Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page. I have chosen MIND as my charity as I have had experience of the effects of mental health first hand. Its a subject that is poorly or misunderstood by many people and the implications of poor mental health have a huge effect not only on the person suffering but close family and friends.
This is my story:
In 2011 my life changed, my dad hadn't long passed away and to follow my dreams, which he always wanted me to do I took the opportunity of a charity trip to Tanzania to raise money for another Charity. Sadly during the trip the jeep I was travelling in with 5 of my fellow travelling companions crashed fatally, resulting in one loss of life and several others airlifted to hospital. I walked away from this horrific event with minor physical injuries.
When I returned to the UK I found it difficult to understand what had happened, and why I had survived when others didn't, I felt guilty for surviving and questioned myself constantly. I found my life challenging and began to struggle, but perhaps didn't realise this at the time. My marriage broke down, I didn't believe that I could be a wife any longer and I stopped working and ended up at my mums, I became very insular and stopped socialising, I became quiet and withdrawn. My only escape was running... running and more running.
After several months of feeling like this I tried to take my own life, but luckily, my mum found me and saved me, the hospital was keen to discharge me without any counselling or support, however my mum and ex husband stubbornly refused to leave until I had been seen by the crisis team and received some support. I was not in an fit state to fight for help at the time so thank god that they did... my life then begun to change......
I received daily visits from the crisis team and was referred to a psychiatrist for support. I was diagnosed with PTSD, and sever anxiety... with the fantastic support of my Psychiatrist I begun to piece my life back together. After 2 years of counselling and a life time of medication today I can stand proud of how far I have come and can say that I am 'normal' again, all be it a changed normal. I manage my anxieties and I see life very differently, but I'm happy again.
The sad thing about this sequence of events is that no one apart from my close family noticed or understood... because there wasn't anything physically and visibly wrong with me people assumed I was fine, and the affect and pressure it put on those people I love who looked after me and supported me is completely under estimated. Looking after a loved one with mental health is an extremely challenging job, and can impact on their life almost as much as the person they are caring for.
Mental Health needs to be better understood, accepted and talked about. I'm proud to talk about my experiences and hope that I can help someone, even if its just one person to get help or understand the way they are feeling before they get to the point which I did... For me awareness is extremely important, however for charities like MIND to do this they need funding, which is why I am putting my running to good use and running 26.2 miles to raise money for them to continue to do the amazing job they do, but also to raise awareness of Mental Health.
Thank you to all those people who supported my to get better.. you know who you are, and thank you to anyone who sponsors me, I am extremely grateful