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my blog

before i got design help i updated my website. unfortunately i lost the blog i did in that update.


i'm refreshing the website again with some headers to help explain the pages.

this page is as it says, "my blog".

here i rant and rave about my feelings etc or whats on my mind. all relevant to being an artist with background in mental health and perspective on my identity.

it is not the only outlet i have as i am active on other social medias too... look out for Original Artwork or originalartworkbymelissastanford on search engines. as well as

below the blog and on every page of the website are some icons to popular apps and sites.

n.b. i want to note BLM, black lives matter and the coronavirus. this is extremely topical for our generation, society and communities world-wide as for reason we have been connected and not as a result of war but as a unifying force to make the world a better place, for all. tackling some of the wealth inequalities in gender, sexuality, and racial identity, globally. 


my blog

right now its Christmas, or the Thursday after Christmas to be exact and I've booked the dogs into the vets for 10:30 tomorrow morning. I've tried all year to get on top of the fleas etc but its beaten me. 

so god knows how much that's expected to cost.

especially at this time of year but its all good. I've got a holiday planned, been invited to a meet up jazz evening and out to a Amy Winehouse tribute concert. all for January. 

so looking forward to the new year and even going back to work as I believe I can do it and that my problems are finally over.

but its new year first and this year I'm with family going to the clocktower where I live, to enjoy the celebrations.

I haven't given up smoking but I have cut down significantly as well as lost 6 pounds in weight in the last month. my goal is to continue by joining walking netball on a Saturday. 

I also saw an offer for the cinema, so am thinking I'll go to that once a week. its an ambition of mine, to stay current, bohemian and get out more.

also the first Saturday of the month is Holy Spirit Day to end the Alpha course I was doing this year, it being the 27th today.

so exciting, also I'm involved in an exhibition at the Holbourne museum, soon, with a piece called 90% Unseen.

but by then it'll be the children's birthdays.

so life is expensive till March but sat here listening to the radio with my mum and daughter in the house with all the animals snuggling keeps me warm.

so as its nearly the end of the year, I have achieved, a cat for my birthday, a MacBook (for my debts) and about to book a holiday. the three things I wanted and didn't know how to get.

so I'm chuffed to achieve the goals I set for myself despite thinking that its not possible at the time.

so next year I'm hoping to achieve my garden carpark, with my studio shed on the art trail, to lose 4 stone in a year and my children home, all for 2019.

but the most important thing is to realise everyday details so as to improve my health and better myself.

I feel I've been rock bottom now so its time to wake up and appreciate everything I have.

my blog

by melissa stanford

don't know what to write,? it is absolutely freezing in the shop and i have to catch a bus in a hour, back home as i've been here two hours past the time i usually leave. its really quiet but even with two heaters on, i'm going to need my coat for the bus.

god knows what i've done today and how many cigrettes i've smoked, since i've been here but i've hardly eaten anything but a cereal bar, so i hope on wednesday when i'm back to meet K i'll have lost the weight i want to lose.

i was disappointed over christmas, in the shop , January as i hadn't lost much over christmas. even though i didn't gain any weight or god forbide, put any on.

i have, however, been to walking netball on Saturday, last weekend and going again this weekend. the people there are just like me and i really enjoyed it, last week.

i'm still smoking as i feel in denial trying quit and diet at the same time. so walking netball really helps. so do my dogs who love wallking and going for sniffs. not very good when i'm trying to Brisk Walk on my active 10 app that K suggested i download.

also, now i'm back at work, i intend to do more walking, seeing as i'm getting up and out each morning, weather and light permitting.

this year i've got a few new things to do, mostly apps and computer work but i now have the money to book my holiday to Venice on monday, when i get paid. even though i have to check as someone said esa is paid now on a friday for them?

that'll be nice and one less thing to worry about. i have to ask my mum to look after my animals for me but i don't see why i shouldn't go as both my daughter and son have been abroad last year and i feel its my turn.

also got my first commission this week so excited to do that.

but i have to go now as my fingers and toes are turning to ice.

had a good day!

my blog

by Melissa Stanford.

