Jeremy Corbyn Brighton and Hove Image

Why Voting For Jeremy Corbyn Will Change My Life.

I first became aware of Jeremy Corbyn last summer, I was at the height of my drug addiction, I was working and was in the middle of a nervous breakdown. I remember I was staying with some friends who were good enough to put me up during such a traumatic, painful and lonely time.

I Saw This Speech

My addiction was not a choice, I was raised in Whitehawk, one of the most deprived areas of the country, yet a place which I remember fondly because I felt safe because we had a community, the only ones who failed us the community was poor governement.

I was raised in a council house, my mother raised us and my dad worked when he could, we couldn’t afford the private rents they have today, yes I had a breakdown, but I was in many ways lucky to have had much of the upbringing I had.

When I got clean, which was in some part because Jeremy’s Message echoed my thought, I was fed up with seeing people dying of war, I was tired of always being skint, I was tired of my life, so I joined the Labour Party.

How Have I Found It?

After I became homeless and finally diagnosed with Bipolar and PTSD, I started attending meetings, I found them to be quite interesting, I’ve never spoken before in front of people, but felt a huge urge to get up and educate people on what it is really like to become homeless, living in substandard accommodation and fighting daily to get will again and stay off drugs.

 

Some of the social media groups locally can be hostile, but i’ve found members in person to be nice, i’ve many some amazing new friends and no longer hang in the same circles as before.

After launching my own campaign to highlight the real Homeless Hotels From Hell, I decided to set up a residents association for those living in Emergency and Temporary Accommodation, which is a first I am told and even succeeded in putting Emergency Accommodation back on the political agenda with some potential great changes, proposed by myself and signed by over 1600 people in a petition.

I have helped in my ward and volunteered to help get  a friend elected as councillor.

I’ve met and in fact spoken at an event with Jeremy and John in the audience, I felt like for the first time ever I was being listened to.

I Got Elected On To The Executive Committee

I have always spoken from the heart and have found that when I do speak people seem to react really positively, for someone like me who has often doubted themselves from things of the past, I was energised to stand as a lay member on the infamous EC.

I got elected and the rest is well, complicated…..

Nonetheless I’ve since on a few occasions met Jeremy at events and canvassing, you really can get the measure of someone by meeting their families, I found Jeremy’s wife to be adorable and caring, you can see the love and fear and his son’s, they we’re also pleasant.

Kind of like the family I never had, but I have realised that, now I am apart of a new family, one, I feel accepted, empowered and reformed, my vote and your votes are for people like me, people who are needing a little investment to transform ourselves and in return we help others.

And The Future….?

It starts on the 24th September, in Liverpool the home of the exonerated, a city of dreams.

If you are still undecided don’t let the mainstream media cloud your judgement, I am not letting it cloud mine, and it will be Jeremy Corbyn I put my cross next too.

He is promising 500,000 Council homes, something I desperately need, the mental health polices and nationalisation, means my life and our lives will improve.

The futures bright.

 

My Shame, Your Shame, Everyone's Shame Image

My Shame, Your Shame, Everyone’s Shame

Session 8 focused on Emotions & Trauma

I’ve been taking part in a Ten weekly group therapy course for men who have suffered sexual and/or physical abuse,  in session eight we examined the relationships between trauma and emotions. In particular, we looked at anger and shame; loss, forgiveness, and letting go; and emotions and the brain.

This quote come up which got me thinking…

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest achievement.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Shame Pose Daniel Harris Image
My shame was put on me by others

Watch this clip of Dr. Brené Brown who talks to Oprah Winfrey about Shame.

My Shame

Secrecy, Silence and Judgement

Firstly the fact that I am writing about shame today is proof to the fact that I am going through a process of weakening my shame. I am a survivor,  I was sexually assaulted as a child and had my innocence robbed, I was manipulated into Secrecy, Silence and faced Judgement from the age of 4, today at the age of 32 I start the process of melting my shame away.

“Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging”. – Dr. Brené Brown

Thankfully I am learning that;

Healthy Shame is necessary to survival as it tells us that something is wrong about an experience or behaviour, that Shame acts as a prompt to seek help.

I am learning that Healthy Shame also guides our behaviours so that we do not hurt others,  its not about you deserving what happened, it’s about my abuser planning, grooming and abusing me – the responsibility lies solely with him and nobody else.

This doesn’t stop me feeling shame, i’m looking forward to the day when i am stable in a home so I can start one to one sessions focusing on the shame that I feel every day which is;

  • I’m not good enough
  • Why didn’t I make people listen
  • My appearance and sexuality
  • Why me? Why didn’t I fightback?
  • How people think of me, do they think I will be an abuser one day?
  • I feel shame that I struggle to show emotion.
  • I feel shame that I have to suffer in silence

My shame lead to me actually getting help, I was sofa surfing for three years, after a mental health breakdown, I became addicted to drugs, then one day I walked into my room, looked around at all the drugs and mess and broke down. It was that day after I recovered that I got the help I needed, I was suffering this shame in silence, scared of judgement.

I kept my addiction secret from friends and family, work and colleagues, I literally had that addiction put on me, it wasn’t the event that got me addicted, it was the shame, It swallowed me up into a dark abyss. I did find the light!

Your Shame

My therapy teaches me that In abusing me the shame lies solely with my abuser, however because my abuser was not connected to their shame, I had no choice but to take on the shame he should have felt.

I will update this section when I learn more.

Everyones Shame

I do believe as a society we need to take a long hard look at ourselves and start talking more about shame, admitting the historic abuse that has happened, for too long families, churches, schools, care homes, people and society have brushed child sexual abuse under the carpet.

