I have spent decades of my life sick. I can trace my mental health issues to my childhood. I remember back in primary school feeling like the odd one out. Feeling like I was a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.
For decades my mental health issues weren’t dealt with. I never told anyone or asked for help. Not dealing with my issues led to an alcohol addiction. Mental health distress and an addiction do not go well together. Being told to grow up, pull your head in or that I was a ‘headcase’ did not help. I think the words that hurt the most are the ones said by people close to you. During my period of unwellness I lost custody of my 2 children.
Today, I am incredibly proud to say I am 5 years sober. I was sick of being sick and hit my rock bottom. I slowly rebuilt my life to a place that I am happy to be. Everyday is hard work but I’m proud of where I am now. I no longer dwell on diagnoses because I have learnt they are only labels. I have found a passion for helping others in my community overcome their own mental health issues and addictions. Since the start of my recovery, I have rebuilt my relationship with my children with love and trust. My children, along with giving back to others on their own mental health journey inspires me to keep going.
#BeautifulMinds is a series of raw and honest stories from people sharing their lived experience with mental health in New Zealand. Published with permission. We hope these stories capture the diversity of how mental health affects different people and you can be inspired by their journey towards mental wellbeing. Clearhead’s mission is to destigmatise mental health through raising awareness and encouraging people to feel it is ok to seek help early by giving them the tools to do so. Sign up now to use the platform, it is free to do so!
If you like what you read, please do share it. If you are interested in sharing your story, please email us at [email protected]