“There’s so many things now to be curious about because I’m no longer stuck. I’m curious to see where my future takes me. Not just curious. Excited.”
I was born in Perth raised to very strict religious parents. When I was about eight, they got a calling from God to move from Western Australia to join a community in Queensland.
Because I was female I was expected to get a job, get married and then procreate, and those things did happen. I got a job. I eventually got married and went on to have six beautiful children that were my saving grace.
During that time I was ill but I wasn’t aware of it, it was an unspoken thing. Looking back, there was quite a few signs like eating disorders, self harm, that sort of thing. Every time I fell pregnant I had these amazing hormones but I found after feeding the baby, when they got to about the age of two, the depression started and I started going downhill.
I didn’t realise there was a support service like Neami out there. Not only were they there to support me, but also my family. They could link me to other services to provide help that I didn’t even know existed. To this day they’ve been there and that’s helped me get me through. They’re extremely understanding and accommodating and a lot of the staff have lived experience as well. That’s really helped.
I’ve taken what I’ve learnt and used those tools in my everyday life, mainly keeping routine, keeping up my exercise. It’s taught me many things just in order to live a normal day to day life and to keep moving forward. I’m looking ahead of me because I sure as heck don’t want to go back to where I was.
It’s not always easy. It’s not an easy, instantaneous, I’m cured. I’m not cured. I’ve still got a way to go. For me, recovery has been a grieving process. In order to be able to get to the place I’m at, I see that I had to grieve. I went through a lot of anger. I mourned. I feared. I had so much fear, self-doubt. All those negative things, brought more negative things on. Then, taking on what I’ve learnt and applying that, I’m learning self-acceptance. It’s okay not to be okay and that’s okay.
I am me and I’m learning to accept and love me for who I am and what I’ve got to give. There’s so many things I feel that I have in arm’s reach now whereas I didn’t have that before.
There’s so many things now to be curious about because I’m no longer stuck. I’m curious to see where my future takes me. Not just curious. Excited.
My illness does not define who I am today.