“When I’m challenged with stressful events or am unwell at certain times I can lean on support.”
Katie is supported by Neami Partners in Recovery in West Moreton-Oxley.
I’ve been on my journey for about 20 years now. I was first diagnosed with psychosis and then later major depression. I took medication for that period of time and often became quite unstable. When my life started to pick up I was diagnosed again, this time with borderline personality disorder. That threw me into turmoil because I knew it was something you can’t recover from, or at least it’s a very hard recovery. So I started reading a lot about it and threw myself into over-analyse mode. I wasn’t on the correct medication and I didn’t know what to do.
When I was unwell I slept a lot. I had unbalanced eating and out of control sugar levels. I was tired and lethargic all the time. I was also very paranoid and depressed. I was in a very dark place and was really struggling. Eventually I went back to the psychiatrist I’d trusted years earlier and she finally diagnosed me with schizophrenia and put me on the right medication. It was around this time I first rang Neami.
If I’m having a bad day or I’m over-analysing, I ring up the people at Neami and have a good chat. They talk to me about my feelings and options, and just give me some structure to resolve my thoughts so that I may get on with the day.
Since I’ve got on board with Neami I’ve never looked back. It wasn’t just the support; it was also the opportunities that I was able to get involved with and the people I’ve been able to work with.
I was given a network of people that have also been through the recovery of mental illness, so I felt very comfortable. I felt like I could trust them and talk to them because they had been through it themselves, and they were so caring to me. I’ve actually made some friends out of it. I’ve been able to call my friends or the support network. And the staff members are really lovely every time I call.
Now I accept that my illness is a part of me, but it’s not who I am.
I keep myself busy and if I stick to my regime I seem to find I’m quite balanced and happy. I’ve done the Optimal Health Program with Neami. That helped me find the right medications and support networks and set goals for the future. I’ve also done the Flourish and Road to Recovery programs, and I’m really enjoying that as well. I’ve partaken in the diabetes project, so I’ve found out what impacts me as a diabetic, and my mental health.
Now I make sure to get eight hours of sleep a night, and eat healthy and exercise a bit. I take time for myself. I take a bath or enjoy getting out of the house and seeing my social groups. When I’m challenged with stressful events or am unwell at certain times, I lean on support.
I’ve got a loving family and know I’ve got things to look forward to in life that bring me great joy. I’m planting plants and I’m buying little Buddhas and doing artistic things. In the Flourish program, they teach us to plant a seed in our lives and watch it grow. I look forward to seeing mine grow.
At Neami they know who I am and what I’m going through. I love being a part of Neami. They’ve helped me get to a really positive place at this point in my life. It has opened doors for me to be able to recover a lot better. Now I accept that my illness is a part of me, but it’s not who I am.
When I first got this diagnosis I felt like there was no way out. But deep within me I had this goal to overcome it and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Working with Neami I’ve been able to find balance again. Along with seeing my psychiatrist and taking the right medication, they gave me that guidance to get back on track.
I’m really starting to enjoy life, when for a while I never thought that I could. I’m not so caught up in my head.