well what can I say has happened in the past 3 months. I have my kitten Felix, who will be a cat in August, eating crisps and me watching Michael Jackson "Man in the Mirror". and smoking my customary cigarette. it's late sunday. I've put the bins out ready for Monday tomorrow and I'm expecting a visit from the housing company to check the gas fire. I've had a really quiet weekend and the weather has not been good. I didn't wake up in time to go exercise or go to church for a barbecue. I wanted to garden and take the dogs for a walk but wasn't feeling up to it. 

recently in the last 6 weeks I've managed to lose over a stone in weight. mainly from getting up early, eating less and walking instead of using the car. it works but it takes dedication to do. something in this past weeks rain is near impossible to do as not even my motivation stands up to being cold and wet.

so, when its like this, although I want to lose more weight and have an aim of a stone a month, its hard to keep motivated when all I want to do is sleep. or with my mental health I end up with thoughts that stop me from moving. its horrible and when feeling like this I can't do anything or feel good about myself. I know it might sound normal but with my psychiatric history I guess its not. not that I haven't got better over the years. it leaves me wandering why if I'm to fault, or if I'm being bullied. I lost count how many times before the birth of my daughter I've been sectioned.

for a while I would go into the unit willingly as it was the only place where I'd have company. but only when there was hardly any people around. this goes back twenty years. from first experimenting as a teenager to going to America on a school exchange. I spent 8 years at university getting my degree and attending 3 universities before graduation. 

those were formative years that passed in a blur while being in and out of hospital. nothing was ever explained to me. I only got theories on what might be wrong with me and I identified with so many illnesses that I never agreed with whatever the diagnosis was. always at odds with authority and angry at being put on a locked ward and having my freedom restricted for what I believe was no reason.

some say I was a victim to domestic abuse and subject to psychotic games by a wannabe stalker or two that hated me. but explaining that could be a little tricky and I don't think anyone would believe me or him and the lengths he went to.

believing that everyone is lying and this freak was responsible for my misery is hard to believe even for myself.

it brings up questions like was my mother a man and what can I say but craziness.

trying to think in the terms of the services now I've been discharged for 2 years, I can't complain too much. apart from the mind-bending drugs, I have a house, car, children, job, career and pets. its not all plain sailing and there's room for improvement with friends and relationships but in this lie I question if time is for me or against me.

on a bad day, little things get me down, like "someone" overwatering and killing my plants (in my shop) to "someone" stealing my cotton wool. dipping between the petty where I have no control and have to show no care for the vindictive nature of unknowns to soul destroying events in my life. I have no conscious over the facts of if certain things have happened from a brain tumour to car crashes. I have no proof the way things are covered up and told to me at a later date so that I can't trust my own person.

I know if these things have happened I've been lied to for my own healing purposes and to protect my spirit but it undermines the truth in my mind. so much so that confusion and loneliness are natural parts of my character.

if it sounds SAD it is and if I'm in a better place we'll have to see when I check in next time.

update blog

by melissa Stanford 

upset at the moment, drinking and smoking. first the beer I bought is cider when I asked for beer, meaning lager. so I got 4 cans and I hate cider. I feel like the guy at the shop is laughing at me pretending his English isn't good. I think he's got it in for me because last time he tried to call the police on me when I was there looking for what to buy. he wouldn't sell me filters and it turned in to a situation. I tend to avoid him now.

and then my hair is too thin. I know its my age and having bin pregnant 4 times. so children take a lot of nutrients from hair. I did intend to buy some elixir and vitamins for 30£ but I didn't have any money at the time. I regret it now as my hair is really thin. I'm watching Ana on Bigo and her hair is lush. if only, hey.

money is the buzz word as now I've sorted my debt I have no money. I was living off credit but spent too much and with the gallery I still have 5 months to go in court before I know if my children are coming home. its a long wait and extremely stressfull not knowing the outcome.

