This month, I will be featuring the lovely Jade of Jade Marie.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m always rubbish at answering this question! So my name is Jade and I’m an autistic mental health and self care blogger from Sheffield. I recently graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Digital Media, and I’ve just started a Masters in Entrepreneurship.
I’m extremely passionate about education people about autism and mental health, and one of my main goals is to help reduce the stigma and misinformation around both subject.
I have a shop on my blog which currently sells productivity products like daily planners and budget trackers, which I plan on expanding with e-books and physical prints/products in the New Year.
Also in 2019 I’m planning to launch a mental health podcast that I’ve been working on for the past few months, as well as starting to offer workshops on how to make education and workplaces more autistic friendly.
How did you get into blogging?
One of my friends shared a post from Hannah Gale on her Facebook page, and through that I found the world of blogging. I’d always wanted to be a writer (I actually have two poems published in young writers anthologies from when I was at school) but I didn’t think I’d ever be able to make a living from writing.
But once I found out about blogging, I knew that it was what I wanted to do. I could write post that could make a difference to peoples lives, and eventually be able to earn a living from it if I was lucky.
I signed up for WordPress on the bus into uni that morning and went form there; it was a huge spur of the moment decision. I didn’t have any posts written beforehand and I had no clue how to use WordPress (I’m rubbish with technology), so it was definitely a leap into the unknown for me.
It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made though.
I’ve been able to find an amazing and supportive community because of my blog, as well as making some of my best friends via twitter chats; I can’t imagine my life without my blog these days!
Tell us about your favorite blog post.
It’s hard to pick just one, but I’d probably say 5 Things I Do When I’m Struggling With Depression. I had so many people commenting and messages me about that post, saying that it was refreshing to hear someone talk so opening about depression and the suicidal thoughts that can come with it.
It was also really therapeutic to write; as with most of my posts I talk really honestly about what I’m going through, and it can be so beneficial to get things out of your system when you’re not in a good place.
It’s one of the reasons I encourage people to start a blog.
Even if you never publish your posts publicly for others to read, just writing down your thoughts and feelings can be enough to make you feel better and come to terms with what’s made you feel that way.
What are you doing when you’re not blogging?
I’d love to say I have some kind of sparkling and interesting life, but I really don’t!
In all fairness, I find it really hard to switch off from blogging. I really enjoy what I do, so even if I’m not actively writing a post I’ll usually be planning my next one, thinking up ideas for photography or scheduling social media content.
If by some miracle I manage to switch my brain off long enough to relax, I’ll usually be reading a book or playing a game on my Xbox. Or, you know, paying attention to my boyfriend.
What would be your top tip for people getting their first tattoo?
The obvious piece of advice that I have to give is to make sure you want it, and think about if its something you’re going to want in the years to come too. I know people who have had rude tattoos done when they were at uni, which they’ve then had to have covered up when they’ve settled down and had kids.
Other than that, I would always tell people to make sure they eat beforehand and to take some food and a sugary drink with you while you’re getting the tattoo. Your sugar levels can drop when getting a tattoo, especially if you’re getting a large tattoo that will take a long time to do.
Oh and wear something comfortable; you’re already going to be uncomfortable/in pain from the tattoo, no need to add to that with tight clothes that dig into places you’d rather they didn’t.
What is something you wish everyone could understand about autism or mental illness?
I could write about this all day, especially with autism as there are so many misconceptions.
I’d say the one thing that annoys me the most, is that there’s a certain way to look or behave, which if you don’t have that you can’t be autistic. Honestly if I had £1 for every time I’ve been told that “I don’t look autistic”, I’d be able to buy myself a house without needing a mortgage!
Autism is such a large spectrum, and no two people experience it the same way.
This also applies to mental health in general too. Anxiety and depression can manifest themselves in lots of different ways; not just the stereotypical ones that you see in films.
Where else can we find you?
Photo by Arnel Hasanovic.