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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The Grass Is Greener

It’s the saying everyone uses when they have hindsight, when they can look back and see that they’re in a better place than they previously had been. This is what’s really hit me over the last few days.

I finally started my new job in the NHS Monday just gone. I’m finally working in a Psychiatric Unit with some of the most gifted Nurses and Doctors on the South Coast. I’ve started in a Unit for patients with moderate to severe Neurological Damage induced mainly by chronic substance abuse.

In three months time I shall be transferring wards to the Functional Mental Health Ward down the corridor . Having been through the psychiatric system since I was around 13, I feel like it’s really going to hit home when I start working with people that I can see parts of my old self in.

The first week of working in the Hospital was an experience I’ll never forget. It’s an entire world away from outside the walls of the ward. It’s a strict regime of constant observations, confidentiality, understanding, patience and empathy. 

I’d be lying if I said my first week has been easy – it’s been a true test of my character and I’ve been put into some very difficult situations already. However, I wouldn’t change my job, my colleagues or the patients for the world. 
Waking up in the morning to see my crisp, new uniform with the words “NHS Professionals” embroidered onto the chest makes me punch the air mentally at just how far I really have come in the last 8 years.
If Kiwi can cope, so can you.

🙂