I found out about mental health mates after listening to the audio of Bryony’s book whilst working on a large piece of textile art I had already titled ‘Getting Better’. Which is what I’m trying to do; here is a brief account:
I started to refuse food around age three and I started to self harm around age five which is also when I began to experience what my mother called ‘funny turns’. I now know they were anxiety attacks. I am 42 years old. I have a son age three and a daughter age five. I received subtle emotional abuse from an early age and grew up with a manipulative and bullying sibling. I moved out at seventeen after an ultimatum. I felt rejected. I still do. I have drunk excessively for years, smoked a great deal of weed. I have used recreational drugs in the past mainly because on drugs you don’t need to eat and you don’t need to sleep: two things I was rubbish at doing anyway. I have lived with this without support, apart from therapists I’ve never really told anyone and I’m good at hiding it – I think! I have had some therapy over the years and one course of antidepressants (which made me much worse and I won’t touch them again, but that’s just me.) I have moved around a lot and have been running away from myself. I now realise I need to sort myself out before I can move on, I live a long way from my family but still see and speak to them. I have never really spoken to my family about my mental health issues, certainly not as an adult. It is like a big weight I’ve been carrying around and I’d really like to deal with it. I’m adopting a number of strategies with slow progress. I have read some stories on here and want to thank you for sharing; it isn’t easy. ‘I’ would like to be one of the ‘We’.