How To Blog Whilst Walking The Fine Line Between Sanity & Insanity

moonlight through the trees

The view from karensjointatthetopofthegarden.com

Many of you may wonder why my website address has the name Karen in it. 

Many moons ago I was once known as Karen. After a huge mental health crisis which almost took my life, a new name change came about. 

I was no longer Barren Karen, and I morphed overnight into Blogging Betty. 

Unfortunately before the morph took place, our website had already been established. 

Changing the name of a domain etc is just not worth the hassle, so in loving memory of our dearly departed Karen, the name will stay. 

As most of you are aware I have severe mental illnesses, and spend a lot of time healing my fractured mind, by doing any kind of therapy that I can think of.

baking therapy…one of my many therapies. galaxy chocolate chunk cookies with ice cold milk for dunking.

I am currently sitting in the joint at the top of the garden doing some of my other therapies.

I’ve got one hand on my MacBook and the other one is smoking a reefer. 

It’s dark and cold outside, but it’s so quiet, comfy and peaceful up here. I now have electricity and heat, which is a welcome bonus now that its way below zero, and the middle of December. The only sound I can hear is the odd hoot from a Tawny owl looking for his supper.

taken in my garden last week, the unique ice crystals on fallen leaves

I am sitting here meditating, trying to get out of my own way, so that I can blog tonight. 

I love Blogging. 

Yes I found it late in life, but better late than never, as my old grandad used to say. 

Unfortunately because I found it later in life, and because my mental health issues get in the way, I often find myself wondering if I will ever become a top blogger. 

I’ve been blogging now for around 6 months. In that 6 months I have learned a lot. Not only about blogging, but about myself. 

Being on so many different journeys at once is amazing. 

A journey of self discovery,  a spiritual journey, healing from trauma, self acceptance journey, and my blogging journey all take up most of my time. 

Being an Autistic single parent at the ripe old age of 50, to a 15 year old son who also has Autism with severe Anxiety, and Tourette’s Syndrome, takes up a fair bit of my time too. 

Does this mean I don’t have the time to be a top Blogger ? 

How much time do you need to spend on your blog to be a top Blogger ? 

Since I started blogging I have been following a few top bloggers, but finally found my soul mate in Ryan Biddulph. 

He doesn’t know we’re soul mates, but I do and that’s all that counts. 

Apart from the fact he’s a very handsome chap, he gives out fantastic advice, and if I had more hours in the day I’m sure I would be a top earning blogger just like him by now. 

So as I sit here wondering where I can find the extra hours to follow Ryan Biddulph’s advice, I realise that I am already doing it. Because those of us who walk that fine line between sanity and insanity are juggling so many balls at once, the fact that every time they even publish a blog it’s a huge achievement. 

doesn’t mention that it helps with blogging, but ill try anything… my new daily multivitamin for over 50’s not sure whether to laugh or cry…

Little steps on this journey we call life. 

keep on keeping on… ‘All Bloggers Rock’ love Betty x

Life Really Does Begin At 50

I turned the grand old age of 50 in March this year. Thats half a century that I have been me.

The age of 50 didn’t get off to a very good start, and like most ages I have been, this one seemed no different. 

Same old shite, just a new year to deal with it. 

Little did I know what was to come. 

After burying trauma for over 40 years, the lid finally blew off. 

Spectacularly.

as if by magic, Maggie the springer spaniel gifted me the perfect image for this blog…

The shit finally hit the fan, and everybody ended up covered in it.

The Narcissistic parents were covered in it, the abusive family members got covered in it, and even the people who were never meant to get covered in it, also got covered in it. 

the culprit…

Because the nasty shit that had been poisoning me for over 40 years was back in its rightful place, with its owners, I am now as free as a bird. I am no longer carrying around a huge amount of poisoned shit, which leaves me free to live the life that I should have always had. 

A life free from the shit that abuse, guilt, and trauma can leave on a person indefinitely, especially if they aren’t aware that they are carrying it. 

Thankfully my eyes finally opened at the age of 50 and 3/4, after a near brush with death, ‘better late than never’ as my old grandad used to say.

My life truly has begun at the age of 50. I am so excited by my next path on this journey that we call life. 

Is Blogging Autism and Friendship Connected ?

Being a newbie blogger, I am slowly getting used to the idea that Blogging is meant for social people. 

I am not a social people.

I am not Anti-social, but I do find it very difficult making and keeping friends. 

This is not because I’m an unfriendly person, merely because I do not have the social skills required in maintaining friendships.

I have had ‘friends’ but because of my Autism, and the energy required to maintain friendships, I find it extremely difficult, and even more so as I am getting older.

