Hey you guys,👋 Today I have my wonderful book friend who I met through our love of books and blogging. Although she lives in Romania and 🇷🇴 I live in sunny (yep hint of sarcasm here) England.🏴
We have become quite close over the past few months. She is a great support for me and she is absolutely beautiful and caring. She totally understands my craziness, my sense of humour and she isn’t judgemental in the slightest. Please check out her blog below. And also she is setting up a book tour business so check her out there too.
Before moving on to my questions, let me thank you for having this interview with me and thank you for sharing with us some of your experience.
Lilly: Most important question: How are you feeling today?
Ami-May: To be totally honest not good at all. Struggling ALOT with my depression at present. So I’m hiding away, sleeping and reading way to much.
Lilly: When were you diagnosed?
Ami-May: I was finally diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder In October 2011. After years of battling with medical professionals who brushed me of multiples times with ‘ ‘Teenage Blues’. Yep stupid👍🏻 right! This was after a nervous breakdown which landed me in hospital staying in the psychiatrist ward. I was diagnosed on Friday before I went back home that Saturday/Sunday.
So although it was probably the worst moment where my mental health was concerned and being on that ward. I finally had an explanation of why I felt like I do, how I acted the way I do. I felt completely relieved in many away but I was a frightened of what was to come.
Lilly: What were your first symptoms?
Ami-May: Gosh it was nearly 10 years ago and let me tell you my memory is fucking shocking!
But I don’t know, I guess I felt different, totally misunderstood. I feared abandonment so much, I was utterly scared that everyone would leave me, I felt empty. I felt everything all at once. My emotions were up and down like crazy. I couldn’t sleep my mind worked overtime that was when Insomnia was born.
Lilly: Which is worse: pain or depression?
Ami-May: Both in equals measures really but I guess it’s the emotional pain I struggle with greatly. It’s absolutely horrific and it is apparently similar to a 3rd-degree burn patient in terms of pain and suffering.
Lilly: What was one of the best decisions you have made since being diagnosed?
Ami-May: Getting my beautiful cat, Shyla.
Finding hobbies, I’m able to do and on my bad days turning to them to cope.
Learning not to be ashamed of who I am or my mental illness and accepting myself, illnesses and all.
Taking time out for myself, sometimes being selfish, so I can put my mental health first.
Oops, that’s four, meh never mind lol!
Lilly: I know that Shyla means a lot to you. Can you tell us how having her has made your life better?
Ami-May: She is there when I need her, she’s there when I’m depressed. She’s there when I’m happy, she makes the world feel a better place to live in. She’s one of the reasons I don’t try and commit suicide as often because she needs me, she depends on me, she feels safe and happy.
Lilly: Do books help cope with everything? If yes, how?
Ami-May: Yes so much, my love of reading started as a kid. My parents read to me every night before bed and I carried on by myself. They made the long nights of Insomnia bare-able. They let me escape the reality of my life, my depression and the daunting black cloud that seemed to follow me around. Reading was my coping strategy and still is!!
Lilly: Tell us more about your blog and how it came to be?
Ami-May: Well 2 years ago I fell back in love with books after a couple of years of not reading at all. My depression and BPD got in the way, I was busy distracting myself by card-making, knitting, cross stitching and sewing/dressmaking. But when I was diagnosed with fibro and CFS/ME. I found myself more and more in bed with the pain, the fatigue and the other awful symptoms I could not do the sewing or crafting anymore. So I found and picked back up where I left off all those years ago with my love and obsession with books. I saw all these great book blogs, reviews etc and I thought I want to do that, I want to share my love of books and support the amazing authors who bring them to us. Apart from books, I wanted to include awareness surrounding mental health and chronic invisible/hidden illnesses. If I can make one person smile, feel less alone through my blog I’ve done one good thing. It’s my way of connecting with people, a healthy distraction from the pain, the depression, my overactive emotions and for myself to feel less alone. So my blog was born in August of this year (properly).
Lilly: Can you tell us one advantage of becoming a book blogger, in relation to your medical condition? (free books don’t count 😜 )
Ami-May: Being apart of such a wonderful amazing booking community has helped me feel less alone, it’s a beautiful distraction away from the pain. I get to meet people who are completely amazing, supportive and inspiring. I am mostly housebound and I don’t have any ‘real life’ friends and I am totally socially awkward. So it allows me to talk and join in with the world through my love of books & blogging.
Lilly: Can you detail a little about the Monday series that you host on your blog? What is your objective?
Ami-May: I had this random idea in my mind for weeks/months on how to incorporate books, mental illness and chronic invisible/hidden illnesses together. I wanted to raise awareness, get people talking, highlight the brilliant authors who write about such taboo/stigmatised subjects. I want to get Readers, writers, authors, publishers and bloggers etc together and make a difference, no matter how small that may be. Thanks to Lilly for the encouragement and support.
I decided to set up this series – “A Borderline Bitching About Books” to bring guest posts, book reviews, Q&A/Interviews etc and hoping that it will bring books and all the above together.
Lilly: Do you have a message for those struggling with depression?
Ami-May: Keep fighting, keeping sticking your fingers up to depression, keep crawling and scratching out of that hole. Find a distraction through a hobby you love no matter what it is and keep going!
Find that one person you can talk to, tell everything to, who will support you and be non-judgemental no matter what!
Keep your friends and family around as awful as depression is for isolating you please, don’t. You need support!
If people are negative or toxic let them go because they are not helping.
Don’t be or feel ashamed of having a mental illness. Talk about it, be as open as you are comfortable with doing. by doing this, your inspiring and helping others do the same which helps a long way to end the stigma.
Don’t give up!
Lilly: Do you have any advice for those close to someone suffering from depression or mental illnesses?
Ami-May: Be patience. Be kind. Be supportive. Don’t judge. Listen and don’t give up on them. Give and get them help in most supportive and appropriate way. It may be tough but think how hard it is for them, who are suffering.
Well, that was all from my side. Thank you for your patience in answering my questions. I hope none bother you and that you enjoyed answering them. And thank you to your readers for taking the time to read our small Q&A.
Thank you very much for reading and I hope you enjoyed this little interview and finding out a little bit more about me and the series. Next week I shall have a book review for you!.
A Crazy Cat loving Booknerd.