I remember when I first had contact with BYHP. My occupational therapist from the community mental health team had phoned BYHP and asked them to make contact with me. I was too anxious to answer the phone and even more anxious to return their call. I eventually managed to make contact with them and was offered counselling. At the time anorexia, depression and avoidant personality disorder were crushing me, I felt like the ant being squashed under someone’s shoe. I was far from okay, I hardly wanted to be alive.
I missed my first counselling session. I had got up and dressed and walked to the bus stop in plenty of time but I was too anxious to put my hand out and stop the bus and it drove past me. I walked back home and cried into my pillow.
The next counselling session I managed to get the bus but got totally lost on the way to BYHP. I was crying and about to turn back home when Deb, my counsellor at BYHP, offered to meet me and walk me to the building.
I went into treatment and had to stop going to BYHP but nearly a year later I was in a worse place. I had made a very serious attempt on my life and had rarely left the house since my discharge from the psychiatric ward. I was in a horrible place. I would cry so loudly at night that it would wake my family up.
Deb began to visit me at home and I would be so anxious I could hardly speak to her. I remember having all this stuff flying around my head but the words wouldn’t form into sentences and I’d get so frustrated and angry with myself.
I began to email Deb. As a child I loved writing, I would spend my summer holidays writing stories but my illness took that enjoyment away. My illness stole everything and I forgot who I really was. Emailing Deb gave me a release, it enabled me to tell someone in this world what was actually going on, it became my form of communication but Deb also picked up on my talent for writing.
Slowly I began to leave the house. It was difficult, I couldn’t get the guts to ring the doorbell at BYHP and there were times where I would stand outside freezing cold with the rain pouring down wishing for someone to walk past the door and spot me. I attended the peer support group and it felt like a novelty to be outside of the four walls of my home. I did the unlocking potential programme as well as art and music sessions. BYHP didn’t make me feel like a poorly young woman nor a sad story, BYHP became my family and empowered me through noticing my talents and boosting my confidence and self-esteem.
My family moved away to Wales and I was deeply upset to leave BYHP but BYHP is a family and you can never truly leave. BYHP will always be a huge part of my life because they really did help me turn my life around. I have never met such lovely, caring individuals. There is no place like BYHP.
My life now is so incredibly different to how it was two years ago. I regularly appear on TV and radio as well as in magazines and newspapers. I run a successful blog and write for The Huffington Post. I visited BYHP the other day and walked to the door with a huge smile on my face and pressed that doorbell without hesitation. Without BYHP I would probably still be stuck within the four walls of my home but because of their love, kindness and helping hand I have gone the opposite way and flown into the spotlight in order to make a difference to the lives of those with mental health problems.
Thank you BYHP for all you have done.
Our blog is a great way to stay up to date with current events and projects, stories from our young people and the general goings on at BYHP.