About me

“It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.”

 Erma Bombeck
Image by Gemma Gray Photography

This is a short intro about me (you can call me Caz) and if you wish to read more — The bigger picture — you can do so here. Further down, you’ll find links to My Journey through a psychotic depression.

Read of my Struggles and How I Faced Them

I overcame child sexual abuse, domestic violence, losing both my physical and mental health, together with my career, and some friends along the way. At times, it felt like I was clinging on by my fingernails, desperate and alone — I hated the world and everyone in it.

I was a Mental Health Nurse and then a Ward Manager for many years before I was diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder (Transverse Myelitis), which sadly culminated in my early medical retirement at the ripe old age of fifty.

I’m a single and very proud mum to two amazing grown-up sons. The eldest is a Neuromuscular Research Scientist in the States and my youngest is now a Physiotherapist.

I’d been a Personnel Office and Human resources manager for many years before I took the plunge and went back to studying; something I’d been thinking about for ages. However, while I knew I wanted a better education than my poor ‘o’ level grades, I wasn’t sure what to study and whether I was smart enough.

Part-time study

Graduation day — Image by
Moneycrashers.com

While working part time, I was able to study all the various forms of massage, which I seemed to be good at (all the tutors said they could feel my aura, eh?). Anyhow, I passed all my exams, practical and written, with distinction.

That proved to me that I could study and learn. I’d previously been told by various teachers who, while prodding roughly at my shoulders, that I was thick, stupid etc, so I never thought of myself as clever.

I was about to be made redundant for a second time and I was over the moon — it gave me the kick up the backside I needed to look at full-time study options.

It was during this time and many months after my relationship with the boys’ dad ended, I had my own ‘break down‘. And, let me tell you, that’s exactly what it felt like; both physically and mentally, I was broken.

My recovery

Why I became a Mental Health Nurse
Image from nurses.co.uk

So, during my lengthy recovery, I applied to train as a Mental Health Nurse. After three long years of study, I worked successfully as a Mental Health Nurse in various settings before becoming a Ward Manager.

If anyone’s considering a change of direction or wondering what to study — seriously, mental health nursing is the best job in the world. There’s never a dull day and you won’t know what’s going to happen from one minute to the next.

Unfortunately, due to my disability and ongoing mental health problems I am no longer able to work in the job I loved and even after nine years, I still miss it. I often reflect on some of the most amazing and inspiring patients, remembering some of their journeys and the difficult changes they made on their road to recovery. I reminisce about the good times I had with some fabulous colleagues. Tho’ there are some who — I could have taken their heads off their shoulders at times.

My Blog

In my blog, I’ll be writing about my nursing practice, telling secrets about my days on the wards and in various mental health setting — together with my parallel life experiences, my mental illness, wellness and recovery.

I’m extremely passionate about raising mental health awareness and fighting the stigma that comes with it. I hope that mental health students, qualified nurses and anyone who’s experienced, or thinks they might be experiencing mental illness will be able to take something positive from my blog.

That’s a brief introduction about me and you can read more here, if you wish. If you’d like to follow the series of My journey through psychotic depression, you can start here.

Best wishes

Caz

40 thoughts on “About me”

  1. Wow, kudos to your GP for having the care and insight to recognize that you needed help without actually asking for it. This seems rare these days when so many GPs seem overworked and burnt out with little inclination to take on extra problems. So glad you are sharing your experiences!

  2. Dearest Caz, YOU inspire me beyond words!!!! I love how you use your powerful life lessons and journey to bless the whole world . Your heart is full of so much LOVE …. and I want to embrace you with my deepest love and gratitude! Love, Love, and even more Love!!!! ❤️💜💙🧡💚💛🧡💙💚💛💜❤️🧡💛💜🧡💛💚❤️

  3. What an amazing story of bravery – hats off to you!

    I’d never heard of Transverse Myelitis so looked it up, sounds painful. From someone that’s suffered from lower back pain for several decades I find that yoga and acupuncture are the only treatments as I don’t want to contemplate surgery.

    Many thanks for stopping by my Travel and Photography blog.

  4. Truly inspiring and brave to write about yourself unguarded. Mental health is really hard and can be quite debilitating at times. But, you turned something negative into something positive…and that’s just so awesome!

  5. Hi Kat, I was a RN with post grad in mental health. I had a break down after a night shift, and have never returned tto any sort of work. I know one thing, from my own personal experience I would be an even better mental health worker now than I was then. This was four and half years ago. I now have a diagnosis of Complex PTSD and as many know once you know what is the problem there are things to help. I had a superb GP who was with me through the worst time, who left to become a Psychiatrist. I was also fortunate to find a Psychologist (finaly)who is really helping to move me forward some time in macro steps but forward. I commend you for all you have achieved. I also admire your tenacity and strength. I understand the grief when life forces you to not be able to work in a position you loved. Tazzie.

