18/3/18 - I am currently selling raffle tickets for the Easter Fundraiser' (information on how to purchase tickets can be found here).


3/3/18 - I am currently going through the process of redesigning this blog so that 'Bravery Bottles' is separate from my personal blog; where I post about my illnesses and life updates..this means that sometimes, my blog may be closed from time-to-time, but I’m always available to be contacted at

Friday, 9 March 2018

Guest Posts by BB Participants - Jo James

As crazy as it sounds, I have just been down to sit in a little enclosed area on a costal path, that leads to the harbour and I sat, watching and listening to the sea and felt at peace. I live with illnesses that drain my energy, feeling constantly stiff and sore, confused and upset and unsure of the world I now live in. For the past month or so I have been struggling with a bout of suicidal thoughts and feeling as if it would be so much easier to slip away. I am past the attempts, because I know that I have not even the energy for those. Having witnessed the struggle of so many around me who have once too tried to take their own lives, I realise how this is not the way out. Children would lose parents, partners would lose their soulmates and best friends would lose the other part of them. Most of this depression has come from being stuck indoors. Mobility and motivation have felt far away from me and like many people my own age, I have taken to the internet as a source of hope and connection. Yet somehow, this has not been the way forward either. Today I went out as a very last minute arrangement, to attempt to grab some shopping and post a letter. I had some rocks with me, part of a trend that is resurfacing (originally called Friendship Rocks) where people decorate a rock or pebble and leave them around parts of the places they live for people to find. This was what made me chose to go down the path to the harbour, to rehide some of the rocks I had found and post the pictures for others to find them. I placed the rocks on some appropriate surfaces, photographed them and then got to part of the path where I could see a large part of the beach. To me, the ocean is something magical, straight out of a fantasy novel where it teems with so many forms of life that call it home and yet it also seems to have a life of its own. So many parts of it move so differently. The waves can be different shapes and sizes, the currents ever changing. I’ve been so lucky to move close to the sea, close enough to see from a window and know that there are so many beaches close by, so many hours of endless miles of beautiful golden sand and beauty to explore. I have yearned every day that I have been cooped unwell, to be down on these beaches, soaking up all that goodness, no matter the weather and hearing the waves gently lapping away at the nerves and anxieties inside me. It is difficult now to get close enough to embrace this, to lose time searching for treasures like shells and sea glass. My body can no longer so easily take me there, as it used to. It feels so strange to me, how we can feel so alone in the world, can go through so much misery and cling on to life, truly hating it, when we are so close to such beauty at the same time. I have looked out of this window onto the beach and not cared about its existence, seeing it with dead eyes that no longer wish to look upon anything. And yet earlier today I went to it and saw it again, differently. It changed my perspective on life, even if only for a temporary moment. I sat with my eyes closed and let my ears feel it, my body relaxing for what felt like the longest time in ages. I found new hope and courage, just by being near (not even really that close!) to something that made me feel like *me* again, let myself really embrace the calmness and the peace that I felt and realised that low feeling that we get is such a mask. It’s like gazing into infinite blackness, but it is not reality. It’s a state of mind. What I was seeing before me; humans and dogs clambering over rock pools, surfers sitting out on their boards on the water-that is reality. That is real and no matter how many bad days I go through, where I no longer want to feel, when every second feels like an endless test-I know it will be there waiting for me. My happy place.