In ‘real life’ I have 1 friend. Hi Lynda.

I recently fell in love with blogging, and wanted to be the best that I could be at it. 

Here comes the crunch, to become a successful blogger you have to befriend other bloggers. 

And there lies the problem. I love reading and finding out how other people tick. I find people fascinating. I will read their blogs and advice and think to myself, wow that was a good read, or I didn’t know that. I retain information easily, and always absorb what has been written.

Then something else will come into my mind, and boom, Im now on a completely different thought path, and promptly forget to like the article, or comment on it. 

Not because I don’t like, or have nothing to say, simply because I have a memory like a sieve.

So for all of the hundreds of bloggers who’s blogs I read and love .. I love your work, I do have lots I would like to say to you all, but my Autism makes this difficult.

All of my blogging friends are important to me, they have taken the time to read what I have to say. 

Time is one of the most precious commodities, and if you have given yours to me freely, then you truly are a friend. 

To all of my readers, and fellow bloggers, I appreciate your friendship, keep on keeping on.

love Betty x

The Benefits of Private Over NHS Mental Health Care In The UK.

Last week I made the decision to pay for private psychiatric help. 

I don’t have a great deal of money, being a single parent on disability isn’t exactly living the life of the rich and famous. 

Most of my pennies are spoken for weekly, and with the rising cost of living today, our money doesn’t go very far.

I decided that my mental health had  reached a point that intervention was needed, and I contacted my local mental health crisis team. 

This was 4 months ago, and I am still waiting for urgent help. 

Having paid into the NHS all of my life, I am at the end of a very long line of other people just like me, waiting for the same thing.

The NHS mental health service has broken, it has become so stretched that it has finally snapped under the strain. A number of NHS and other psychiatrists have set up a private clinic in an effort to take the strain, and provide the much needed mental health support, at a price.

I’m not quite sure how I came across this website but it had me intrigued. For only £350 I could have an hour consultation, a diagnosis and treatment plan, all recognised by the NHS, and within a few days. 

After a long and informative chat with the customer helpline, I actually booked an appointment, and waited patiently for the next 4 days until it arrived.

My appointment was on a secure weblink via a patients portal online, you are given a password to enter your virtual room, where you will meet your chosen psychiatrist.

That night although my anxiety was through the roof, I sat comfortably on my bed, with my PJ’s on, and up popped the psychiatrist on my MacBook screen. 

This is a novelty for a 50 year old recluse, who didn’t even own a computer a few months ago. 

I felt so comfortable, at ease, and the doctor was fantastic, Dr Axelby was my choice, she was professional, understanding, compassionate and put me at great ease. 

Our 50 minute appointment turned into nearly 90 minutes at no extra cost to myself, and I was given a diagnosis of Complex PTSD. 

I have been under psychiatric services since early childhood with no diagnosis, it has only taken £350,  1 doctor, and 90 minutes to finally give me the help that I’ve been asking for for over 40 years. 

Our mental health is just as important as our physical health. You cannot put a price on happiness.

So who benefits from this innovative idea ?

A. The Psychiatrist, she gets the chance to help people and earn an income at the same time.

B. The National Health Service, who are buckling under so much pressure from mental health related illnesses.

And last but by no means least..

C. The patient, Me, I may be lighter in pocket, but I am also much lighter in my mind and spirit. I have answers to some of the questions that I have been asking all of my life.

How much would you be willing to pay for Happiness ?

I consider it money well spent.

Poor Mental Health can be a Killer.. why not take care of yours today.

love Betty x

3 BS Facts About Cannabis and Mental Health Everyone Thinks Are True

This may be a longer post than normal as I tend to become very passionate about certain issues that affect me. You might need to get yourself a coffee if you want to read it to the end.

Cannabis can cause mental health disorders.

Is this a proven fact ? Would these people have developed mental health disorders if they hadn’t used cannabis ? If somebody can actually prove that these mental health disorders would never have developed if the person hadn’t used cannabis, then that would make it a fact. 

Fiction is when a mere opinion that cannabis can cause mental health disorders is voiced. 

Everybody is entitled to an opinion so I always listen to the opinions of others on this subject. 

I have Autism, I like to deal in cold hard facts, when dealing with something as important as the effects of cannabis on my mental health. 

Seeing as I have some of the most severe mental health disorders there are, including complex PTSD, Personality Disorder, severe depression with suicidal ideation, and acute Anxiety, I do like to keep myself up to date on topics concerning mental health.

Since embarking on my journey using Cannabis as a medication to treat my mental health problems, my ears tend to prick up when I hear both topics mentioned in the same sentence.

Everywhere I go I seem to be hearing that cannabis is dangerous for your mental health. 

