A storyteller shares what it was like for them when their mental health deteriorated in their early life as part of the Oral Histories project

And so how did you start with your mental health? And well, I've always had mental health like everyone. And I think my mental health started to deteriorate or no, I don't believe when I was a child and I was brought up a very beautifully diverse family, mixed race, gay guards and in a rough area and and at the time I also didn't know I was dyslexic in this Brexit, And I think not fitting in when your child can be quite challenging, especially when you're in a place where you kind of in the school system and trying to shove your through a keyhole and you don't fit it can really knock your mental health. And also, I loved football about the time girls weren't allowed to play football at school so literally. Everything I loved and had close to me was kind of, um, questions and ridiculed But then it really started to deteriorate when I had some quite dramatic things go on in my life, and in my early teens I was quite bullied as well. And then I'm one of those people. I don't express anger I don't always even feel anger of people But I do feel internally. It myself and I started to experience anxiety pretty and translated into any disorder. And then the eating disorder pretty much consumed and make my life until my early twenties, when I became pregnant with my first child So, as I always say, I'm always going to be in recovery. I'm more resilient than ever before, but I still need to transfer as well as possible. So I try to do that to exercise now medication and seeing people and always pushed myself out my comfort sing So I've learned a lot more positive coping mechanisms than in the past. Um, I work in the Mental Health Museum and where we are now, but I've never been inside the actual hospital. What is it like in the hospital where you stayed? Remember, So I've only ever been here as an outpatient, but I remember when I was coming and I was really parlay and remembered driving into the hospital, and I wasn't driving, but seeing these big, long, white, scary walls and wires around them, and that's obviously more secure unit, and I thought that's where I was going and I was freaking out Um because I was determined that I knew I was strictly with my mental health. But for me, the voices and the hallucinations I was experiencing wasn't and it was real. And it was really hard to get support when for you it's your reality, say, and I remember going into my appointment, looking at everyone else thinking well, is that they've got an issue, but I haven't And and, uh, yeah, even in the appointment, I remember being scared that people are after me and that they could see through the windows, and it was quite a difficult. Well, it was very difficult time. And I have to make the decision whether to be in a Muslim baby unit or to stay here with my daughters And I was lucky enough to be able to make that decision because they knew that having my kids with me kept me say so. I did stay at home, but it was that very close line, and it's good to almost come full circle. So now, to be back here doing proactive projects and doing to work and doing positive things in this space, and it shows you that you really can go in this full recovery journey Well, so I could still end up coming back here as a patient because our mental health is like that. But at least these days and more resilient. Got that support network and good memories now in here, some no longer afraid So you've never actually been on the wars. You've never stayed on the water or anything. I stayed on the ward in weeds, which was an eating disorder unit, and yeah, but I've not stayed in the field head first aid and see Craft Hospital And at the time, I felt like help hellhole for me. And yeah, it's very it's very challenging because what you're experiencing your head is your reality next to my wife.

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