I am aware I have been asking a lot of everyone who follows and reads this blog over the last few weeks.
First I asked for nominations for the BritMums BIB Awards and then when I secured my place on the long list I asked for votes to try and make it onto the shortlist. I am so incredibly grateful to everyone who has nominated and voted for me and I am very lucky that people have taken the time to fill in the forms to tell the judges exactly why this blog is deserving of an award.
Yet here I am again, asking for you to nominate me for another award.
Let me explain why.
A few days ago the number of followers for this blog exceeded 1000; more people than I ever dreamed would be interested in my ramblings when I first started this blog. Six months later my writing is being read by more people every month than ever before but still I want to carrying on reaching more and more people.
Not for statistics or notoriety or for the personal pleasure of being able to announce to the Northern One that someone in Cambodia/Jamaica/the Vatican City (yes, really) read the blog today.
What I really want is to be able to reach out to people to let them know that no matter how badly they feel it, they are not alone.
Whether they’re battling with mental illness.
If they’re pregnant and struggling to accept the direction their life has taken.
If they have or have had a baby on NICU.
If they are bereaved.
If they’ve lost a child.
If they’re a parent who is just struggling to cope with the day to day life.
I want to be able to tell them that they are not alone.
That I know what it is to be alone.
I know what it’s like to desperately search for someone who understands even the smallest part of what you’re going through but only be able to find those who tell you that you should be ashamed of your feelings.
I know what it’s like to look at those around you and assume that the only one who doesn’t have their life together is you.
I know what it’s like to feel as though you’re a monster.
This is why I’ve launched my new, fortnightly guest spot ‘Mental Health Matters’ for bloggers and non-bloggers to share their personal experiences of mental health issues and how it had affected their lives. I truly believe that the only way to break down the stigma surrounding mental health is talk about the issues we experience and refuse to see them as anything but normal.
So now I’m asking to you to nominate me in the Tots100 MAD Awards in either the writer or best blog (or both) categories. Unfortunately it means that, unlike the BIB awards I come up against some of the blogs and writers that I most admire and I truly wish them all the very best of luck. If I don’t win at least I know that the blog that does will be very much deserving of such an accolade.
Nominations close on Wednesday the 20th of May at 1730 and you can nominate me (or any other blog) by using the link below.