I intend to keep exercising and lose more weight, why I'm not a the gallery today. honestly managing the finance for that place is hard. I have a house, garden, car, animals, the gallery, and I smoke so juggling it all with my mental background and a court case is difficult day to day.

some days are different to others. I feel I've slowed down in what I do because I'm thinking life and death about my children. I have to write a personal statement for the court and my money is changing. so things are up in the air. execersing helps as its something positive to do that boosts my mood and is an improvement to my lows/and downs.

but not knowing what's really wrong. I think I may have an eating disorder and the service admitted yesterday that they neglected me when I was discharged but I guess unless I admit it they can't do anything. plus I could die. I know its top level, living in two body images and hearing voices not knowing who I am sounds like schizophrenia  but I've only bin treated with tablets to extinguish one of my personas. its this that I'm struggling with as I don't know who to be or what part of me will die. I know I've got a good team. they were out the other day when I went to the coronership. the Ott security I have is funny sometimes but the reality of their existence compounds my own. realising how touch and go this situation is. I just hope they know what they're doing. I did think it was funny how what I'm saying and thinking aren't matching. so that's proof of my mental status. I just can't help getting peed off with them though and why things aren't simpler. after all I've lost my kids over this and it interferes with my work and trying to live in the meantime.

I know I'm not in hospital at home but I have no-one here with me so who is actually looking after me with this disease/illness and how? must cost a lot of money if only the dogs and my cat share my space. then, again I think its public as comments come from everywhere from neighbours, passers by and street contacts. also I know I do have family, whether they care about me is debatable with all the controls that apply. I feel out-of-control as to my independence and responsibility. admitting the truth is uncomfortable because it smacks of police intervention and conspiracy.

partly mixed and probably inspired countless stories but it feels everyday life is a lie and that I have no real life.

I have no routine mostly. I tend to go through phases but I have no stamina to master anything. I tend to go in all blazing as one-offs but I feel I'm not consistent.

probably because I have conflicting attitudes from other people to other people. its hard to be honest when everyone wants attention.

that's why I identify with the lgbtq movement as its like being on a 2year journey full of heartache searching for identity from something that is treated medically. I hope its nearly finished and I'll be and look like the person I want to look like and ultimately find the happiness, I/we deserve. but with so much uncertainty in life I feel I sell myself to god every day asking for things to go my way or for him to help me achieve.

so with my eating disorder its all red and green. red being what dies of and green being a light that carries on. navigating life daily is different depending on the day.

but I think I get therapy especially when I feel lonely. simply filling my day with distraction and achieving but not appreciating. that's because time goes too quickly and I've always bin taught to be positive to the point that people don't believe me. in that I'm too positive or headstrong.

so like I say, I'm going for a walk, and hoovering. tomorrow I'm visiting a friend. Saturday I'm going to bath for my computer and I have to phone the wine company. so when I feel like it I'll go on periscope. taking it easy for 4 months from work at the gallery now as I want to work on my weight and seeing as the landlord said I can keep it I feel more secure. I've done the interior so its time to work on my body and focus on my day job while I'm waiting for pip and the children.

hopefully I'll have more good news soon.

my blog

by melissa stanford.

now i'm here i almost started crying downstairs as i muted the tv to talk to myself. i didn't know whether to hand write or use Anchor to do a blog. what got me started was my weight loss. i've lost 9 lbs since May and i feel this is too slow. i want to lose 5lbs a week for two stones by this time next month. when i see catherine. 

i did 6 hours of walking this week and its the only free execerise i can get but i felt i'm not doing enough and want to do more but i have to work.

tomorrow is monday and i have bills to pay so i have to go to the gallery and pay the electric thats overdue by a month. plus the electric on my house who have bin calling for a couple of weeks. i don't have the money to pay anyone for another week, so i'm making part payments so they don't think i'm ignoring them.

i got paid on saturday but the bank doesn't register it until the next working day so i had to be creative and borrow from another account. meaning tomorrow i have to pay that account back.

whats getting me down the most is the dogs and cat have fleas even i have fleas and its really upsetting. they've bin treated but the fleas aren't dead and i've got no money. last time i spent over a hundred pounds at that vets and i don't have that sort of money. so i'm going to take a walk to the pet shop tomorrow and see if i can get spray and collars for them. i need the exercise after the gallery to continue losing weight but i have no decent shoes to walk in. my trainers pinch my feet and my flats are beginning to get holes in and anyone who walks knows it matters whats on your feet as to the state of feet. i don't want to damage myself or cause unnecessary harm. especially with my mental health being so fragile. it doesn't take much for me to give up and say i can't do it.

