Saturday, 13 January 2018

How to survive a smear test - FREE PDF ZINE

I wrote a zine about smear tests with coping tips. I asked for tips from my followers on Instagram which included tips from queer, LGBTQAI+, trans, POC, disabled and people who have survived trauma, CSA and rape. Therefore please be aware that this comes with a trigger warning.

This was made to be shared and distributed at no cost. Please do not use this zine to make money. Feel free to photocopy and print. All drawings are by me, please do not remove them and use them without permission.
If you are a big website who makes a lot of money and would like to feature this, please do but make a donation to .

Download it free here: How to survive a smear test free PDF zine by Hannah Daisy

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Emotional Amnesia - What is it?

“Emotional Amnesia” - being unable to remember how it felt to ever feel any different to how you feel now. 
I feel like my friends and I talk about this concept all the time but it’s not really a term that’s used in healthcare. I think its something everyone experiences from to time to time, especially during bereavement and other upsetting times. However I think it’s even more experienced by people in the mental health community and those who have experienced trauma and/or received a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder / Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder. Sometimes I feel it can be helpful to know that this is a real concept, that when in deep emotional pain, you may experience emotional amnesia. And that’s ok. 

(I do also realise that some people may have never felt ok in their life, but there may have been times when the suffering was less.)

Saturday, 26 August 2017

what is pill shaming?

I feel like this is one of my most important drawings. 

I wrote a bit on instagram about this drawing, but thought I would extend it a bit on my blog. I really struggle to write so bear with me!

What is pill shaming? 

For me I think it is people thinking that if you 'work hard enough' you don't need medication for mental health problems. But also not only mental health problems, but other invisible conditions which mean individuals need pain medication or sleeping pills. I feel like this makes you feel like you haven't tried to be better and to be more 'well'. This doesn't help and only leads to people feeling like they have to hide taking medication, and internalizing that mental health problems are your fault, through being lazy, fat, 'unhealthy', and not exercising enough. This kind of behavior and thinking also promotes the idea that mental health problems can be changed from within. Whilst this might be true for some people, it totally ignores outside structures which impact on mental health (check out the Un-Recovery star) like racism, homophobia, trauma, poverty and unstable housing. I really think that by telling someone to be 'healthier' and cut down or stop medication or just making them feel bad and at the same time ignoring the bigger picture when it comes to mental health and chronic illness is pretty shitty behavior. Bordering on abusive.

A bit about my story:

I don't talk directly about my own health and mental health in depth much online because I'm quite a private person. But here we go. I  have had mental health problems on and off over the years and have tried quite a few different medications before finding one that works. I also have endometriosis which has cause quite a lot of pain and made me quite ill. 
I found a medication for my mental health which helps. I remember talking to a mental health colleague and telling her that I take a medication which helps me. She said "those pills scare me, I mean, just have a healthy diet, cut out gluten and refined sugars." I was so shocked I couldn't actually say anything. Normally I am quite direct about my opinions but I felt like I wanted to cry because I actually eat a fairly healthy diet (by that I mean I am veggie and I eat three meals a day, eat carbs, protein and veggies which works for me but may not for others) and I have tried so hard. But why do I 'try hard'? I feel like I am always trying hard. Mental health and pain medication is the only medical treatment you are told to try hard not to be on. 
 I have also not taken medication at times because I worried about poisoning my body with something which isn't natural. Which leads me onto people who believe that 'natural' remedies are a good idea for everyone. They can be for some people, but some people actually need medication for their brains to function.
I have been to events organized by certain anti psychiatry organizations where people have talked about how awful medication is. This is also so dangerous, this also fed into me thinking that I don't need to take medication. It might be fine for them, but promoting a 'psychiatry is evil' is also very dangerous. I could criticize psychiatry all day but at the end of the day, some people need the medical treatment.
I have endometriosis. Up until I had my first surgery 4 years ago and had treatment to stop my periods, I was in awful pain. When I was 28 I was on mefanamic acid, tranexamic acid and tramadol for 'period pain' and that only slightly helped. I had to take it otherwise I couldn't work. I had severe pain*, which was caused by internal bleeding from endometriosis. Some of my organs were stuck together too, eg my ovary was fused to my bowel. I also have endometriosis in places in my body which is untreatable due to the physical area. Tramadol is controversial and I was lucky that I had a doctor who would prescribe it. (Side note, tramadol is can be toxic with certain SSRIs and anti-psychotics). Pain is invisible most of the time to other people, so no one should question anyone elses need. (Be careful with opiates as they can be physically addictive and then you need more to get the same pain relief.)

