to celebrate no longer needing the full support of the service in 2017 meant I had a focus and somewhere to find out where to go next. Which right now is here, learning how to use my cruddy experiences to promote good practice with in services and make people feel less alone with their struggle.

Super powers

Nicky Murnin & Tod Sullivan about the effect on the body that ACEs have and how they affect our behaviour and our bodies. It was so interesting to dig further into a subject I find fascinating anyway because my score is high and it’s the kind of stuff that helped me process my experiences through therapy. What struck me most is acknowledging the community responsibility to stay connected. I was nodding and smiling a lot throughout Nickys talk.

I joined in discussion later as the event was quieting down, which I wouldn’t have done a few years ago. Thankfully Nicky can talk for days about his subject of the day but the thing that hit me, full on in the gut, was when he turned his example of a real “hello, How are you?” with eye contact. It totally freaked me out. I shuddered and stated that it did and we continued in depth all kinds of human behaviour, autonomic and parasympathetic nervous system, we were literally chatting shit. Very enjoyable all in all.

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Speakers of the Day

Clicking into place

Re Hearing.

In the lead up to my 2015 crisis I was speaking more than I ever had before, I had one friend from my teens that would know when I wasn’t ok and she would ask me till I broke and talked. She was traveling the world and I hated skype, so I had to learn to talk to other people. I started to hear myself answer questions I never asked myself before, stuff was spilling out of my head with no correlation to my feelings until I heard the words. I had planned and read aloud my talk a few times, but saying it all out loud to an audience changed my bigger perspective on some things. Linking that to what I was hearing throughout the day I realised and understood in more depth the part of my family relationships that made it easy for intimate relationships to become abusive even down to being primed to be financially manipulated and dominated. Not all things can be verbalised, sometimes it’s not safe to in some moments, but it’s definatly part of what I’ve needed to take big recovery steps. 

Keep an ear and an eye out for more to come from me and the FeedBack Team !

twitter @Findinga_Voice

instagram @findingavoice

 

 

 

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‘Shedding the Light’ : Conference June 2018

‘Shedding the Light’ on Loneliness & Isolation. Lowestoft

Throughout this event we will be hearing from a range of speakers on the subject of loneliness and isolation, we know that mental health is made worse and can be caused by isolation. Including my self, giving a talk on my varied lived experience of loneliness, with my own brand of gritty and playful break out session too.

ON MY OWN!

I have once before spoken at a conference, I had my work to back me up, Making a pop up Exhibition from work from Finding a Voice 2017 I wasn’t speaking alone on stage either. READ further thepsychologist.bps.org.uk This time it’s just me and Im jumping in with two feet.

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Shot of the Pop up Exhibition of my work for the Creative Collaboration Conference

I could continue only exhibiting my work in an ordinary but vibrant standard exhibition format, it would be valid and worth while. However I found this voice, a way of speaking and making that playfully gets uncomfortable truths out in the open.

The concept of What Finding a Voice is… is tricky because of the raw nature of its content and my unwillingness to let it just be an art exhibition. Meshing together art and services in a gallery setting has its sticky points, but I honestly feel it is part of a dynamic way to make changes with in services is to shift stigma about  mental health, collaboration and perhaps about “stuffy artsy fartys” exhibitions.
To get the most out of FAV18 Im being bold and talking more. Exhilarating and exhausting but totally worth it.

Come join us on the Day

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Conference Tickets and info on Facebook and EventBrite linksfacebook.com/event or www.eventbrite.co.uk.tickets

Fri 22 June 2018

10:00 – 16:00 BST

Location

LOCATION

Waterlane Leisure Centre

Water Lane

Lowestoft

NR32 2NH