I watched a YouTube video yesterday  where even Dr Phil was riding along on the curse cannabis train. 

On his video was a young boy who had anger issues, he was smashing up the house, threatening his mom with a knife, and apparrantly all because he was using cannabis. I switched off at this point when I saw that more BS was to follow.

When I was a young girl I was exactly the same. I was angry all of the time, I was in trouble with the police, I was violent, playing truant from school, running away from home, and threatening my mom, and guess what ? I had never even heard of cannabis. 

I grew up in the 70’s, in a tiny village in Newcastle in the UK.

I suffered a lifetime of abuse and trauma without Cannabis, I developed so many mental health disorders over the last 50 years, and guess what ?  All without the use of cannabis. 

I had lived a very unhappy life until I actually found Cannabis.

After a mental health crisis that almost ended my life, cannabis and myself found each other, and I discovered a Miracle.

Cannabis has been my ‘Miracle cure’ for my poor mental health. 

Since starting to use cannabis daily as part of my medication regime, I also take my prescribed antidepressants, I have found myself.

I have found happiness in my life for the first time ever. After 40 years of trying every medication, therapy, and advice known to man. I have finally found something that helps.

Cannabis isn’t going to kill me, although the tobacco might, I’m a non -smoker apart from my one cannabis joint, 2 or 3 times per day.

I like to live as healthily as possible, I rarely take medication apart from my antidepressants. I do not drink alcohol, alcohol is a depressant and when mixed with a depressive personality, it brings out the worst in us. 

I have never touched an illicit drug in my life, and I have always been careful about what chemicals I put into my body. 

I have requested medicinal cannabis from my GP and psychiatrist, and it is always denied. 

There is no scientific proof that cannabis helps those with mental health problems, is the general reply.

I am walking living proof that it does, so why am I, and every other walking, talking, living proof miracles being ignored ?

why are we being refused a medication that is now perfectly legal to prescribe ? 

And Therein lies the answer to the question.

For a few months now I have been wondering why more and more people have started to say that cannabis is dangerous for our mental health. Why won’t GP’s legally prescribe a drug that they can actually see helping their patient ? 

Mental health is big business now in the UK. The amount of people with mental health issues is on the rise, child mental health has seen a nearly 50 % increase in the last few years. 

My teenage son has severe mental health issues and has never been anywhere near a cannabis plant. 

More and more children are being medicated for adhd, anxiety, depression, and numerous other medications are given out daily without a thought. Some of these have very serious side effects, and we are giving them to our children. The pharmaceutical business is Booming.

Cannabis has been around forever, it is a natural plant. It grows in the soil. it is not made in a laboratory, it is totally natural. It has been used for thousands of years.

I remember years ago when the drug style of choice was glue sniffing. Although I never tried it, I was often around people that did. 

People died from glue sniffing, or aerosol sniffing, and not one of those products were ever made illegal, why ?

Eventually Age restrictions were put in place, so that you needed to wait until you were 16 before you could sniff glue or aerosols. 

I have always been against drugs of any kind, until I ignored advice from professionals, and tried cannabis.

All drugs have risks, I have weighed up the pros and cons of my smoking cannabis, against every other medication available for my needs. 

My conclusion has been that this is the least harmful drug around. 

It can cause weight gain, as cannabis increases the appetite, but for me this actually helps with my eating disorders. My responses and reaction times are much slower when using cannabis, and I have given up driving because of this. 

Slowing down my body is good for me, as I can be manic when not using cannabis. 

My brain is slowed down enough that I can keep up with my own thoughts and feelings. 

Living in a constant state of Anxiety is more dangerous than using cannabis, being suicidal is more dangerous than smoking Cannabis.

When anybody asks me what proof I have that cannabis works in a positive way on mental health, I reply, that since taking cannabis I have found true happiness, I have been able to love myself, It has reduce my anxiety levels to zero, it has enabled me to take control of my own mental health, so that I in turn, can help others around me. And last, but by no means least, I no longer want to die. I want to live again. 

I very much doubt that my mental health could get any darker than it was before I met cannabis. 

Cannabis has shown me the light, at the end of a very long dark tunnel. 

Fact 1 ..cannabis causes mental health problems …BULLSHIT !

Fact 2 ..cannabis is dangerous ..BULLSHIT !!

Fact 3 cannabis is a gateway drug .. BULLSHIT !!!

All opinions are my own.

Please speak to your own GP before trying cannabis, there may be contraindications with other prescribed drugs you may be taking. 

Like any new drug, take note of any side effects as they occur. Cannabis can sometimes cause paranoia, if this occurs stop using and try a different strain. 