Pill shaming in bullet points:

- it's ok to take medication for mental health problems 
- it's ok to take medication for mental health problems LONG TERM 
- it's ok to take medication for mental health problems long term WITH NO PLAN TO STOP 
- please don't insinuate that you can reduce medication by having a 'healthy' diet (whatever that is) or by doing exercise 
- please don't emphasize the side effects and risks of psychiatric medication 
- don't ask someone when they will cut down
- don't say "well if you loose weight / gain weight you could come off it"
- don't persuade people to cut down or stop medication. This includes the anti-psychiatry movement.
- family members; support your loved one! 
- healthcare professionals; learn about mental health and pain medication. Work side by side and don't make people feel crap about being on medication.

Pill shaming badges can be found here: etsy 


* funny story, I compare all pain to my experience of period pain. In 2012 I got a sewing needle stuck in the heel of my foot. The pain was not as bad as a period pain so I went out dancing on it until 3am. I went to hospital 2 days later and had to have surgery to have it removed!

Saturday, 29 July 2017

#boringselfcare - why I did this project

(Please note when reading this, I am not a writer and have dyslexia so really struggle to articulate what I think clearly. )

For a really long time I have felt, and still feel that the way the term 'self care' is used on the internet alienates the people for whom struggling with self care actually affects them day to day.
Self care seems to mean, on the internet anyway, activities you only engage in as a luxury, like the classic; fancy bath bombs or buying fancy crystals. Often activities which cost money, are only nice things or only available for able bodied people. For me I think even the way 'self care' term is used, it insinuates you have to do it yourself, shaming an alienating those who need actual people and carers to do it for them (for what ever reason, physical, emotional and/or neuro diversity etc.) This is not my understanding as a mental health professional at all. Self care refers to all the activities we need to do day to day and the 'self' bit doesn't mean you have to do it yourself.

I've felt so confused by how the internet has completely changed the meaning. Someone said to me it was 'white feminism'  and/or 'tumblr' which came along and changed the meaning. I kind of agree.

I really wanted to create something which separated itself from the internet version of self care and give it a new name. I came up with '#boringselfcare' mostly because I was drawing all the boring things I either find difficult when unwell or can't actually do. Again, I was never insinuating that the activities are merely just boring, sometimes they are ok, sometimes shit, sometimes simple, sometimes awful, sometimes essential....maybe I should have thought of a better name.

I created the 'asked for help' illustration because so many people, myself included at times, need help to do the most basic self care.

I feel that the hashtag is not for everyone. It's for people who struggle day to day. It's for people with mental health problems, chronic illness, disability etc, not for able bodied and people without mental health problems to post selfies with the hashtag.  I have stopped looking at the hashtag now though, I found too many people using the hashtag in a way I did not want.

It's strange the way the internet changes the meaning of terms, definitely still at work, when you use the words 'self care' everyone knows what it means, people needing to do the most basic activities.

The internet needs to stop using the term 'self care' in such problematic ways and I feel a bit sad that the 'boring self care' meaning may eventually, if not already, be taken and used in a way I never intended.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

being creative - my 6 top tips

Being a creative person is hard. I don't mean for this to be a moaning blog, but more to highlight just how much has to be 'right' in your life to be able to fulfill your creative potential.

1. Money. There is a reason why there are so many artists who come from a rich background. Most people have to work a day job, often full time, pouring energy into that which leads to less energy for creative projects. Not having money to buy materials is also frustrating.

2. Health. Feeling tired, being physically ill or horribly depressed to name a few, means it's a challenge to have inspiration.

3. Routine. It can be difficult to build art into your week.

4. Skill. University  and courses are expensive, so not always accessible to learn new skills or keep skills up to date.

5. Finally, environment. I don't know about you, but after moving out of my parents house, for 10 years my desk was in my bedroom. I really struggled to make work in the same place I slept.