the washing machine is broken and i have no clean clothes. i already have people commenting on my hygiene and i'm on my period. so even though i'm washing everyday i have to go to a charity this week to get my clothes clean. 

i'm hoping i've paid enough and i can get an argos card for the washing machine and tv or i don't have the money to ever buy them again. the charity, genesis did say they can help with washing machines but a store card would be better.

i've defaulted on the rent for my house until futher notice while the court case is going on. it will be going on until november now which is 5 months away. i don't mind but its a long wait with uncertainty and people wandering about my health.

i can hear the radio now and its distracting me from writing as if all this is boring and irrelevant but for me i need to record my thoughts instead of sitting watching tv pretending i've got no problems. so now they're singing about money on the radio. i'm supposed to have intrusive thoughts but the channeling of the radio, the presenters and the songs they pick is deafening. thats whats called radio therapy and it makes me forget what it is i think.  

so i feel not good in this fragile state of mind. i have the uncertainty of the children all the way in november which i have to write for. the change over to pip which i've been thinking about. i have to get a letter to say i've bin discharged and claim again for disability when i don't have mental health support. all in my future. the landlord said i can keep the gallery for as long as i pay but without sustainability i'm wandering if its all pride and a waste of money when i'm skint. 

its been suggested i give up smoking as i can't afford it and trying to make my day job as a tarot reader is difficult as i've bin turned down by 3 companies now. i have leads through a job agency so if anyone wants me to read their tarot find me through Bark.

this is my last chance or the dream is over. 

my blog

by melissa stanford

ok so its sunday and i got work. so why the blog has turned from red to white i don't know but it has and the computer did it itself. so sorry if its harder to read. well what a day. from yesterday and last night i had an interview to go out. something i will do next week. even if i have to sit there drinking water. so thats next week.

but tonight is still happening and i've got emilee on Bigo cooking dinner. i want to ask her about her brother as he looks nice and i'm not gay. so i'm interested. for those that don't know Bigo is an app where you can watch and socialise with other people through the phone and internet. 

its ok, i've been on it a while but you're not allowed to smoke or drink so most girls twerk but some are fun.

so back to today. it was a good day. i did some work. on a sunday! even. but i've lost the thread of what i was thinking. today made me feel like i could improve in the future as recently or last time i wrote i wasn't feeling good because of all the worries like arrears, court, fleas, broken machines and my disability being reassessed.

so i've got a lot on my plate. back to Bigo, i got distracted with watching so have now got a low battery. sometimes when i do videos i put them on Periscope. but i'm waiting for wine and the right feeling to go on again. usually i don't use social media in a bad, low or down mood because its not fun to capture sadness or remember bad times. 

everyone gets this on a spectrum and nobody wants to remember it. for bi-polar sufferers or people with depressive tendencies know themselves that those feelings are undesirable. living hell where death is a welcome relief. i imagine self harmers are the same. being in the moment but stuck with negative feelings that are all consuming and make feelings unbearable in the moment that seems to be never-ending.

i've bin there and for me its loneliness that i feel the high of the low. some sick sense of romance that i'm the only one to feel pain but i know others have the same feeling. sometimes its self- inflicted and avoidable but when neglected can get out of control thats why i'm careful to learn from my mistakes and that of others.

feeling the only person is easy when you're on your own and looking for escape routes even easier but getting the right help and support is hard because other people don't share the same viewpoint and thats the hardest bit. to change what is thought because its unhealthy or negative once in that cycle or having developed a mental illness takes a professional.

unfortunately to get taken seriously by a doctor the condition has to be beyond control and life threatening as for some people its growing pains for others its isolation or special circumstances.  

i tell you one thing you become an expert by experience if you live through it.

whether one sells out on the journey is another matter. i've never really known why i was hospitalised 16 times over the years i've had mental health experience as no body would really talk to me. but things change and i wear so many hats that its hard to categorise any one thing.

especially when things change. the government white papers, ethos and mentality adapts all the time to suit the changing needs of its people, whoever they be. trends and priorities differ from generation to generation and as a young person one wants... a cigarette and to fight for freedoms, independence, rights, and liberty but growing up means changing and sometimes it feels the world doesn't change. only the priorities shift.

