This is me now and my life after mental illness was very different, when I was unwell I always said I just want to be like I used to be, but the truth of the matter is that I never went back to who I was. I became a new version of me. A very different version of me.
I became someone who’s eyes were open, I had a new understanding of what it felt like to be alive. To see things, to feel things and to hear things.
I heard songs I’d been listening to for years and realised they had lyrics and meaning. I would stand and listen to the birds singing, I know birds always sing but I’d almost been deaf to it.
I saw the moon and stars in a way I’d never seen them before. They shone and I was alive to see them. For me the contrast between dark and light finally had meaning.
The sun felt warm, the snow felt cold, and I could feel the rain on my skin.
I was alive and I, for sadly probably the first time in my whole life appreciated things like I never had done before.
I saw the beauty in each person, smiling and laughing felt like the most amazing feeling ever. I started to make friends again and I got a job in a hotel as a Saturday girl. I was finally building up my life again one gentle and very appreciative step at a time.
The little job in the hotel really helped me get back on my feet, I gained confidence and I started a new life. Within a couple of months, I started working in the hotel full time, I was then promoted to duty manager, then assistant manager and finally operations manager.
In 2010 in a beautiful ceremony at Chatsworth house I won Derbyshire and the Peak districts young manager of the year award. I was so proud of myself, I was so proud that I had gone from knocking on death door to proving myself in life, to no one else other than me.
There wasn’t much else I could do within the hotel and I began to lack the enthusiasm I needed to continue accepting being spoken to like crap from chefs.
I took voluntary redundancy, because it was my time to put my own experience to good use. I had spent 5 years recovering. I had spent 5 years ensuring I was healthy and well balanced and so I put myself through training to become a clinical and medical hypnotherapist.
I was scared of the training because I’m dyslexic, I was scared of the reading and writing and that I wouldn’t be able to do it. However, the interesting thing is, because I was so utterly interested in everything I learnt I did really well. I surprised myself, but I guess I’d spent all those years at school studying subjects I had no interest in so, I thought I’d be the same.
It’s amazing what happens when you study a subject you’re interested in. They should implement this into schools and then perhaps the children wouldn’t be so stressed.
So, 7 years has now passed and I’m a specialist in the recovery from mental illness. I’ve trained and trained and have never stopped learning. You can’t stop learning as a therapist, because you can't ever know everything. I will die not knowing everything, but at least I can say I knew everything I could.
I have spent 7 years saving lives, guiding people to find their own self-worth and guiding them out of mental illness.