Welcome to MENTAL

A collection of stories ON mental health experiences

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“The greatest love you'll ever have is your own.”

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This is a story of a mother of four and her battle with depression and anxiety -  how she surfaced from drowning in fear and sadness, seemingly trapped with no way out.

Fear will always be a part of my life. Fear is natural, it becomes a tool. It may prevent bad things from happening. It can also becomes a barrier to self love; to experiencing the beauty in life.

I grew up with a single mum, a father who came in and out of my life. When he did come back in he couldn't seem to love me without conditions.

I abused alcohol so much that I took rides from strangers. One time it didn't end so well. I fell asleep in the shower, on the toilet, I lost friendships and I wasted a lot of my days hungover. I was masking the pain of life events.

One night I was exhausted. I took 35 antidepressants and hoped that I'd come close to dying. I wanted to know who gave a shit about me. I didn't even get to hospital. I was sleepy for three days and struggled to leave my bed. It was just like a lot of my days where I struggled with depression and anxiety. It's the fear that makes you want to stay in bed.

I decided one day that my relationship with alcohol was no longer healthy. This stemmed from a fallout with a friend who told me I had been disrespectful, a friend who told me what they thought of me. This was a long-time friend. Surely he would understand?

I found exercise. I found self-love. I pushed myself, I read books, I talked about the relationship I have with my parents and realised that it will never change. But that doesn't mean the relationship I have with myself can't change.

The greatest love you'll ever have is your own. The way to find that is to walk or run in the outdoors. Look at how beautiful the ocean is, the sound of running water while you are breathing in the fresh air.

When you challenge yourself, when you set goals and reach them, you feel so high on life. The girl who lived for 31 years trying to find a reason to be alive, is now so in love with life and all she has become.

Never, ever give up.

“Don’t worry everything’s fine.”

“The whole time I was hearing voices but told no-one.”