• Mike Douglas

#MHBSouthCoast Meet Up


I am so pleased to be writing this #MHBSouthCoast happened! It still seems a bit surreal, I hugged Laura N (still waiting for our food date). I hugged Hannah Rainey! Beth sat on my lap, Rich gave me a lap dance (and Sophie took a photo haha). I sat next to Laura D and Nicole while they did colouring. It really was so amazing to see and talk to everyone. I missed everyone the very next morning.

I have met Rich once before in Manchester (at the #MHmeet) so there is some distance between our two meetings! It was lovely to finally meet Sophie too, she is so lovely! I almost feel bad telling her that she is Rich's second love after me. But girl needs to know the truth, hehe.

Big thank you to Laura D and Beth for travelling from Essex and Cardiff some serious travel time there! One of my favourite bits of the day was Beth holding her phone next the Laura's face as she openly compared her face to those on twitter, trying to work out who she was, hahahaha.

Nicole, Nicole, Nicole. You somehow talked your parents into driving to Southampton and just looking around the shops while you had MH Blogger time. Not to mention tucking away that rather large place of chips.

I would also like to say thank you to Mel and Rich for talking so openly about their experience with OCD. It was very informative and I think helped some of us understand OCD a little or a lot more.

I liked talking to Beth about BPD, but feel like would could, should talk more about this.

For some of you that came along, I know it was quite a personal challenge. So thank you for pushing yourself to attend and to be part of an open social environment. I hope you where able to enjoy the day. I definitely enjoyed meeting you. There were some people that decided at this time they couldn't attend, I hope that they too can see what you have achieved and it may help them in their next social situation. If they are able to think 'so and so was able to go to the MHBSouthCoast meet up so I'm going to whatever' then that would be great too. I know I take a lot from your stories, struggles and achievements. Heck, I have had the pleasure of talking to some of you on Mike's Open Journal Podcast about your journeys, and so to then see you in situations I know wouldn't be your first choice means a lot to me.

I also have to mention my lovely co-host, Mel. A big thanks to you, it felt so easy to host an event for potentially 20 people because there was two of us. Knowing someone else has your back is great, I think it also gave people an option to talk to two different people if they had any concerns about the day, which is good. I am already looking forward to #MHBSouthCoast2 and thats because you made this one so easy.

Additionally I would like to mention our two venues on the day, Slug and Lettuce and The Real Greek in Southampton. Both venues were great with providing a group of 9+ space to sit and relax. Especially Slug and Lettuce who allowed us to book a lovely space for 5 hours. The atmosphere, music, ambience and food was lovely in both venues. I have to say the service we had in The Real Greek was lovely, the food (while a little salty for some) was lovely, myself and Rich may have eaten more than our fair share here...

By the way, watch that Hannah Rainey, she runs out on the bills! hahahahahaha

I enjoyed so many good hugs! I won a best bum competition with Rich too hehe.

Josh, please get new glasses! Maybe some on string? hehe

I really was lovely to be around people that 'get it'. You know we can't ever fully understand and thats ok. At the same time you have a better idea than most, you have lived experience, you have struggles, you have achievements (so of them happened on Saturday), you have LOVE. I respect each of you in slightly different ways for slightly different reasons. You are all beautiful and special.

Thank you all so much for coming along and making Saturday something great. I did manage to film a few short bits on the day, which is on my youtube channel, if you'd like to watch the day. Ive added it to the bottom of this post.

Venues:

Slug and Lettuce, Southampton (@sluglettuce / slugandlettice.co.uk)

The Real Greek, Southampton (@RealGreekTweet / therealgreek.com)

Attendees:

Mike (@Mike_Douglas_)

Mel (@GeekMagnifique)

Josh (@WhateverWordsUK)

Nicole (@ThriftyVintage_)

Beth (@Bethskimo)

Hannah (@HannahRainey_)

Charlotte (@Charnicolelucas)

Laura (@Lozzamogz)

Laura (@LauraDavis_98)

Rosie (@Marvelousmollie)

Sophie (@PetalsOfPerfect)

Rich (@RichBiscuit21)

More from me at MikesOpenJournal.com

#Bloggers #Vloggers #Meetup #MentalHealth #Love #Friendship #Depression #OCD #anxiety #SlugandLettce #TheRealGreek

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