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Christopher lives in Liverpool, England, and works as a Mental Health Support Worker.

BEING A LITERARY OCTOPUS

Finding empowerment through the ramblings of someone who has too much time on their hands

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A few months ago I wrote a piece about the need for men to speak up about their struggles with mental health.

The majority of what I write is undiluted garbage, and after writing for a few hours my apartment needs both a deep clean and an exorcism to rid it of the stench of my latest attempt at literary immortality. However, this particular article was good. Well, less awful than my previous ones.

And others thought so too. Granted, I’m still waiting to be told I’ve been nominated for the Pulitzer and the Nobel Peace Prize, but a few…


RESPECT IN THE MENTAL HEALTH SECTOR

I might be an agency worker, but that doesn’t mean I don’t deserve respect

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Hi, permanent staff,

It’s Christopher here. You know, that guy who turns up, often with little notice, to cover that shift when one of your colleagues pulls a sickie.

I just wanted to ask you something — could you possibly bestow just a little respect on me? Not much — as a temporary worker, you probably see me as no more than an extra set of hands and not deserving of abundant esteem. However, if you got to know me or actually watched how I supported our clients, you might view me differently.

Dare I say it a bit more…


LEARNING A NEW LOVE LANGUAGE

Let’s have a talk about expectations

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Right — we need to talk about this. About the whole ‘soul’ business.

I think the concept is beautiful, I really do. I love the idea that there is a mystical, immortal, and almost magical part of us. That we all have a spiritual, emotional, and intellectual treasure chest hidden deep inside our being. The ultimate quintessence of ‘us.’

However —

It’s creating an expectation I’m unlikely to meet.

Let me explain.

I’ll use what you posted a few days ago as a starting point.

‘May you attract someone who speaks your language, so you don’t have to spend a…


POSITIVITY = PSYCHOLOGICAL FUEL

How to override your inner Eeyore and embrace your inner Tigger

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I am an arch pessimist. My metaphorical glass is definitely not half full.

In fact, it’s not even half empty. For I do not have any glass whatsoever. It was knocked to the ground and trampled into a million pieces a long time ago. Half empty? Ha – I should be so lucky, he says (in his best Eeyore voice).

I have always known I possessed this trait. It’s been as much a part of me as the colour of my eyes. However, until recently I also didn’t believe it was an issue.

Firstly, it was just me being a…


THE ETERNAL STUDENT AND DENISE

The Great Dane in therapy

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Dear William (A.K.A — Mr Shakespeare),

Hamlet here. You know — the Great Dane. The Prince of Denmark. The Eternal Student. The Gargantuan Grump.

Now, I want to make it clear that none of what follows is meant to denigrate your work. If it wasn’t for your wonderous words, my place in annals of literature would not be assured. I am infamous, forever destined to remain in our species’ consciousness. I’m grateful. Genuinely, I am. It’s just that…

Well, I’ve begun therapy. And it’s already thrown up a few issues.

Denise (that’s my therapist) says that I probably don’t have…


A GRIM VISAGE

Damn my genetic inheritance!

Photograph of my stupid face courtesy of a stupid photobooth

About ten years ago I was temping in the offices of a large insurance firm. I’m not going to say it was the dullest job I’ve ever done— actually, I am going to say that. It was the dullest job I’d ever done. It was a bastion of boredom. I’ve had more exciting visits to the toilet.

However, it wasn’t just the tedium that I remember. There was one incident that will forever remain attached to my hippocampus with the same ferocity as a face-hugger from ‘Alien’ clinging to the noggin of an unlucky astronaut.

I was working in the…


LOVE COMES IN THE SHAPE OF MORE THAN ONE PERSON

You do not have just ONE soulmate — you’re better than that

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You do not have a soulmate.

You don’t.

There is not only one person ‘out there’ who can love you truly, and fully, and in the way you deserve.

There just isn’t.

You are a wondrous, beautiful, complex being, with a variety of interests, thoughts, and emotions. And there are seven and a half billion people on this planet of ours. The notion that there is only one person on Earth who might be excited by the multi-faceted marvel that is you is ludicrous.

You are far, far better than that.

There is an untold number of men and women who will find your true, unfiltered…


Is there a reason why they don’t like you?

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No — not everyone you encounter will like you. And nor should they.

You should, unreservedly, always be you, and you — in your truest and most beautiful sense — are never going to be to everyone’s taste.

And neither should you unnecessarily dilute yourself to try and be everything to everyone. You can’t be. Trying to please everyone else will leave you stretched so thin the only result is exhaustion.

So, no — not everyone will like you.

But…

Well, I don’t wish to sound mean, but is there a reason why they don’t?

I’m not being cruel, but…


Whether right-brained or left-brained, how learning and embracing your writing style can improve quality and efficiency

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There are no hard and fast rules to having a successful romantic relationship. However, one place you could start is by exploring and learning your partner’s ‘love language.’

There are five love languages — words of affirmation, spending quality time, together, acts of service, physical contact, and receiving gifts. Like you, your partner will have a preference for one of these over the others. Discover which one makes them tick and you’re halfway towards contentment. Get it wrong and you’ll be back on Tinder before you know it.

However, just as lovers we all have a preferred love language, we…


Take part in any way you can—even a small effort is enough

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May 2021 is Mental Health Awareness Month.

Suicide was already the 10th most common cause of death in the US before the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the impact that the pandemic has had on our collective emotional well-being, there’s never been a more important time than now to for all of us to be talking about our emotional well-being.

There’s an infinite number of ways to be part of the event, and no previous experience or knowledge is required. You don’t have to either work in the sector or have struggled with your own mental health to join in and make…

Christopher Steven

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