Written by Jacob - a Mind outreach client.
At the beginning of 2021, I found myself in an unexpected place after self-admitting to a mental health unit following a major depressive episode. This, as well as my pre-existing anxiety and ADHD diagnosis, started me on a new journey of self-discovery, but after coming home from my time in care, I was still not ready to go back out into my community because of the trauma I had experienced.
I was feeling somewhat helpless and I did not return to work. The only things I was sure about were my regular psychologist appointments and my weekly visits from my Mind worker, Kayleigh, through the Individual Recovery Support Program (IRSP)*. Something I learnt during this time was to ‘get curious’ about what I was going through, which, for me, was researching how the human brain works when dealing with mental trauma. Getting curious was very important for my journey to recovery, and it motivated me to better understand myself and my feelings.
Eventually, with help from Kayleigh, I started venturing out of my comfort zone; we started going to the shops, we went to get my haircut and gradually built my self-confidence to do these things on my own, whilst having Kayleigh’s support. Over time, it felt like I was starting to get my independence back.
Throughout this period, I had a lot of time to think and reminisce about my past trauma. By reflecting and processing it, I was able to progress in leaps and bounds, and eventually I returned to work, I started making new friends and I got my groove for life back.
It has been a year since I was admitted to the mental health unit. Looking back on my journey now, it does not feel like I had ever been in my mental health situation, because of how far through my recovery I have come. I have gone from not being able to leave the house to getting my independence back, going back to work and achieving the goals I had set out with Kayleigh. I have even fallen in love with yoga and have started teaching it part-time at my local studio in Atherton (Queensland).
My intention of writing this article is to let everyone who reads this know that you are not alone and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I hope that my story helps destigmatise mental illness, and shows others that there is support out there, and that it is okay to ask for help. Good luck on your own journey.
*Mind provides outreach services through the Individual Recovery Support Program – a 12-month recovery-focused, community-based outreach support for adults who are recovering from serious mental illness.
For more information about the Individual Recovery Support Program contact Mind Connect – 1300 286 463.
Psychosocial supports – like the kind provided by Mind Australia – help people with mental health and wellbeing issues manage daily activities, rebuild and maintain connections, engage with education and employment, and participate fully in the community. These are supports which help people take positive steps in their recovery journey.
If this article raises concerns for you, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14. Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islanders can also call 13 YARN (13 92 76) a 24/7 national crisis support telephone service staffed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.