finding place and feeding the self new experiences to relieve the oppression of authority in whatever form is often all it is. ironically not fighting, living in peace, being happy with the world and our place in it provides the foundation for changes on a level that oppression can't if you start with your self and identity. 

learning to love, live and like your self is more difficult than being angry with the world and its wrong doing whether at home or abroad but doing things you think for your self can help make thoughts different in relationships and feelings.

work is the final step. after school theres a job, house, marriage, if done in the right order but if that order is challenged then creative ways to normalise life into an acceptable structure of right and wrong is established. i see happiness everyday as a pursuit. seeing as i've achieved happiness numerous times. the longing to be happy the way i was stayed with me for a long time but always in my past. i never saw it as a state off being or something to work for. i believed it to be too simple and i guess i sold my soul and still do to attain it.

like i want this or i want that. but really its just the flipside of being unhappy like a polar opposite. sometimes i am and sometimes i'm not. i don't have the answer but i do want experiences and to move on. i don't think i'm that happy but i have a lot of things to be happy about but happiness is not the only emotion or state of enlightenment to achieve and moving on from happiness boxes that the international community rates its self on would be a start. not being afraid of happiness and whether its permanent or even in my control is more important. i know what makes me happy and why i'm unhappy but like with conditions or illness's theres more to it than mums knowing best.

if we blame mums, women or the nanny state for letting us down in their role as care-givers who because of age and authority lay down the law and thus hex us from our true positivity with their knowledge or opinion we get stuck in this war on the self where we're not free to make choices or decisions about our own lives then we give up on our own opportunities and simple reverse psychology only goes so far before we tire of the practice and outgrow the same boring constrictions.

i know what happened to me and i remain in the same mind until i have healed not marking my self in terms of happiness but in terms of experience, opportunities and self worth. with so many people in the world, mums and woman mothers are a role to the youth. first and foremost they are the relationships on which we build life. get a bad mother and it takes strength of chararcter to change. not all people might say that or agree but this is my story and how i feel and its a secret because a lot of my problems have stemmed from it. not that i'm not a woman, mother and part of the nanny state because i am all three of those things but i'm also the single entity that has lived and is living through this.

so maybe on a different day i'll think differently but at the moment with men wanting to be women and visa versa the question of care and relationships are on my mind. i don't blame myself for this but i did and for a long time it made me unhappy but living with the disability of a broken mind has made me think and over think a lot of things.

being heterosexual and attracted to men but realising lgbtq exists as others and in psychiatry it makes me wander how to love or be and what is life generally about in terms of success. for all my success and achievements and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel it all seems a rant about womanhood but what about the men who think for and about these women and the structures between them now that we accept them. their existence and treatment with drugs to achieve body changes and mental reassignment based on values of happiness etc.

not what i was thinking at 18. for me its always about escape. now i have been left alone i can finally work towards what i want. sure illness might have wasted a lot of my time and all my demons are not dead but i feel somethings i can do now that before i couldn't. just don't tell me they do it for love because all i hear is nothing to do with love. unless love of money.

money to be free.  

and thats where i slip back into the life and demands in my life that make it my life. live and let live. i know things can get better i just want to be active in making them better. what i'll do yet is still unwritten but i have a few ideas and by christmas we'll see how far i've got. whether i go 'on the run' again to somewhere new just me and my animals or if i'll fulfil my life as a working mummy, meet someone i'll marry, have more children, get off benefits, sing, make a million, get some lovebirds / fish, buy my house, get a indoor swimming pool, have a holiday or holidays, meet more people or find myself and lose weight, i have yet to know.

but now i'm tired and going to sleep, i've a lot to do and my tobacco is low!

my blog

by melissa stanford

ok, so i've decided to write to use up some of this nervous energy. i feel crazy, not only does it fit the song i'm listening to on the radio but my head is out there. some songs say i've lost my mind and other comments on love and how people see me. this is not the reality. a song can't change the world. sure it can lift my mood, seeing as i don't want to take anti-depressants because they stop me from moving but i'm stuck. my mood gets so low or dull that in moments of distress i present a risk. i know this is something i don't want to admit. i'm so confused i don't want to be happy. now i'm coming out of this period i feel i'm betraying my feelings on being low. in a low mood is subjective and although all consuming not a desired feeling. but its others and how no one has the time to indulge these feelings. i wouldn't mind when i'm not in that mood but its destructive and lonely. with no one to talk to or change these reoccurring emotions i'm reliant on the medication to lift me along with the technical doctoring of the people around. i know how serious this illness is and that i can die. sometimes i wish i would because the life i have is not the life i wish for.

