Welcome to MENTAL

A collection of stories ON mental health experiences

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“There is strength in vulnerability.”


A well adjusted, socially gregarious, fiercely independent, 40-something, single female living a relaxed life in the beachside suburbs of Otatauhi.

Never judge a book by its cover.

A weekly effort to get the right amount of sleep and keep conflict and stress at bay is a necessity - not a luxury - for personal wellness and mental survival.

A twenty-year misdiagnosis has seen me struggle to maintain full-time employment, long term relationships, abuse of alcohol and the realisation that parenthood was not a good vocation and the decision to remain childless. I also have to gauge my energy levels and frequently exit social situations as I’m too ‘peopled out’ or it is stimulus overload.

A high achieving young child turned into an anxious, overwhelmed first year university student filled with self-doubt, unable to cope with stress and failure. The slippery slope of depression and numbness stage-dived down a black vortex. It was like being trapped in a glass box and seeing what was on the outside, yet remaining unable to break through the glass to normality.

Fast forward twenty years and many weeks spent hiding from the world in bed, popping numerous kinds of antidepressants. My GP has a eureka moment. Those several hospital admissions with hypomania, court judgements from my Visa card and numerous bank overdrafts from erratic spending sprees and risky sexual exploits could somehow be explained.

Perhaps I had been suffering from bipolar disorder - not depression - all this time.

Fast-forward five years:

The support of many sessions with a clinical psychologist, counsellor and alcohol support.

Adoption of daily exercise.

Finally being put on the right meds and dose.

The acceptance that there are more than one ways to skin a cat and make a living, as far as part-time or contract work is manageable.

There is strength in vulnerability.

Choose your A-team carefully and delete those who cause conflict or don’t make you feel good.

Do what nourishes your soul.


If the content on this website is distressing or triggering, or, if you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, we have provided in contact details below for you to speak with a professional. If you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call the police immediately on 111.

• NEED TO TALK? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor (available 24/7)
• LIFELINE: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• SUICIDE CRISIS HELPLINE: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633
• KIDSLINE: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
•WHATSUP: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)


“I have dreams and ambitions again that I feel and know I can achieve. And I see a future after mental illness, because like most illnesses, I can and will recover.”

“Sleep became something of a rarity. I was too scared to let it take me.”