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Sandra Dean – Registered Member


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Welcome to Amanda Green’s website

My Alien self my journey back to me Amanda Green e book cover march 2012

My name is Amanda Green (pen name). I was born and live in England, UK, and I set up this website and wrote two memoirs and one self-help book to share with my readers the stories of my issues with mental illness, therapy and recovery. I also write thought provoking, inspiring fiction including drama and women’s fiction, plus dark short story collections including psychological thrillers.

You can check out my books on Amazon by CLICKING HERE FOR AMAZON UK and CLICKING HERE FOR AMAZON US   

I regularly post blogs about mental health coping strategies, writing and inspirational things to do, but this site contains so much more. I hope you enjoy looking around.

I am also a BACP (British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists) qualified Counsellor, and am humbled by my work with clients. I can help with many issues, but specialise in dealing with Anxiety, Depression and Borderline Personality Disorder.

Join my MAILING LIST‘ by clicking the link down on the left hand side of this website, where you can also Subscribe to Amanda Green author by email – you will receive an email each time I publish a new article to the site, to keep you up to date.

Some of Amanda Green's books

Some of Amanda Green’s books

My personal website is SandraMDean

Counselling website is Essex Depression and Anxiety Counselling 

Twitter – @AmandaGreenUK and @SandraMDean and @EDACounselling

Goodreads – CLICK HERE

Dirty Laundry by Amanda Green

Dirty Laundry by Amanda Green

Instagram – CLICK HERE

Facebook book page – CLICK HERE

LinkedIn – CLICK HERE

Click on ‘read more’ to read or make comments…

…….Continue reading Welcome to Amanda Green’s website…

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Thoughts surrounding living with mortality; dealing with the idea of our own death and the death of those we love

Live life*Trigger warning! Please note: this is a tough topic, so please take care of yourself if you wish to read and stop reading if it affects you negatively*

Mortality and death…

How much do we talk about it?

How much do we think about it?

  • Our own mortality?
  • The mortality of those we love?

Probably not enough.

We talk more freely, these days, about our mental health, our sexuality, and other topics that have carried stigma in the past, which is great. So, why are we not talking about our mortality when the one sure thing for every single person on the planet, and something we all share, is our impending death?

I have just been on a workshop on ‘Living with Mortality’ and I must say, in spite of thinking I felt perfectly OK about my own mortality, the content of the workshop sent me into a complete state of sadness and trauma, as it triggered memories and thoughts from my personal life and clinical work. It sure is a difficult subject! It also takes us all to very different places emotionally when we are thinking about or experiencing the death of others’ or thinking about our own death.

Mortality (life and death) covers the idea of life or death as well… For example, the decision between life and death a pregnant woman makes – whether to allow an embryo to develop eventually growing into fetus and it’s birth, or to have an abortion and not let it develop. It is a huge decision. Or coping with being told we have a life-threatening disease, or a disease that we know will cause our death in the not so far away future.

When we are young death seems so far away, yet when middle aged, the idea of death can start to cloud our thoughts. The older we get, the nearer to it we are. But how near? We could worry at 60 years old and live until we are 103. Or we could not care at all about our mortality and be struck down dead in an accident at a young age. So, do we prepare for our impending death, or not?

So many questions already.

What a difference it can make when someone can talk openly about their nearing death to loved ones and prepare for …….Continue reading Thoughts surrounding living with mortality; dealing with the idea of our own death and the death of those we love…

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The importance of self-care and how to do it, especially around grief

The importance of self-care and how to do it me and my tattoos

Today, 23rd August, would have been my mum’s 85th birthday. It is the first one she has not been here for since her passing six months ago. I often wish I could see her, but especially today. Last week was my dad’s birthday and as we sat in my mum and dad’s favourite restaurant, I said mum should be sitting there, and dad said, yes, she’s missing out.

Missing out… that made me think. Yes, of course she is missing out, as her life would have probably gone on if she hadn’t got those mini strokes and vascular dementia. Our lives can, and are, ripped from us with or without suffering first. We simply MUST make the most of what we have. We must try to live our best lives; to be good to others’, but especially good to ourselves via self-care. I talk a lot about self-care as a counsellor and do try to practice what I preach! 😊

Self-care validates our life on this planet.

To give you some ideas I will talk about my self-care efforts…

Self-care for me right now consists of a few things. Some have been longer term and others I have introduced since my mum’s passing, like choosing to give up smoking cigarettes. (It has been incredibly hard, but it’s been five months already!)

I took up the bereavement counselling offered by the palliative care team who made my mums last hours comfortable, despite comments that could have put me off. It’s helping me with all aspects of my life and a huge amount has come out in just 3 sessions. All stuff that had been pushed back due to the stressful and non-stop events of the last 5 years, and a whole lifetime so it seems.

If I suddenly burst into tears over a memory or a song that reminds me of mum, I do not berate myself, I remain in the moment, appreciate the emotions and the memory, and let it pass.

I make sure I have time to eat properly, and don’t stuff down junk food on the hop.

I am able to say no, if I need to. …….Continue reading The importance of self-care and how to do it, especially around grief…

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Self-esteem, self-image and summer – how is it for you?

Summer is well and truly on its way. But, for many, summer brings new stressors.

enjoy yourself!

enjoy yourself!

The sun is shining, it’s getting warmer and brighter; what more could we want? Why could it make us feel low and anxious?

How we perceive how we look. Especially when comparing to others.

I personally spend the latter weeks of the winter looking forward to the time I can stop wearing thick socks, boots, big coats, and all the other layers of clothes I wear to keep warm. I look forward to turning the heating off and saving on the electric bills. I look forward to being able to have the windows open and let in the lovely fresh air; all my plants sprouting and flowering outside. There are many things to look forward to.

