Hi I’m Mary!
I want you to have MORE FUN!
I started my business as a Merriment Maker because I grew up without full access to my childhood. I had to take on more responsibility than a child is intended to due to my own mental illness coupled with codependent and negligent parenting.
While my unique mental needs were ignored for eight years without any sort of treatment, I was bullied, both at home and from peers for symptoms I couldn’t control. I watched the people I was supposed to trust the most neglect me, lie to each other, and blame me for not “knowing better”.
I was a very “gifted” child, so there was added pressure for there to be nothing “wrong” with me, especially with my mind. I was to use my intelligence to pay for my own education. It had been made just as clear there was no money for college as it was that I would be disowned if I didn’t attend a college we couldn’t afford in the first place.
I sought control in any area I could find like self-harm, disordered eating, substance abuse, sexual activity, and suicide attempts. It’s no wonder multiple mental illnesses started sprouting out like pimples on a dirt covered face. My body couldn’t handle all the cognitive dissonance and attempts to decipher the truth. I likely would have had a difficult time in this world with how sensitive I am anyway, but adding these cards to my deck made things much harder.
When things got so severe in my early 20’s that I was waking up in the middle of fields missing my shoes and I wasn’t even drunk from something called “dissociative fugue”, I realized something had to give. I started to take control in a more positive way by going to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and addressing the thing that was taking up the most space in my brain at the time: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (another unique way to create a perceived sense of control). After six months of grueling homework that essentially amounts to exposure therapy for the irrational, I felt something shift in my head. It was the ability to shift. I had space.
I wasn’t spending my days figuring out how to step on every sidewalk crack or avoid spinning in a full circle. I wasn’t a walking symptom anymore. It felt like I had been working 80 hour weeks and I suddenly retired. What was I going to do with all of this time?
I decided to start creating. To go back to stuff I liked to do when I was a kid. I loved knitting, taking photos, and putting stickers on stuff. Crafty stuff. I joined something called a “yarnbombing” contest and knit something to go around a parking meter. I installed it, won fourth place, and started doing more guerrilla, or street art. I felt alive.
I realized I could begin to tap into the joy I could have experienced naturally if I was supported. It’s not that it wasn’t in there or that it never showed its face. My joy wanted to be known. It showed up by collecting stickers, seeing faces in objects, making silly jokes, dressing loudly, making goody bags for my friends, touching squishy things, pointing at ducks, and learning weird facts. Those are things I always enjoyed. And even when things were the worst, those were still a part of me. I might have had no motivation to participate in them, but my desire for there being a world where I could enjoy them never went away. I wanted to be happy, I just wasn’t.
I tried everything. I always kept trying. So many doctors have told me that they’ve never met someone who has wanted to “get better” more than me. I’ve tried all the medicines, therapies, coping skills, and strategies. After 17 years, I found something called TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation). Because I had tried so many medicines that didn’t work for my brain and I have so many different disorders, I was eligible for the treatment. I remember one day waking up and feeling like things were different. Like I didn’t know there had been a veil of darkness over me for so long, but now I could see through it. Most people experience that with medication, but I needed something a little stronger.
There’s a lot of reasons why people aren’t happy right now, including our brains being wired differently (like mine). I also believe nothing is lost until you stop looking for it (including your joy).
I know for a fact everyone doesn’t need a magnet tapped on their heads every day for months to get results. I also know not everyone has mental illness. But I do know that we are all living in a world with constant horrible news and a new tragedy, natural disaster, or violent event every single day. Things that used to shake an entire country to shut down and mourn for a week don’t even make us blink because we have become so desensitized to bad news. Our baselines of acceptable stress have risen exponentially in the past generation
We believe in stress and its physical capabilities. If a doctor told you that your alopecia, insomnia, or diarrhea was stress induced, you would be likely to believe them. People can literally die of a broken heart (Takotsubo syndrome). I believe the remedy for stress is joy. If we can be ailed by stress, we can be healed/reconnected by joy.
My goal is to reconnect you to joy both proactively and retroactively. As a Merriment Maker, I believe we can heal/reconnect the mind, body, and whatever you believe is the energy in between (heart, soul, spirit, etc.) with joy.
Once we feel happy, we can continue giving to the community through whatever nature our personal passions lend to. I believe the best teachers, creators, activists, and givers are people who have experienced something difficult and have lived to tell the tale.
I want to help people feel good enough so they can tell that story, and once they are overflowing with joy, give back to the world in whatever way lights them up. This is how we create the good news we want to see.
I’m Mary “Uncustomary” England. I’m a published author, life coach, event speaker, podcaster, and team building facilitator. I have two degrees in Psychology. I’ve run my own business since 2013, where I created my own job title: Merriment Maker.
Previously, I worked at a psychiatric rehabilitation center for five years, creating curriculums for courses for 100 adults with mental illness. I actively study psychology, positivity, and fun. I’ve coached people 1:1 for over almost a decade with glowing reviews. I don’t base my work on hunches or tote bag inspiration.
I also have one dozen mental illnesses of my own. I’ve come to this space from a sincere desire of wanting to be happy, not naturally being happy. I know if I can have an eating disorder, self-harm every day for years, try to kill myself, abuse drugs, and experience sexual assault and still create a fun life, I can help you have one, too. I know this is work. And I’m doing it with you.
I believe in play is more powerful than meditation. I’m blunt. My methods are founded in psychology and science, and I’m optimistic. I’m a good teacher. I’ve taught adults how to read and love themselves. Perhaps most importantly, I am here to get you to take action, not just to theoretically understand something. Tangibility will always win over theory.
I turned my life around with Merriment, and I know Merriment can change your life, too. When you’re ready I welcome you to join me in the Uncustomary Universe, be it in the Merriment Makers Membership group or working with me 1:1.
I don’t want to change you. I want to enhance you’re YOU-ness.
Are you ready to have more fun?!