Today is "Time To Talk Day." Time to talk about mental health, that is.
Twenty years ago I was beginning the "In The Community" recovery process after what, in those days, was called a nervous breakdown, which resulted in me spending ten weeks in the Woodbourne Priory.
It began as stress, both job-related, and through the deaths of two family members...one was a particularly nasty, lingering death from cancer.
Then, while I was a voluntary patient at the Woodbourne, a third family member died. He'd also been suffering from cancer, and I'd hoped he wouldn't suffer too long. So, in my fragile state, I blamed myself for his death, and felt I had to take my own life to atone...along with someone else's life to accompany me on my journey in the afterlife.
My increasingly bizarre behaviour was diagnosed as a psychotic episode, and I was sectioned for 28 days.
On 3rd April 2016 I wrote a guest post on The Stigma Fighters website, looking at those dark times, and how I combat the mental illness stigma. I've guested on many mental health blogs since then, but that article from two years ago was one of the first, and remains just as powerful and relevant today as it was then.
Sarah Fader, the founder of the Stigma Fighters, gives permission for me to link to that post here. Please read it, and if you're suffering from mental health issues at the moment, you'll see that there's always hope. Stewart Bint's guest post on The Stigma Fighters.