And it’s all good until I drag out my summer clothes and start trying them on. First, my legs need a shave and will need upkeep all summer if I want to wear shorts, dresses and skirts. Ugh! Then I see my skin has changed a bit in the last year, as I try on short shorts, and I consider buying longer ones or smarter ones. Some things don’t suit me …….Continue reading Self-esteem, self-image and summer – how is it for you?…

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A sense of belonging is important, socially, mentally and physically, be it in friendships, educational groups, support groups and much more

I attended a conference yesterday, in London, arranged by Forums and Events Ltd, called ‘Human Rights, Dilemmas & Solutions in Personality Disorder’ which was educational and inspiring. Dr Steve Pearce talked about the importance of ‘belonging’ with regard to mental health and I wanted to take the topic much further to look at how we can belong, what belonging is, and the issues of not being able to belong, as well as how it is associated with our physical, mental and social health.

The affect on our health if we do not have belonging is similar to loneliness – please see the article I wrote 3 years ago on ‘Loneliness’ CLICK HERE

So, what does it mean to ‘belong’?relationships

First, let’s look at what groups we could belong to…

  1. A knitting group
  2. A college class
  3. A gang
  4. A school music group
  5. A facebook group for readers or writers
  6. A family
  7. A church
  8. A group of friends from school
  9. A mental health group with similar or the same diagnosis

I could go on and on… But, I won’t. We have a diverse list above so let’s look at each one, with possible positives and negatives outlined. …….Continue reading A sense of belonging is important, socially, mentally and physically, be it in friendships, educational groups, support groups and much more…

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I no longer have a mum

I no longer have a mum

mum and I Dec 2015

mum and I Dec 2015

The trauma in the last week has left me numb

I write this now, just one day after her death

I stepped out of the hospital room and she took her very last breath

The nurse said it’s common, as I held my mum’s warm hand

To wait until the family is gone, before their life will end

I get that as I know full well how our mind controls our body

That reminds me of my dad’s nickname for my mum, it’s Dolly

I know that time will unfold more feelings and thoughts

But for now, I’m just OK, and sometimes I feel frought

I loved my mum despite her moods, as most of it she could not control

Schizophrenia since her twenties, all her life it was so cruel

Dementia then took over after a fall down the stairs

Despite three visits to the GP, he didn’t realise what was clear

She had too much Lithium in her blood, making her delirious and caused the fall …….Continue reading I no longer have a mum…

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Tattoos and me; nine reasons why having tattoos is good for me and my mental health, confidence, sense of belonging and much more

Having a recent tattoo by super talented Ben Harper of Vintage Inx, Basildon, we got chatting (I do love a chat while getting tattooed!) about the many benefits of having tattoos. It got me thinking, and I decided to share all the benefits relevant to me. It’s, surprisingly, a lot. I hadn’t realised. Although a tiny part of me would like to be rid of them for the odd situation, like if I ever got to go on another upmarket cruise and want to look more elegant, I am pretty much 100% very happy with them, I do not regret any of the 24 I have already, and I will have more! Here’s why…

  1. Confidence in body – like plastic surgery might be for someone else

When I look at myself in the mirror, I like what I see. At 45, my body isn’t doing too bad, but it’s the tattoos I see just as much. Some cover dimply bits, some take the eye off a little extra weight I carry on my upper arms. I feel I want to have parts of my body on show that I am not sure I would without the tattoos, like wearing a bikini in a public place or a strapless dress. For me, body confidence is important and having tattoos has definitely helped me with that even though it wasn’t the reason for having them.

  1. Part of a group/following – a sense of belonging

I had a small tattoo on my lower back and two tiny Japanese symbols on my wrists, for many years. I then got one of my cats faces tattooed on my inner wrist, which was much more on view. At first, I loved it. Then, when I went to certain upmarket shops, I would hide it. I regretted it in some ways. Then I got another, and another… Each time it was a shock to see a new tattoo that I loved, but at the same time felt weird about it. Two men close to me openly admitted they didn’t like them and that I had too many. Some people stared in the street when I had them on show in the summer. A few more down the line and it still happened at times, as they got bigger and covered more areas of my body. My plan not to have anymore was broken time and time again as I craved another one and another. I would see them all and regret them sometimes, but as my confidence grew, and my research into designs grew, I realised I wasn’t just different to most people around me, but that I was also part of a type of people who had multiple tattoos. If I go to tattoo conventions, I feel part of it all, and sometimes positively bare compared to others! 😊

Like a Christian goes to a church to practise their religion with like minded people, or a runner takes part in a marathon with thousands of others, I go to tattoo conventions and tattoo parlours, and I feel right at home.

  1. Confidence as a person and the sociable aspect

Permanently changing how I look, via having permanent tattoos, has had its ups and downs as I said above, but all in all, dealing with those has made me more confident, not just of my body, but inside myself. As much as people might stare at my tattoos, with an disapproving look, people also stop me to ask about them. I love that. I love answering questions about them; why I have the designs, how much it hurts, where I go to get them done etc. That increases my confidence. I also realise it’s great to be different, not for the attention, but to feel totally individual. And if people do discriminate, as tattoos do carry a stigma, it only serves to increase my resilience. Just as going through mental health issues and coming out the other side did.

  1. Acceptance

Having multiple tattoos has helped me to be more accepting of others and their differences; their beliefs, the way they choose to look and the things they choose to do (as long as they are not hurting any living creature).

  1. Tattooist/counsellor

…….Continue reading Tattoos and me; nine reasons why having tattoos is good for me and my mental health, confidence, sense of belonging and much more…

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