Welcome to my new look blog! I've spent the last day or two tweaking its facade as everything needs a refresh from time to time; so welcome to it. Unless of course you are new to my blog and didn't see the last look - I mean you are still welcome but it is all new. Or perhaps you are visiting in the far future and the blog has gone through one or more updates still. Either way, I'll wipe the dribble from my chin and welcome all of you to my blog.
If you are new to the story, or just in need of a recap, I'm Matt. I'm 26 and lucky enough to live in my own flat with my cat and my girlfriend who has just moved in. We met as teenagers and drifted apart over senior school until a few months ago our paths crossed again. Despite being apart our paths have similar parallels. I mostly blog about my adventures and battles in life; the biggest one being with my mental health. My diagnosis has evolved since my teenage years from Depression to Bipolar Disorder to Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and most recently onto EUPD or Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder. Depending on the specialist and their field of study there is some debate over nature and nurture as to the source of my mental illness. Perhaps it is inherited or it is the breakdown of my parents' marriage when I was 7 and 8 which lead me into being the sole carer for my alcoholic Mother until her demise when I was 13. I've had good and bad: I've achieved 12 GCSEs and 3 A Levels but I have also suffered from Workplace Discrimination.
Whether you have just joined us or you've read a few of my past posts (or you are a star and read them all including clicking on adverts hehe!) then you can see how understanding mental illness has been a key part of my life. At times it has lead me into darkness - my suicide attempt a year ago and the scars I bear from past Self-Harm. In other times it has given me power and strength - I've written for The Guardian, spoken publicly on stigma and discrimination in workplaces for charities on mental health and stress. It even helped introduce me and connect me to my partner. For quite a while now, I've dabbled with the thought of a tattoo until on Saturday a chance tweet from my best friend Aidan ended up in the three of us getting the Semicolon Tattoo.
"The semicolon is used when a sentence could have ended, but didn't."
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When I'm not blogging, I am the proud Chairman of a local drama club which helps install confidence and social or community ethics into our youth - as it did for me. I like to make a few YouTube videos, mostly of drama shows and unboxings. I also present a weekly radio show as well as stop the chaos as a Lollipop Man. Recently, thanks to the support of my amazing Lady, I have become more active in a local primary school which has included making snails from pipe cleaners and pruning the outdoor area while on a treasure hunt.
Initially I was petrified of any big working commitment. As I've mentioned in previous weeks - why risk what I have now? Whether you look at my mental or physical health, I am better today than I have been for years although having no full time job or support in state benefits means the contrary for my bank balance. Just a few days here and there at the school and instead of being overwhelmed or flooded with depression and anxiety, I find myself excited to be there more and sad when I'm not. Even if it is just supervising or hovering around, our youngsters are bright and imaginative each with a unique personality of cheekiness and charm. I've been with Caroline to a few open days on teaching and Primary Education and I can tell you that despite it being a slightly bizarre world, it is a beautiful and intelligent one.
I've prattled on enough for one post so as one youngster said to me recently: "Zip it!"
Oh and I didn't even mention how amazing Coldplay were - big thanks to my Bestie Aidan for organising that fantastic event. Their latest single is Caroline and my current favourite - hence the title for this week. With Caroline potentially off to Uni and I'm getting better and well enough to volunteer more and more - things are going Up and Up.
Thank you for reading, sharing and clicking all over my blog. Please do have a look at the links above and the social media fun below.
You are stars! xx