09 September 2020
I’m 50 and my life has been full of ups and downs. I have what’s known as Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD), and anxiety and depression.
My upbringing started like many other children. I had positive discipline, attended church every Sunday and was part of a local gymnastics team.
Things started to change when I was seven years old and discovered that the man who had helped raise me was not my real dad. But it wasn’t until I was 13 that my mum sat me down for a ‘chat’ to explain who my father was. I met him for the first time a few years later, after my mum and step-dad split up.
As a teenager, I then had to overcome four tragedies – first my Nan on my mum’s side who I was very close to, died. Within a year, my real dad died and soon after that, my first boyfriend took his own life without explanation. Then my nephew died in the first week of his life.
I felt I could handle it alone, but things got to the point where I needed help, after I fell for a soldier who later became controlling and violent. We had a daughter together, who is my rock, but being a single mum at that time was a struggle and I couldn’t cope.
My GP referred me to West London NHS Trust where I found myself sitting in front of a psychiatrist in pieces. But it was a relief because I finally felt I was in a safe place, where I could talk to somebody in private. I was just 24 years old and finally could address my sexual abuse. This is where my journey of healing began but it wasn’t a smooth road.
Seven years ago, after a series of challenges and a complex situation, I was battling negative thoughts constantly, and it was very draining. For over a year I had taken a few overdoses. I had basically given up and just wanted to die so that I could be at peace.
West London NHS Trust helped me get through this by offering home treatments and I felt so grateful, I was inspired to give something back to the Trust.
Now I am part of a suicide prevention workshop team, which offers peer support to people who need it. We meet every two months and the work being done here is life-changing. I also sit in on interview panels with the Trust, courses and self-help groups around suicide prevention, among other mental health issues. I also attended a peer support course through the Recovery College from which I’ve learned so much.
I have fantastic children, hobbies and I strongly believe with the correct support anybody can flourish. It is not my illness or the darkness that defines me.
If you would like to talk to someone or you’re worried about someone else, please contact our 24/7 helpline on 0300 1234 244.