Without the dark we'd never see the stars


My favourite time of year. My favourite month!

The smells, the dark nights, the crispy leaves, the colours, the eerie feeling of Halloween edging closer.

So far, this month has been pretty wonderful.

At the end of September I attended the Ordnance Survey ball which was raising money for Solent Mind. One of my heroes, Bryony Gordon, was asked to be a guest speaker there, and I was lucky enough to get to meet her...completely fangirled. Asked for photos and for her to sign my copy of her book, Mad Girl <----- That's a link to Amazon...so, you know, buy it!

What a beautiful, hilarious, wonderful woman. I am so glad I can say I got to meet her, speak with her, and listen to her inspirational words.

The ball was lovely. It's always great to have a reason to dress up and mingle with new people and last I heard £4,000 was raised for Solent Mind. Great work everyone.

September 30th was Brewfest, a music festival held at London Road Brew House and put together by my wonderful friend, Sara, again to raise money for Solent Mind and also to promote Mental Health awareness to the new students of Southampton.

Unfortunately, not many people came to sit and chat with us, however, there was interest in the information which was to hand, and people were donating by popping money in the buckets and joining in with getting their face painted.

A great time was had by all, and although it was completely draining, it was definitely worth it.

On October 3rd I celebrated my 2 years anniversary with my best friend, soul mate and love of my life, Mitchell. I will still never understand why he is with me and continues to be with me, but I must be doing something right, even if I just feel like I'm constantly doing things wrong.

We strolled through town and headed out for dinner.

This was the followed by bowling, which left us both very achy and broken...we must be getting old.

I finally saw my mate's band, Pale Seas, live at Heartbreakers Bar/Venue in Southampton on Sunday night. Wow!! What.a.band. Click on the album art below to be linked to their site. I promise you won't regret it.

Next week I get to see my all time favourite band, Placebo, for a 3rd time, but this time I think will blow me away...I hope to get a blog post up all about it...If I'm able to contain my sheer happiness and excitement.

Tuesday 10th October - World Mental Health Day - was also the same day as the Solent Mind Staff and Volunteer Conference held at Marwell Hotel - sadly we weren't able to go and see the animals. However, what a fantastic location and what a wonderful day!

The day was filled with great information from different sectors of Solent Mind, as well as workshops highlighting some of the fantastic work that's done on a daily basis.

Towards the end of the conference there was a little award ceremony. All the staff were asked in the weeks leading up to the conference to vote for people in certain categories. Unfortunately, I can't remember what they all were but I do remember voting for TARC (Telephone and Referral Centre) to win best team - admittedly I am biased as I work as part of this team, but my goodness, they deserve it. Sadly, TARC did not win the award but our wonderful APWP's - now Trainee PWP's - won it and rightly so. Italk staff really stole the show this year with their winnings.

It was such a wonderful atmosphere and very touching to see how grateful people were to be rewarded for their hard work.

The last award was the Chief Executive Recognition award. Obviously none of us knew of this or had a say as it was simply the choice of the CEO, Kevin Gardner.

Kevin said he would call out the name of the person who had won and then explain to everyone why they had won it. In my mind I figured this would go to someone who had been with the company for many years and contributed everything they had.

We all did a mini drum roll...then a pause...and then..."Emma Townley!"

I can't remember too much, but I feel as if it happened like this. My mouth dropped open, I saw a room of people looking at me and heard distorted clapping. My mouth went dry. When I stood up I felt as though my vision had become blurry and I couldn't quite figure out how to walk and then all of a sudden I was stood in front of everyone.

Legs jelly. Heart racing. Unable to hear a thing.

Kevin was explaining why he had chosen me and I could not for the life of me tell you why that is. I still don't know.

I know this may sound like an over reaction, I mean, it's not an Oscar. No, it's not, but in my eyes it IS my Oscar. I have been so lost for so many years, not knowing who I am, where I'm going and who I want to be. But this, this just opened my eyes to it all. I am where I want to be and I am doing what I want to do. It is so humbling to know that someone has noticed. Noticed out of ALL the staff of Solent Mind. That is A LOT of people. I'll never truly be able to show my gratitude and I will probably spend years thanking Kevin over and over.

When you've spent so long putting yourself down and thinking the world is out to get you, that nothing you do is right, something like this means the world.

In February this year I made an attempt to end my life. I have spent many months working at getting myself better. As I wrote in my last blog entry, I was on the way to getting the help I've wanted for so long to make my Psoriasis manageable. I was getting closer and closer to having that. Then on Oct 9th I received a letter saying I need to have a scan due to suspected liver damage. This hit me hard. Harder than I thought it would...but, the day after, I received that award and I just thought, you've got this! You're here, you're doing great work, you don't know and won't know the results of the scan until they happen, so don't dwell on it for now. Keep working, keep pushing, fighting, and most of all keep living!

Remember to be kind to yourself, even when it's REALLY hard to do so. You all have something wonderful about you and even if people don't say it, people believe it. What's most important though, is that YOU believe it. Never stop believing in yourself.