I had a traumatic childhood. My father was an addict, chronic hoarder, paranoid schizophrenic and a dealer. Whilst he never hurt me directly, the clientele he let into his house was a different story. For most of my young life, each day was an endless tedium of boredom and neglect punctuated by moments of intense fear.
I ended up moving out of home at 15. By surviving of charity, government support, and part-time work, I was able to finish school and then university, qualifying to be a secondary teacher. All the while I was battling with mental illness: symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD and dissociation. At my worst, I was self-harming, abusing intoxicants and at times suicidal.
At one of my lowest points, a friend suggested that ‘before you ended it all, you should try everything first. What have you got to lose?’. I agreed and decided to give my recovery process one last go. This took me to multiple different therapists and medications as well as numerous different forms of self-improvement. Medication worked in the sense that it kept me alive, but it didn’t really make life have a point. Once stable I weened off them, and begin exercising and meditating daily.
I am in a far better place now. Instilling discipline and sticking to the self-care that works for me has been vital.
I now write, vlog and podcast on the topics of mental health, recovery, and motivation. I have found that by sharing our stories we are able to connect, support and help each other to not feel so alone in our suffering.