What to say when a friend opens up

By March 19, 2019 Blog

I’m listening for as long as you want to talk. How does/did it feel telling me? I’m so glad you shared this.  That can’t have been easy and it means a lot that you trust me. Can you explain a little more about X?  I want to make sure I understand what you’re saying. This doesn’t change how much I care about you and our friendship. This doesn’t change how much God loves you and is committed to you. I …Read More

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

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

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

Silencing Satan

By October 31, 2017 Blog

Christians believe in the devil. We’re meant to, at least. But we can fall into extremes when thinking about him. Either he’s not there at all (and a bit of a joke), or he’s everywhere – to blame for our ingrowing toenails and lost socks. However we think of him, the devil is there and he’s deadly serious. He’s there when we lose our temper and lash out. He’s there when depression sucks us down and we feel we can’t go …Read More

Why Your Story Matters

By October 19, 2017 Blog

Your story is unique. God is up to something in your life that He’s not up to in any other life. You don’t need to feel this for it to be true. Perhaps you’ve lost someone you love; and friends have too.  It looks like the same experience; but it’s not. Their mum is not your mum and their feelings will not be the same.  No-one else can speak your life; and it’s a story that’s written to be told. …Read More

12 Ways Christianity is Different to Spirituality

By September 22, 2016 Blog

Sometimes when I talk to others about Christianity, they say, “don’t worry, I’m very spiritual.” This can mean lots of different things.  It might mean that they have an appreciation for the immensity and beauty of the universe.  It might mean that they have a strong sense of morality or social justice.  It might mean they believe in angels. It might mean that they don’t want to offend me, (or want me to shut up about Jesus). It might mean that they have …Read More

Say What You Mean (But Don’t Say It Mean)

By July 14, 2015 Blog

I just tell it like it is. (I’m rude. I don’t care enough to think about your feelings before opening my mouth) I have to be true to myself. (I’ll do what I want and stuff the consequences) It’s just the way I am. (It suits me to be like this.  I don’t want to change and therefore I “can’t.”) Can I be honest with you? (Let’s drop the pretence of being nice) With all due respect, (which is none..) …Read More

Crash Landing: Guest Post

By May 11, 2015 Blog

An enormous thank-you to Catherine, for this brilliant guest post: “I don’t know if you can imagine losing your mind. My guess is that if you have never struggled with mental illness, you can’t. Speaking out of personal experience, my brain was probably the part of me I trusted the most, and took completely for granted….until it broke. And when mine broke, it was horrific. It felt horrific. “Legs break,” people will say earnestly, trying to explain and to comfort: …Read More

It’s Ok Not To Know

By April 13, 2015 Blog

Depression is a beast. Sometimes you can spot it coming. But often, it sneaks up and grabs you from behind. At these times, the normal weaponry – self-care, support from friends/GP, comfort TV, maintenance meds – feel like sword-fighting with a plastic spoon. Or it would if you were up for a fight.   Which, (along with other tasks like getting washed, cleaning your teeth and breathing), you’re not. A friend comes to you and says that they’re struggling. ‘Tell me this will end.’ ‘I can’t believe anyone else …Read More