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Continuing the theme of Mental Health Awareness week, there used to be a site called Elefriends. Elefriends was the online community for peer support for mental health issues, run by the charity Mind. Its had a rebrand to Side By Side now. I missed the old elephant logo, and there are a few other features I miss on the new site but they are working on them. My new writing companion Ethan the elephant, is a reminder to do things that take care of my mental health and the creative writing journal is one of them.

Here is todays poem.

Stationary Island A5 journal and Ethan Elephant from Rues Bears
Here is Ethan the Elephant from Rue’s Bears on Etsy next to my A5 Stationary Island journal, where my stories and poems live.

Ethan the elefriend

.

Ethan is my elefriend

He helps me feel alright

I like to hold him close

When I worry or at night.

.

He listens to my worries,

He listens to my woes.

And I know he wouldn’t share them,

With anyone we know.

.

So if your’re feeling worried,

If you’re feeling scared,

Go and look for Ethan

And know he’s always there.

by @billiescraftroom.wordpress.com

Links

If you are struggling with your mental health here is a link to a page of support sites; https://aspacetoheal.wordpress.com/healing/mental-health/

Being honest I’m regretting the titling of that blog, as I’ve since learnt that for me its more about learing to live WITH stuff rather than the constant search for a ‘fix’. But there is a lot on there that could offer support and options for mental health and grief support links to https://aspacetoheal.wordpress.com/healing/peaceful-place/ It was a place to gather information from around the web, so it was in one place. As when you are feeling most unwell, is when you can be least able to search and scroll for assistance.

If you are looking for the new peer support site Side by Side, formally know as Elefriends and run by the Charity Mind, here it is https://sidebyside.mind.org.uk/ For anyone wondering why I’m showing the whole link, rather than making it pretty by hiding it under just the names, its because not everyone feels safe clicking links and this way you can type it into your browswer yourself.

If you can’t do phones, the Samaritans does offer email option and there is another place called Shout who offer text support via mobiles. Text SHOUT to 85258 https://giveusashout.org

Blurt https://www.blurtitout.org/ have wonderful newsletters of support, they sell a Buddy Box which is a monthly subscription box full of a range of items to excite your senses, great for TLC. If you are not into surprises and perfer to choose your own content you can buy many of the items individually to to make your own box, you can also buy them as a one off thing. Or if you are feeling flush and want to do a random act of kindness, how about sending them a donation to help their work or to gift one of their boxes to someone who may not otherwise be able to afford it.

If you are wondering about Ethan the elephant, check out my previous posts and if you would like one for yourself please visit Rues Bears on Etsy. https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/RuesBears

For clarity this crochet elephant Ethan, is nothing to do with the charity Find or the previous elefriends brand. He is adorable I love him and I made that association in the poem so he reminds me to take care of my mental health.

Please share this page with anyone you know who may be struggling. If you are wondering what to say if someone opens up to you about their mental health, please know the best thing you can do is LISTEN, to BE THERE and although its ok to offer suggestions. PLEASE please ask them first if that is what they want. When you are feeling most unwell, the last thing you have is the energy to fend of suggestions, that may have come from the best of places but you just don’t have the energy to process that. If you find yourself starting a sentance with ‘you should, you must, why don’t you’. JUST STOP. Your opinion is YOURS just like mine is mine and they are based on our OWN experiences and not always helpful to others.

Just saying.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie x

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Welcome back, today I’d like to share with you a special little someone who is inspiring me to write poems and stories in my creative writing journal. His name is Ethan the Elephant and he is from Rue’s Bears on Etsy

Crochet Elephant
This is Ethan the Elephant from Rue’s Bears on Etsy

Here is the poem he inspired me to create.

Ethan the Elephant comes home

Ethan the elephant, came across the sea

Rue Yates made him, just for me

He doesn’t smell of dogs or cats

Or logs upon the fire,

No perfume smells to make me dizzy

I did ask first and she’s no liar.

.

He’s here to inspire poems

And stories that I write

If you are still on the fence,

Just know that, all will be alright.

.

Her creations are amazing

Adorable its true

You can’t stop, just at one

You’re bound to want a few

.

Buy them quick, they do sell fast

And made so well, they’re bound to last.

.

I hope you like them,

Just like me.

When you see them

You’re gonn go, ‘Squeee!’

.

So adorable, they’re here to cheer

They’ll bring joy, to loved ones near

If you can’t go there, to hug

Send a bear hand made with love.

written by Billie @billiescraftroom.wordpress.com

So I feel I need to clarify the smell thing. I have THE most sensitive nose/body ever. Perfumes, washing detergents, pet smells all send me dizzy and queezy so before I buy anything handmade, I always have to message people and try to find a delicate way to ask, if items are made away from animals n other scents. Not always an easy task. Rue was amazing and was not at all offended by the question and reasured me though there were animals in the house they had no contact with what she creates.

Later I read her bio on Etsy where it mentions the cats and dogs she cares for and how she creates by a log fire, so then I worried he’d smell of wood smoke but I had asked if it was smoke free home and she’d said yes.

ALL WAS FINE, beyond fine, amazing, wonderful perfect.

Ethan arrived today in a sturdy box all wrapped in tissue and was amazing. Not a whiff of anything at all, just like Rue said he would be.

I don’t think Etsy lets you write LONG essays in reviews, so my poem would be too long, so I write it here instead. I love her work so much I have ordered Delilah duck and Sebastian mouse too. The size is written in each animals listing but here is Ethan next to my A5 Stationary Island journal, for comparison.

Stationary Island A5 journal and Ethan Elephant from Rues Bears
Here is Ethan the Elephant from Rue’s Bears on Etsy next to my A5 Stationary Island journal, where my stories and poems live.

I really love Rue’s work, her Etsy store only opened in December so I do hope you will go over and see what she creates. If you like her work do share it and this post. I’m hoping to interview her for being an Artist of the month, so pop back soon for more details.

Links

RuesBears on Etsy UK, her shop is based in Ireland.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie

PS. For clarity and full disclosure I did BUY Ethan, so this is an independant honest review, just my opinion of how I found Ethan and Rue. I wasn’t sent anything free to review. I didn’t set out to write a full on review, it just kinda happened because he was so amazing and Rue was so amazing. Soz fan girling a bit aren’t I, oops

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