Coming out about mental illness

By February 19, 2019 Blog

Maybe it’s something you’ve known about for many years, but been too scared to share. Or you’ve received a recent diagnosis; a name for all the stuff that is dominating your life. Sometimes it’s easy, like someone has joined the dots on a picture of you.  Sometimes, putting its’ name and your name together feels foreign, even wrong. You’ll need time to make sense of it; and to work out who, and if (see here), you want to tell. Whatever …Read More

How To Stop Hating Yourself

By February 11, 2019 Blog

1. Know that God doesn’t hate you. Self-hatred is not God’s plan for your life.  He is not calling you to focus on all the reasons why you’re odd or rubbish or stupid or shameful. He’s not waiting in the bushes with a long lens to capture your mistakes. He’s not scowling at the front of class or sniggering behind your back. He is not condoning the critical voiceover that punctuates your waking moments. Think of how you feel when …Read More

Bodies that Heal

By February 4, 2019 Blog

Recently I wrote on self harm, for the Desiring God website. As contradictory as it might sound, for the self-harmer, self-harm is self-help. So if we’re going to overcome self-harm, we need to embrace the help that God has given us elsewhere — help that does not scar us any further, but slowly begins to heal us. There’s no quick or easy solution.  But for those who are struggling, there are three kinds of body that can bring about change…the crucified …Read More

Warning signs (and what to do)

By January 28, 2019 Blog

  The warnings: crying at almost everything. Choosing what to wear. Spilling sugar. Opening the blinds. Talking to another human being. Putting the duvet cover on.  Finding the right change. not being able to cry.  Or feel much of anything. Everyone and everything is behind a thick pane of glass and their words are muffled and you’re too tired to keep shouting ‘WHAAT?’… and anyway, your words are slow and not joined up and folks squint at you when you …Read More

Green trainers and the gospel

By January 14, 2019 Blog

My daughter loves wearing trainers, so I took her to buy some new ones. The sales assistant offered her three options in her size. Purple ones (with glitter), green ones (with a robot trim), and finally, navy ones.  They all fitted – (and they were all fabulous),  but she wasn’t keen. ‘No, no, no.’ It was late and the shop was closing, so I asked, ‘Are you sure?’ ‘Yes.  None of these.’ ‘Ok,’ I said.  ‘If you’re not going to wear …Read More

Coping with anxiety

By January 8, 2019 Blog

It’s January; the month of resolutions and regimes.  The month of trying harder.  Do everything differently.  Begin again. There are times when we need to make big changes. For example, a habit that’s become an addiction; or a pressing health concern that won’t be ignored. But, in the main, I’m in favour of little changes.  Over time, a tiny tip on the rudder, completely alters your course. don’t put on a brave front: talk to trusted friends and family.  If …Read More

Writing for IVP

By January 3, 2019 Blog

Yesterday IVP posted an article of mine. It begins… Not long ago, I was taking my daughter, Ruby for a walk. It was mid-afternoon and she was building a tower of pebbles on the beach. My phone (which had been off all day), buzzed with an urgent question relating to work. So I tapped out a two-sentence reply. In the time it took me to type, Ruby ran behind me and tripped over the pebbles. It was my fault.  I’d taken …Read More

Christmas in the Valley

By December 20, 2018 Blog

One from the archives… Christmas is the time to be merry. Count your blessings. Sing carols, eat pies and banish darkness. But what if you’re not feeling it?  What if you’re depressed?  Or lonely? Overwhelmed by the prospect of another week, let alone year? What if you’re grieving the loss of a loved one or coming to terms with sickness? Dreading the prospect of time with family? Or far from those you long to have near? What does Christmas say to these …Read More

Getting Past “Fine”: Guest Post

By December 18, 2018 Blog

Another really wise post from the lovely Sharon Hastings.  Thanks, Sharon! …. We all know the scenario. It’s coffee time after church and people are milling around and chatting. Someone asks, “How are you?” and – regardless of what is going on in your life – you smile brightly and say, “Fine, thanks.” Perhaps there is someone in your church and you know that they are struggling with mental health issues. Maybe they haven’t been at church for a while. …Read More

Children and Mental Health

By December 11, 2018 Blog

Some things to consider if you think your child might be struggling with their mental health… Is your child’s behaviour age-appropriate? Has it changed recently? What about the basics: eating, sleeping, communication? Every child is unique; so comparisons can often be unhelpful.  However, there’s a difference between a 2 year-old having a melt-down and a 10 year-old doing the same thing. Listen to your guts – you know what’s normal for them and what feels wrong. Keep a diary of …Read More