i know theres a spectrum of this illness and a lot of people can relate to the feelings which helps me feel normal but i don't relate to other ill people and although normal is good i'm still a young person with dreams and ambitions. not having my family is hard. i appreciate all the things i have but i crave company and thats the one thing i don't have. i have no support system of peers, friendships or relationships. sure i get a lot of media messages but the confusion is real. so much of it contradicts and patronises me. all i want to do is hurt people as much as i feel hurt. i know i've had more unfair share of problems and bad health but i keep forgetting things. things i mean and say.

my body isn't want i want, in fact the help i receive turns me into a moron with everyone trying to shut me up because they don't want to know the despair because at the heart of it they don't want to admit the failure i feel and because of my health i might only feel this temporarily so they ignore and neglect me. then they blame me for their ignorance. not all its cracked up to be. like i said i'm crying out for help from people not jobs and service. the people in this area isolate me and i don't fit in. always blaming me for my problems instead of helping me. i can't write as quick as my thoughts so all i can do is feel. missing vital information. if i do die i don't mind because i don't like these people anyway.

they are cold, old army barmy nuts, these men. they don't ever want to admit failure or embarrassment or abuse because if you don't admit it then it doesn't exist. its a shame as a young person to be used politically for the purposes of politics, money and benefits. i don't have a bad life and i'm not a loafer i have bin to university so i fit numerous identities while not having any one in my life but a heady therapy. so now we're so educated, generally, still feelings remain untouched.

who am i meant to be. how do people see me and what is my environment doing for me and my health.

i don't know from a doctors perspective. i know they don't like hearing anything negative but they don't believe me when i'm positive so mostly i shut up. the exercise's i've been on where they control my attitude and behaviour to whatever's more suitable makes me angry because as it turns out. yes i have bin left alone and yes theres no service after recovery. so if i don't repeat the cycle theres no visits or people to talk to. my work is solitary so i hardly make any friends from it and i don't seem to attract anyone into my life who i'd want in my life.

most of the time, i'm used as to who i'm meant to be and bogged down with unimportant boringness. such as a broken washing machine. they wander why i'm bored with nothing of substance in my life. i have little interest in other peoples problems if i can't help them and likewise i get what i give. always blaming myself mirroring the hurt that i receive in the public eye. i feel worried saying this because of codes and the intelligence out there that controls on mass and changes too slowly. i know its slightly different now to a couple of decades ago but i'm probably living a lie where real life is nothing like this.

the reason why i didn't want to slide in this life was to be normal and yet everyone around me does nothing but. its tiring keeping up with who's who and to be honest playing that game passes the time but does nothing more. its not real life. its a pompous privileged view of life that the average person on the other side may wish for but isn't all that greener. it involves death and lives of superstars with people impersonating real people without ever having worked for it.

flattery of copycats is one thing, having fans is great for the little ego but the control of the lies and lifts its unreal. they tell me i am someone and the world is different to the one i was taught in school and the people around are so and so but living a 4 hour day is exhausting. so much so that i'm artificially ageing. 

whether i die of mental illness or from this 10 year plan is unclear but time is against me either way. soon i'll be pushing 50, meaning i'll be dying of old age in 20 odd years and my body will act accordingly. so i do feel my time is being wasted by people who live in the now, busying themselves with a future that doesn't exist because i'm comfortably numb in this superficial middle-class world.

so thats enough for now.

my blog

by melissa stanford

well, i'm back at work as i overheard someone say. not that i don't know that myself. i'm sat here biting all my nails off and wishing for the next cigarette break. i've been here since 10am after getting up at 8 o'clock. that's late for some people but getting early for me. i reduced my meds by half because i was too tired. being hung over everyday and too shattered to do anything. i have a doctors appointment a week on tuesday, so i'm hoping she'll agree with the reduction and prescribe me a lesser dose. i have been told the meds might not work if i take a lesser dose but i can't see the doctor any sooner and had to do something now. my thoughts are paranoid a lot of the time, with nearly everything crossed against me.

