This week we bring you the first of a very special blog series. Our guest blogger will be sharing their experiences with mental health over a period of weeks. They have bravely offered to share their thoughts with us, with the aim of supporting others who may be in a similar situation or period of their life. Remember, you are not alone...

First of all, thank you for visiting.
I have always found writing things down very therapeutic and have done it for as long as I can remember; whether that’s through poetry, letters or a diary. I wanted to start to share my journey as I want others to realise that they are not alone and that having a mental health issue is nothing to be ashamed of. I won’t be sugar coating anything; you will read about my highs, my lows and everything in between. I want to be honest with you and show you that you can bounce back, no matter how hard it may seem.
I started suffering with depression and anxiety after my Dad passed away when I was just 18. Looking back now, I am sure that what I was actually suffering from was PTSD, but that’s a whole other blog entry all together!
I now spend my time trying to help others as much as I can. I know it sounds like a cliché but if I can make one person’s day a little bit easier, then I am happy. When I felt at my lowest I had nobody around me who I could talk to; I wanted to stay strong in front of my Mum as I knew that she was struggling too, and I really didn’t have many friends around me. I wish that I had somebody to talk to back then; I really believe that if I had some support I wouldn’t have ended up as low as I was. But I was a stubborn 19-year-old and thought I could manage everything by myself.
And now I want to share my story with others…I want people to know that having a mental health issue doesn’t make you weak, it isn’t something to be embarrassed or ashamed about.
I speak openly about what I have been through because it has made me the person I am today. I am stronger for it; I have had to fight against my own brain, thoughts and feelings for so long. I am more empathetic now than I could have ever been; I truly try to understand how someone feels and my experiences help me with that.
I am not ashamed. I am not weak. I am not my diagnosis.
This isn’t the start of my journey and it definitely isn’t the end. It’s a long road but one that needs to be travelled.

Keep an eye on our blog for updates from our guest blogger. If you need someone to talk to, contact us here. We’re here to help.

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