I am proof that with the right early intervention we can educate, rehabilitate and counsel previously looked after kids in society, we need to give them hope for the future and not sit in judgement which helps to keep the shame hidden.

There are millions of people in this country who have been sexually abused, its happening right now, it happened all throughout our past, but we can help to stop this in the future, If we talk about these issues slowly but surely we can start bringing the abusers to justice and help the abused, like me and you too move on.

As a society we need to ask ourselves is it right that someone who was sexually abused as an innocent child like me who is now 32 and living in Emergency Accommodation, Its a prison sentence this, and I am in this position because society wont talk about shame.

Shame on you for not taking the fight to the government to change opinions and prospects for people like me, shame on you for voting for a government who are putting more interest into taking the kids away, when they should be tackling the wider issue, and shame on you for paying you hard earned money toward an unfair emergency housing situation whereby my future is in the hands of a private limited company making millions from the tax you pay.

 

Another Shame Pose
This is the shame I feel

An Adult Survivor of Child Sexual Abuse?

If you are an adult who can access Brighton and Hove, we are lucky enough to have a charity located in the city which provided counselling and therapy groups, I’ve found Mankind’s Counselling Service invaluable. Check out Mankind’s Counselling website for more information on their services.

Worried about a child?

If you are a child or your have concerns for a child’s safety then I would recommend you contact the NSPCC NSPCC for assistance, don’t let innocent kids suffer in silence anymore, early intervention is key to giving the abused hope and healing.

Remember there is no shame in telling.

 

 

What Is It Like To Live With Someone With Bipolar Disorder During Mania

Before reading this article you may like to find out more about me as a person.

Having recently been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder I wanted to give a personal insight into how this affects me personally, obviously I am speaking from my own perspective and you can take from this what you want or need.

Everyone is different however those living with bipolar share similarities and traits, Lets start with the best part:

What Is Mania and how does it affect me?

Firstly I want to say that sometimes I really like it when I am manic, why you ask?

The Positives

I remember a Public Health Advert called know your limits from a few years back, The ad was about feeling Superhuman and being able to take on the world and focused on Alcohol.

I feel like the Superhero a lot when I am Manic unlike the advert I don’t need drugs or alcohol to feel like this having Bipolar means I have a ‘natural high’.

I come up with so many great ideas, I would even go as far as saying often entrepreneurial, I remember a few years back devising a business plan for a fruit and vegetable Box Scheme, long before some of todays major players. We sold 1000’s of units on our first day of trading.

When I was at Sussex Cricket Club, I often got frustrated because I would have these creative ideas that would revolutionise the events aspect of the club, the unfortunate challenge was that the club wasn’t a Premier League Football Club with millions in revenue from TV deals, they rely on the income from members and the English Cricket Board.

The Life and Soul of the Party

I am quite optimistic, I always try to see the positive side to all situations and this is a great trait to have, I like to make people laugh, I hate awkward silences and often fill these gaps with funny stories, practical jokes and even arguments, its literally all or nothing.

I can stay up for days on end with very little and sometimes no sleep, my mind is in overdrive I can actually feel energy rush through the synapses of my brain, I am always two conversations ahead and have trouble when others can’t keep up.

I am very creative during Mania, I make music, write lyrics, come up with grand plans to improve the lives of others and develop campaigns.

As they say though what goes up must come down’ no living being can function in a constant state on mania, the amount of serotonin I use in Mania means that eventually I crash and burn out.

The Negatives

The Angry Beast – this aspect of my personality was more active in my early 20’s, I remember the simplest thing would make me flip. Partner being late, I have it when people are late or cancel.

One vivid memory which best describes this was when for no reason at all I picked up a traffic cone and launched it into the front car windscreen of some innocent driver at the traffic lights waiting for the lights to turn green. I simply have no control over my actions that day and whilst I massively regret doing that, it wasn’t my fault, luckily no one was hurt this time.

I’ve had physical fights and pushed loved ones away because of this anger. I’ve never been voilent in a relationship, unless in self defence.

Recreational Drugs – Obviously now at the grand age of 32 I know who I am and what my illness is, but this was only diagnosed a few weeks ago. Before I had the correct medication I used to self-medicate,the symptoms of bipolar looking back didn’t surface until my early 20’s, before this I was alcohol and drug free.

Then I discovered recreational drugs, first it was ecstasy, the drug of euphoria and love, during my depressive periods these helped me loads…. so I thought! in reality they simple fed into my illness and heightened the effects. Ketamine helped to bring me down from the hypomania as did cannabis.

I have had really long periods in my adulthood whereby I’ve abstained from drug use, I’ve stopped for years in the past and even stopped smoking, however when the mania comes back I relapse and thats the hardest thing to control.

Friends and Family – Being around someone who is bipolar as i’ve said before has its benefits, feeling down? We will perk you up! but what does it feel like after days and days of mania. I’ve been described as being ‘too much’, ‘high maintenance’, ‘irritating’  and ‘annoying’ to name a few, obviously i’ve been called much worse which I wont say.

I’ve lost friends and family through my actions and part of me blames myself, however I do now feel that following my diagnosis that I have a duty to explain who I am and why I do the things I do in the hope that people can forgive me and move forward. I live in hope!

Finances, Money and Spending – During Mania I spend like a trooper, I am very generous and often give much of my money away, however in the past I have been got myself into debt through uncontrolled spend sprees that feed into the mania.

As I have said before I have PTSD as well which is an added element to my illness which makes the bipolar effects slightly different in my case, but with the right medication, counselling and support I can beat this illness.

Follow me on Facebook, Twitter or subscribe to my Youtube Channel for more about me, or feel free to let me know below what your experiences of mania are and how you have overcome these.

Daniel x