my hair is falling out and getting decidedly thinner, so i have stopped taking the multi-vitamin. i've been taking it for over a year and the only thing i've noticed is my hair dropping out. so i don't much trust these doctors and the medicine as unless one speaks up then things don't get done. i've been over-medicated before and unless i complain they leave me alone, usually to suffer. it seems i never get better. i take 20mg of olanzapine and have done for over 3 years. it's the maximum dose as if i went to hospital thats what they'd do. i only miss hospital for the people. the nurses and other patients are usually nice to me while i'm there. but i don't make any friends because i have children. i still recognise a lot of those people walking around but none are like cup-of-tea-and-sit-down-chat kind of relationships. i know they wish me well but when i'm not ill theres very little support unless its a crisis.

i guess thats what moving on is. i've been discharged for over 2 years now even with the illness whether its simple eating disorder or complicated schizophrenia or both. i don't know. i do know how i feel taking a lower dose and some of the noises and chains have lessoned. its like the higher dose meds were controlling my thoughts (obviously) and i was stuck in certain thought pattern exercises.

i don't know whats happening with my children. i have a court hearing on the 27th of this month. so in 3 weeks today, i'll find out what's going on. i'm nervous but thats why i lowered the dose to make it easier to get up and work. i'm anticipating looking after my children and them coming home in november. there is the final decision being made on the 13th of november. i have written my personal statement and handed in a medical report. so i'm up to date with what i needed to do. it's just dragging on so long. both children started school this week, without me, which was hard.

i just have to chin up and keep looking forward to a decision. at least i stand a chance. my stomach is going just thinking about it.

so work is slow. now that i'm finally here. i did do pip recently and am hoping for more money and a clear decision but it can take up to 4 months so i'm in no hurry. but being at work is difficult. first i managed to be here and get here on time, today. i missed thursday, why i lowered the meds and monday, tuesday i was late. feeling lonely at work. waiting for the right door to be opened and the game to be over but things are slow. i've only just sorted a timetable for myself while i'm here who i got help from Quora for. so i pretty much know what i'm doing but money is tight. 

i figured lunch everyday for a month costs 48£. at 3£ a day it doesn't seem much but adding it up i can't really afford it. so its sandwiches and starvation for me. luckily i had a cooked breakfast that i cooked last night and was still on the stove so i don't feel too bad. my exercise isn't going well as after the pip i had a bit of a dip and haven't been out much. i'm trying to do my morning routine, work, walk the dogs and evening. but theres so little people in my life and the way i feel about my children. it's as if it's as good as it gets in fulfilment. 

that's what i'm holding on for. you know, walking my son to school next year and having the money for a better diet. cooking more, being more awake and ready. excelling in my career would be nice. i've done just about everything else on my mantra. so these are my thoughts and where i am at. i have about 40mins until an appointment/meeting. so i guess i can now have my cigarette and finish posting on social media now i've done 45 mins worth of writing. 

it's something i'm hoping to do regularly as when i get my children back i'm going to have to. for those people interested in Melissa's Tarot, i'll be ringing all those that contact me at 11am on my work days. i'm hoping this will be fruitful as i've had a lot of interest through Bark for people looking for tarot readings.

its my birthday next month, and an extra esa payment, thankfully. i have so much to pay, from the car to the arrears etc and getting ready for my children. i do hope it happens. my statement was strong even if no one i've met cares and the rest of the family are as cold as ice.

my blog

by melissa stanford

hi, so i'm hungry. i don't know if i hit my targets from last year. i know i didn't win my kids bodies back and i remain with my animals. not forgetting Felix, who is now over a year. they're sweet as. but as for my kids i didn't win in court so i've had to take a rain check on that. after 4 years of attempting its time to do other things. perhaps it was not meant to be. it hurts but its out of my control. i'll tell you one thing, i ain't having any more children.