    1. Thank you so much Tazzie for your comments. Sorry that you went through a break down too, it’s a dreadful experience isn’t it. I really hope that you are able to get to a place where you feel able to return to work. Your personal experiences will really help. And we need some good mental health nurses – if you’ve read some of my other posts and MH nurses – you’ll see how bad some of them are! I’m so happy to have been a MH Nurse only physical disability meant I had to give it up and it’s clear you understand how awful it is 🙁 I think you’d make an excellent MH Nurse Tazzie. Please keep in touch as I would love to hear how you are doing. Caz x

      1. I will not be able to work for anyone again. I have to many issues such as trust, triggers reactive, I dissociate sometimes for an hour or more. I have memory lapses for large chunks of time when under any stress, or pressure. I cant fill in documents, and I have major panic attacks. I have periods where my personal care is not good. things have improved greatly I am much better than I was. I will keep in touch. enjoy reading your blog

  6. Your story is inspiring. I too have suffered and am continuing to suffer from my mental illness. Because I look normal on the outside people dont seem to believe Im disabled. I was on disability before, but it was stripped away from me. Since then ive experienced numerous evictions, and utility shut offs, with my husband and two boys. My husband is a Veteran with several mental illnesses, still fighting the VA for his pension. And I’m currently awaiting another disability hearing. There’s got to be better education on Mental Illness, especially for the people making disability decisions on people. I too am trying to raise awareness and end the stigma.

    1. Oh my word, really sorry to hear this. Do you know why it was taken away? There are lots of ways to write out your application and attend their interviews. This is so terrible and I feel for you, your husband (a dear veteran) and the boys, honestly. Do you know when your hearing is? Can I contact you another way? I know what you mean about those that sit on the other side of the desk – they do need training, and you’d think they were giving the money out of their own pockets, the way they look at you! It’s a disgrace and I can only say from my own opinion – the benefit system has been so abused by others, we’re all treated the same. I also have a physical disability and there’s no way I’d let them get away with it.

  7. I know it is a tad early, but I wanted to let you know that I will be publishing a post: Sunshine Bloggers Award post for: Feb 1, 2020 at 01:59 https://esmesalon.com/sunshine-blogger-award-4/ and I have nominated you. Thank you for being in my blogging arena and your support.
    I hope you will be able to accept and pay this forward, but no hard feelings and pressure should you not be able to do so, I fully understand.

  8. Hi Hannah! You filled up a form to join Blogger Community at bloggingexposure.wordpress.com. I have been trying to send you an invite, but WP says that user has blocked invites. Could you please change the settings so that I can send you an invite to join the community?

  9. Hi. I notice you are having trouble liking and following others, etc. Look and see if you have “discourage search engines from crawling” type of thing under Discussion, which is under Setting selected. It needs to be set up to “encourage search engines to follow.” Good luck!

  10. It’s really nice to meet you! Your blog seems so interesting, and there’s definitely a lot to learn from it! I look forward to exploring it! I can just imagine how proud you must have been of your achievements during in your time in school and your career! I’m appalled that any teachers would call a student stupid, or say anything similar that would be damaging to the student’s self esteem! Shame on them! Looks like you children are doing very well for themselves! You must be so proud of them!

    1. Hahah – teachers were very cruel when I was young. At least when I went to University they treat us like adults. I’m glad you like my blog, thank you and I look forward to reading more of yours Charli. Caz xx

      1. 😂 I definitely had a better time during my university days too! I definitely enjoy your blog! And Thankyou so much for supporting mine! 😁

  11. So sorry to read how much pain you’ve been through. I’m very inspired though, by what you’ve gone on to do and to share – outstanding. Later this year I’m going to be completing The Ridgeway (an 85 mile long distance path) to raise money for Refuge and I’ll carry your story with me for strength when I inevitably start flagging. :^)

  12. very very well done for talking about Anxiety /Panic attacts .. i have Panic attacts ware i am very nausea then i am VOMITING ALL OVER ..i was abused sexually as a child . it helps sooo much too have a good cry and a very SNOTTY NOSE
    my blog.http;//mark-kent.webs.com
    twitter,supersnopper

    MARK

  13. Hi,

    I hope you and your family are keeping well in these tough times. I couldn’t find an email address to contact you on, so I will write on here.

    I have come across your page, and I love some of the posts that have been posted! I was thinking about writing a guest post for your page on a mental health, wellbeing or lifestyle topic, as I believe that it would greatly benefit your audience. What is the process of submitting a guest post, I would be grateful of you could advise me further on this?

    For further reference, you can find my blogging website here:

    https://niraj.home.blog/

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Kind Regards,

    Niraj

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.