So just a week ago, on the 14th November 2017, I celebrated 1 whole year since my world came crashing down on top of me and I fell ill to my first relapse in 3 years of recovery. Why celebrate a relapse you may ask? Well it wasn’t so much a festivity of the downfall itself, more of a look back at where I was then, compared to where I am now.
This time last year I was a broken shell of a girl. I had lost my relationship, my health, my happiness and my hope for the future. I wasn’t eating. I was self harming multiple times a day, I was getting a maximum of 45 minutes sleep a night and 2 attempts at an overdose left my friends and I so scared for my life that I ended up taking myself into hospital to be placed on suicide watch.
Now I am living in my first proper home with my incredible (albeit very annoying) partner. I’ve changed jobs, I’ve made friends and I have watched friends get engaged. I am performing again for the first time in over a year and I am back raising awareness and money for mental health after 10 months of being down for the count!
On Monday 13th of November I was honored to attend the ‘Mind Media Awards 2017’ where Stephen Fry, Fearne Cotton and Prince Harry hosted a wonderful evening of tribute to those who have done some outstanding work in the field of mental health awareness this year. Sitting in that audience inspired me to get back on track with the work that I was doing prior to my relapse.
Last September I trekked across the Great wall of China and raised over £2700 in the process, every penny of which went straight to the charity; Mind. Now my goal has nearly doubled and I am aiming to raise another £5000 to help improve our mental health services in the UK and combat mental illness. You can donate at www.justgiving.com/ahmchairty
…It’s not all about the money. When it comes to mental illness, knowledge really is power; the more we understand it, the more able we are to tackle it. In order to understand it, we must first be unafraid to talk about it and with an open mind.
Back in September of this year I was invited to parliament to discuss the state of the UK’s mental health services with MP’s from all over the country. It was clear that they had very little knowledge on the subject. I had the same conversation with multiple MPs whilst I was there explaining the dire state our country’s mental health services are in and all of them had the same reaction of “that sounds dreadful…but what can I do about it?”
Well I can tell them exactly what they can do about it but there is no point in me doing so if I have no concrete evidence to back up my case. Yes, my own personal experience is hard hitting in itself but I am still just 1 individual and when it come to creating a movement and making a change there is greater weight in numbers.
I have created a survey exploring the main areas of mental health that need addressing.
If anyone is willing to give up just a few minutes of their time to fill out this questionnaire then I and the world of mental health awareness would be extremely grateful. All personal information would remain confidential unless written permission is given that would specify otherwise and therefore all personal experiences would remain anonymous if desired.
So please, if anyone (no matter what age) is interested in taking this short survey and helping to combat mental illness then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Thank you all who took the time to read this.