Do your own research into whether this could be a suitable drug for you.

You may be surprised by what you find.

take care of yourself first, love Betty x

What’s In It For You ?

Like any wannabe successful blogger I want to be successful. 

Success is relative, in my mind I am already a successful blogger because I now have 30 people following my blog on my WordPress site, and around 800 people following my Facebook page. This to me is success, after only 4 months of blogging from scratch, I actually feel like a blogger .

Just because We don’t have hundreds of thousands of followers, or that We’re not making any revenue from blogging doesn’t make us any less of a successful blogger in our own right.

 Most bloggers want to be able to reach as many people as they can with their words, and so begins the drive to create an even bigger audience.

I work daily at trying to grow my blog audience, because I believe that people could actually benefit from what I have to share. 

I am not trying to sell you fake sunglasses, or sign you up for a time share. 

My blog is purely to help, to help me and to help my readers.

So why should you follow my blog ? What’s in it for you ?

Whats in it for you, is what you take away from it. Inspiration, a different perspective on life, insider information about topics that most people have little or no understanding of. You might find humour or empathy in my blogs, you might find spiritual healing, or you might just find something interesting in my stories. 

Having had 50 years of living a life that most people wouldn’t believe was actually possible. I have a vast knowledge of many things, and a differently wired Brain that has processed it all.

My blogs have no niche as such, there is something in them for everyone.

In return I get the inner peace and happiness from knowing I have touched another spirit from my soul tribe.

Today I decided that I would share my daily oracle advice with my readers.

I use oracle cards on my spiritual journey, these cards give individual spiritual advice to the reader on their spiritual path. 

Today I will share my individual advice given from a different energy plane. 

I have never done this before but feel that some of my readers might too benefit as I do from this advice. 

If it works for me then why shouldn’t it work for you.?

This card is telling us that we are all our very own oracle. Everybody is capable of tapping into their own sixth sense, and following their own inner guide.

Your sixth sense may be something that you are unaware of. 

But just because you are not aware of it, this does not mean that it isn’t there. 

This card is saying that we need to focus on raising our vibrations to connect with our sixth sense. 

You already have all of life’s great answers inside of you. All you need is the belief in yourself and an ability to rise your energy vibrations to find these answers.  

You are the oracle, do not look for guidance outside, for you hold all of the wisdom in the entire universe, in every cell of your body. Do not see the angels and guides as above you, but beside you, without you they have no way of communicating, you are the rainbow bridge.

So maybe ‘what is in it for you’ today is only a tiny seed planted in your mind, that continues to grow until you finally become that rainbow bridge too. 

If like me you are already there, say hi, I would love to connect.

Kindness finds kindness eventually, I look forward to connecting with you all love Betty x 

How Closing Tabs Can Help You Be More Healthy

We’ve all been there, forgetting to close Tabs on your computer until it starts running slowly, or stops working altogether. 

Overload.

There is too much data for our computer to handle.

Our brains work very similar to computers. But are much more superior.

Our Brains have units in networks (Neurons instead of semiconductors. They take in, and compile data. They analyse it and generate output, and so much more. 

Most people don’t even realise that they can have hundreds of open tabs in their brain at any one time. 

These tabs can be thoughts, feelings emotions, memories, basically any data that your brain has encountered is stored away safely.

We often find that when we worry too much, or become too stressed our brain will keep us awake at night searching for a solution to the problem. 

Unfortunately we won’t find the answer in things that happened 20 years ago, or whether our bum looked fat in that dress we wore last week.

not mine or fat…just a bum…

the brain will flick from one thought to another in a desperate attempt to find a solution from all of the stored data that it has, and it has lots of it.

The brain is trying to tell us that something isn’t right, it is glitching and needs a reboot.

Because we are often unaware of what is happening we go to the GP, we take pills, but nothing ever seems to work. 

Since realising that I have had hundreds of thought tabs open most of the time, I have been working on closing them down. Having all of these tabs open has prevented me from seeing clearly, from thinking clearly, it has basically prevented me from living a happy fulfilling life. 

Since closing my tabs down, via medication and meditation I have become so much happier, much more productive, and rarely anxious. This is because I regularly empty the caches from my brain and close unnecessary tabs, just like I do on my MacBook when the need arises.

We all take care of our PC’s in this way, so why not do it for our own super computer ?

Our brains are super computers, they need regular maintenance and servicing, just like any other machine only in a different way.

Have you had your brain serviced lately? 

What are you waiting for ? 

Don’t leave it until it is too late, anxiety leads to depression, depression can lead to suicide. Take control before you lose control.

Close any open tabs, empty your caches, and show your brain some love today.

love Betty x