Last Chance

to attend the Book Launch of “My Story Isn’t Over” by Natasha Simon.

This book is an autobiography and mental health guide for non-professionals.

When: Saturday 19th October 2019 3:30pm – 5:30pm

Afternoon tea provided including tea, coffee, soy milk, vegan cakes, gluten free cakes, cupcakes, fruit platters.

Guest speakers include Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill, Macquarie Federal MP Susan Templeman, Director of Communities for Belong Mick Barrett and MC Ela Simon.

Where: Belong Mid-Mountains Neighourhood Centre, 9 New Street, Lawson.

Natasha’s 3 books will be on sale as well as some of her semicolon paintings (both large and miniature).

Book Launch

Natasha Simon’s new book “My Story Isn’t Over” is now available in paperback and eBook.

The book is an autobiography and mental health guide for non-professionals.

Come along to the official book launch on Saturday 19th October 2019 3:30pm – 5:30pm at Mid-Mountains Neighbourhood Centre, 9 New Street, Lawson NSW 2783.

Guest speaker will be Blue Mountains Mayor Mark Greenhill (BMCC).

Afternoon tea provided, so please RSVP to natashasimon.mh@gmail.com by Oct 1st.

SIGNS

Firstly, I want to say thank you the page, and thank you for bringing so many of us that suffer with mental health issues together. I find it very inspiring reading stories and how this page brings people together. It really is a lifeline. So thank you.

I wanted to reach out today, to share with you who I am and about my work, and why I am contacting you.

My name is Leon Else, I am a singer/songwriter from London, and I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder about a year and a half ago, and just before I wrote my song “SIGNS”. I was scared, I was frightened, and I was worried about what everyone was going to think of me. The stigma. The judgement. Looking back now, asking for help was the best thing I did. I came so close to taking my own life. But so thankful I didn’t. Now I’m learning to embrace myself and who I am and make no apologies.  I want others to know they are not alone. I wanted to send over my new song because I hope this song can be someone else’s sign, like it was mine. A sign of hope to start a conversation and be proud of who they are. I believe music is healing and can help so many people in dark times. I hope to contribute to this.

As a member of this community, I’d like to use my platform and my music to help others. It has opened great and deep conversations with my supporters online because of this song, with many of them contacting me telling me how this song has affected them, helped them, and gave them hope.I know what it’s like to be suicidal, to feel lost, confused, alone. I truly do want to make a difference. I really want to stand up for this subject that is so dear to my heart and I would like you to consider sharing this song with the group to spark a conversation. I wanted to ask before I posted it and I would also love to maybe start to be able to work together and find ways of us pushing, reaching more people, and trying to make a difference and to tackle the stigma, through music and any other ways. Happy to set up a phone call to talk further, if this is something you are interested in.

here is a link to Signs, it’s a lyric video I created:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEfMooRWris

Am I?

Late November, my big toe started to hurt but I felt foolish going to the doctor for a sore toe but the next day it was swollen and twice as painful. So I hobbled to the medical centre. He looked at me and said “you are too young for gout” and sent me off for blood tests and xrays.

The following day I went to get results. He looked a bit sheepish. I do love proving people wrong even if I’m the one to suffer for it. This is the 4th time I’ve been told I’m too young for one of my conditions. As soon as he said the sentence he jinxed me.

So, Gout it is. Life long meds and another notch on my medical belt.

I’d have a bigger pity party but I just had my 5th blood draw for my Iron Storage Disease, which I am too young for. My results from last blood draw weren’t great because I had just had a colonoscopy a week beforehand; because they were looking for more giant serrated polyps, which I am too young for and yet had at least 10 removed a few years ago.

I finally came home to pass out on my new bed; which I bought for my bad back – extra vertebrae and severe disc degeneration (yep, too young to have that too)

I think I deserve a pity party. I’m not too young for depression, am I?

In a few months I go back to the liver specialist. I expect he will say my liver is 64 and I’m too young to have it.

I may be too young for my illnesses but I have them and they are killing me, mentally and psychically. While my brain is still young I’m gonna save as many lives as I can before I go. One semicolon at a time.

Irlen Syndrome

Irlen Syndrome.

Finding out I had Irlen Syndrome changed my life.

As soon as I put on my blue tinted glasses I could see everything in detail, I could see textures and corners and depth. The light didn’t affect my eyes and reading was easier.

I turned to my mum and said “Is this what life looks like?”

My tint is blue. From my understanding everyone with Irlen has the colour that they need to correct their perception, it’s not an eye problem it’s a brain miscommunication. The colour you need is either missing or lacking in the connection from brain to sight. But when I put on my glasses I don’t see blue, I see what you see and now when I take them off everything is yellow and bright and I wonder how I survived so long without them.

Driving now I smile from ear to ear because I am not afraid of the other cars, I can see distances. I don’t squint anymore, it’s so weird to not squint.

I don’t bang into things anymore because I can see how close or far they are. I can see corners!

If I had these glasses all my life things wouldn’t have been so hard; reading, clumsiness, light sensitivity, headaches etc. My parents had me tested for everything under the glaring sun when I was young. I probably wouldn’t have worn them back then but I am so grateful to have them now and can see how they could have helped me with school and life and maybe things would have been better for me. Now they are better, I have them now and I finally see what everyone else sees. 

My GP has never heard of Irlen Syndrome, my neurologist and ophthalmologist both looked puzzled when I asked about it, also not heard of it. So I am here to change that. To make sure people know about it and kids get tested for it because everyone should see the whole world not just slivers. 

Go to http://www.sidc.net.au/

Get info, get tested, see.

Inspiration

2 things changed the direction of my career last year. 

1st “13 Reasons Why” – the show made me want to work with bullies and try to help the suicidal. 

2nd the semicolon movement. This symbol saved my life, this tiny little dot and a dash can save lives because our story isn’t over.

Watch S2 of “13 Reasons Why” and looking closely. I see ; in every episode. I see hope.

So I decided to do something with this new inspiration. I decided to paint 30 paintings with a semicolon and sell them at an exhibition then give half the proceeds to a suicide charity. Then I got a semicolon tattoo. Then I organised the event. Look for the paintings on my blog and stick around for the announcement of how much I raised. And after? You’ll hear all about it because my story isn’t over!

Semicolon Charity Exhibition:

June 2&3, 11am-3pm 

The Gardners Inn, Blackheath NSW

Half the proceeds go to SAP (Suicide Awareness Project)

Buy a painting, help raise funds for a really important cause. 

Paintings

28

Minis

LGBTIQA+ minis

 

29

30

18 – donated

20

21

Donated

23

24 – donated to Ben Roberts Cafe

Donated To Mayor Mark Greenhill

 

Miniatures – mostly sold

19 – donated

Donated

25

26 – donated to Ben Roberts Cafe

27 – donated

2- sold

3

4

5 – donated

8

9

11

12

13

14 – donated to Myst Katoomba

15