i might have wanted to go on holiday and make some home improvements. well thats happening in the next 2 years. i've been accepted by awaymo to save for flights, and bank bonuses mean i should be able to go somewhere hot. i'm going for a mini break on valentines day with my dogs and friend thanks to a voucher from airbnb. so i'm looking forward to that.

plus things are good. i'm now working proper hours per week and enjoying it more. i feel at home at work so i do here what i do at home but in a different environment. i realise i'm working for free but i'm also got a living wage to support my efforts with the potential to double my income so i'm chuffed the hard work of the past 3 years are paying off.

not a lot to say! my normal day is getting up 6am the earliest to 8am ready for work at 9am. i'm in the gallery studio shop for 6 hours a day, monday to friday. so i'm like a lot of people. at 3pm i finish and go home usually to bed to relax for a couple of hours (i would like to walk the dogs but the weather is bad) and then cook dinner at 5pm eat, bath, take meds and go up to bed from 8pm. i generally am on the phone or listening to music in my inbetween times. the weekend is whatever, i haven't got a regular weekend. i'd like to do more carboots etc this year. so we'll see.

last year i got my car back and i'm so grateful. it means i don't have to worry about the bus or the weather. the bus is good for going to Bath still. but i'm no longer having breakfast at lifeskills gateway centre or at the holbourne museum.

having said that i am going tomorrow night with a couple of friends to see the grayson perry exhibition and do some pottery. but i don't know how regular these things are. i might become a friend of the museum, maybe. i'm thinking maybe my friends slowly but surely will want to start coming to see me more often to do art as most of them are artists themselves.

i'm haven't been to walking netball for 6 months but now i can afford it i might start going again. the hope to go to the cinema once a week is more likely to happen by march too.

i'm excited because there are a lot of things i can do! i'm hoping when i hear from pip that i'll be able to offer group work and maybe start a writing group in the area. i don't know when to ask creativity works about it. in the next years i want to get on the art trail too with the old bakery artists. so theres a lot to do.

Melissa's Tarot is off the ground. i have plenty of interest. in fact its hard to keep up. so i plod along instead as its a lot to do alone.

my blog

well things have and are changing. covid hit and shops were closed, including mine and i stayed in with my mum and daughter for 2 months. until they had enough and kicked me out. i enjoyed being with them and my animals in a tiny bedroom. it was like starting over with new ideas and time to address my priorities.

throughout my time alone i have worked learning new things like cooking, gardening and cleaning. my mum is a professional cleaner and its hard work, not difficult but hard. its like being a cat and seeing dirt everywhere. 

so thats my new normal since lockdown. more baths, until i get a shower installed, twice a day is good because for some reason i need to wash more than the average person. (i think its to do with the meds i take, that effect my senses including my sense of smell).

cooking, i'm trying to be vegan which means theres quite a lot cut out my diet, which can be expensive, finding alternatives to diary products. however to eat i have to cook seeing as everything i eat is plant based. it might mean cooking breakfast and lunch. all things which take time and can be inconvenient when i'm hungry. plus having washing up daily, whereas before i could get away with not washing up for a couple of days, theres no chance now.

gardening. well i have house plants as well as a garden plus a cat and two dogs. keeping the plants alive takes care to their needs and plenty of water. some have died but i keep the grass low on my patch and have organised all the things i bought into a comfortable space to hang out in. where the cat can climb in the tree and the dogs can keep clean doing their dirty and the birds live happy making noise.

because of covid-19 we were compensated for our loss in earnings. for me i said i'd have sold my unit for 10,000£ and thats how much i was compensated. so my new-normal is a lot busier with washing, cooking, cleaning and gardening daily but a lot more financially stable too. i now have a living wage and savings with potential to double my income.

unfortunately i'm waiting on a pip increase for my illness/condition/disability as it revolves around having the money for repairs of my car, and generally running a car while working. a car is necessary to get to work but work costs to work and i can't afford everything without a little extra help. things like electricity, service charge and rent plus a holiday and touring the country to promote myself as an artist is what the next steps are.

so achieving this comfort and security for the future and my future in work is paramount. so i can be a valued consumer as well as provider in service (through tarot reading), and as an active artist world-wide but also be known as a responsible, engaged participant of the community who my family is proud of.

these are the building blocks of my new-normal.