So here are my top tips for being creative:

1. Make a workspace. Decide what works for you even if that is your bed. Set it up so that when you feel creative or have inspiration, you can just sit down and start. So you don't have to waste energy setting up or getting stuff out.

2. Set a time in the week for being creative.  Difficult, but once you start it starts to become a routine.

3. Write down ideas on your phone. I often feel like I have zero inspiration and no ideas especially if I am feeling low, anxious or stressed. I seem to forget. I have a long list on my phone now, so I can just pick one idea to draw.

4. Watch YouTube videos, go on pinterest or Instagram. I find they can help motivate me.

5. Find some friends to have a crafternoon with! I love to make a 'zine in a day' with my friends using the 'one piece of paper' zine fold. (Find out how to do it here.)

6. Finally, don't beat yourself up if you're struggling.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Vegan Bounty Brownie

Vegan Bounty Brownie



2 cups plain four
1/4 cup dessicated coconut
2 cups caster sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
pinch salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 (ish) cup water


1 cup dessicated coconut
1 cup icing sugar

To make the cake

1. Preheat oven to 175c
2. Sift flour and cocoa into a bowl.
3. Add sugar, oil & salt
4. Add the vanilla & coconut.
5. Mix well and pour into a greased baking tray. (9 x 13inch is good size)
6. Bake for about 25 - 30 min OR until the top is no longer shiny.
7. Leave to cool for about 15 mins before adding the topping.

To make the topping

1. Mix 1 cup coconut and 1 cup icing sugar.
2. Make sure it is nice and thick.
3. Spread on the top.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Vegan Jaffa Brownies

Vegan Jaffa Brownie

This cake marries the deliciousness of a naughty gooey chocolate brownie and the wonderful zesty jaffa cakes. It's really easy to make and even better to eat. Yummyyyyyy.



1/2 Orange (Juice & zest)
2 cups plain four
2 cups caster sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
pinch salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 (ish) cup water


1 dessert spoon marmalade (the one with bits in)
1/2 Orange (Juice & zest)
1/2 cup Cocoa powder
1/2 cup icing sugar
(water may be needed depending on how juicy the orange is!)

To make the cake

1. Preheat oven to 175c
2. Sift flour and cocoa into a bowl.
3. Add sugar, oil & salt
4. Grate all the zest of the orange and put around 3 tsp in the cake mixed. Set the rest aside.
5. Juice half the orange. Pour the juice into cup measure. Add water to make up to one cup worth of liquid and add to the cake mixture.
5. Mix well and pour into a greased baking tray. (9 x 13inch is good size)
6. Bake for about 25 - 30 min OR until the top is no longer shiny.
7. Leave to cool for about 15 mins before adding the topping.

To make the topping

1. Mix 1/2 cup cocoa and 1/2 cup icing sugar.
2. Slowly add the orange juice, bit by bit until you have a smooth thick mixture.
3. Add 1/2 teaspoon of zest and mix well.
4. Set aside. In a saucepan put the (large) dessert spoon of marmalade and remaining juice (there should be some) and heat until runny.
5. Prick the cake lightly and pour over the hot marmalade mixture until covered. Leave to soak in.
6. When the cake is cool, evenly spread the icing over the top. Sprinkle on a little of the zest for decoration.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Hannah Daisy's Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

These are so yummy and EASY...nice with a cup of Earl Grey tea or Lapsang Souchong tea!
Makes about 24 cookies!


1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
small pinch of salt
egg replacer equal to one egg (or a free range happy egg if you like em!)
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/4 cup melted vegan margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 190ΒΊc (about 375ΒΊf I think).
Melt butter (microwave is easiest.
Mix flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.
Make up the egg replacer according to the instructions on the box.
Mix into flour etc. Add water, peanut butter, margarine and vanilla.
Stir well.
Grease a tin.
Roll mixture into balls and place on baking tray
Press down the balls with a fork to make a 'criss-cross' pattern.
Sprinkle with a little sugar or rainbow sprinkles!
Bake for about 15mins or until golden brown!