Products of Our Environment

So as the title states – I’m gonna be sharing my own story about my younger life and growing up with a history of mental illness in my family.

Now, I’m not sure whether it’s purely coincidental, whether it’s hereditary or whether being in an environment where mental illness was prevalent was a norm for me as a child and perhaps made me more susceptible to becoming mentally unwell.

Does mental illness flow through my veins, beat in my heart and thrive off my healthy mind?

A woman very dear to me has struggled with inner demons for as long as I can remember. I was about 9 when I first began to notice that something wasn’t quite right. She’d spend days in bed, she wouldn’t eat, she wouldn’t even wash. With hind sight and personal experience I can now see that she was in an incredibly deep rooted depression.

It didn’t last days, or weeks… it lasted years.

I began to notice these traits in myself a number of years ago which was a very scary thing for me. I didn’t want to have a halted life because my mind would throw a fit every once in a while.

I decided to push on through, to finish studying Forensic Science, to get an unconditional offer at the university I wanted to study at – although I dropped out! I’ve worked in the Mental Health field and am now heading into working for the Ministry of Justice.

It’s ok to be abnormal, I wouldn’t have thrived as much if I was never unwell or had never battled with addiction.

If I could meet my 9 year old self, I would tell her that she would be okay. That her mum would win the uphill struggle. I’m now 21 and have almost set myself up for life.

This is the year everything changes!

If Kiwi can cope, so can you!

🙂

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ECS Group

The Emotional Coping Skills Group is a group based therapy of DBT, it helps with regulating and dealing with strong, overwhelming emotions that some people find harder to deal with. 

I’ve now been in this group for 5 weeks and I’m starting to notice major changes. After going through 8 months of unsuccessful counselling a few years ago. I decided to try my luck with ECS. 

To start with, I didn’t have high hopes for the group. I thought it’d be mumbo jumbo and reading from leaflets I could probably find online.

But I’ve come to realise that the people in this group are like family. It’s a place of free speech where no one is judged. This is a group of 10-15 people going through raw, unbearable emotions all at once.

In a way, this group has started to bring the best out in the people who were strangers to me only a few weeks ago. Hearing about the positive changes however small they may be that have been happening is inspirational.

Relating to people who are in very similar situations and fighting this battle as a team has been a true test on us all. I never saw the day where I could sit in a room with strangers and open up about my problems comfortably.

I’ve made new friends and I hope to keep them around for a very long time after the group sessions end. If any of you from the group are reading this post – thankyou for being so open and making it so easy to be able to talk about issues. You’re all such remarkable people and in a slightly strange way. I love the way we have all connected so quickly!

If Kiwi can cope, so can you. 

🙂