Nicole’s story

Hiya!  I’m glad you are taking an interest in mental health recovery.

I was diagnosed bi-polar type 1 in 2001, during another hospital admission.  Life has been very hard on occasions and caused me to attempt suicide a couple of times in the past.  Nowadays, I’m glad I wasn’t successful in my attempts, and I’ve embraced the love and support of my family, friends, and the mental health services, which has kept me going forward in my journey of recovery.

I’ve embraced the love and support of my family, friends, and the mental health services, which has kept me going forward in my journey of recovery

I do still struggle at times but reaching out to people I know and trust keeps me on track and better able to self-care.  Mental health professionals have given me good guidance, hints and tips on how to stay well.  In between bouts of homelessness, hospital admissions, unemployment and illness, I have been determined enough to gain qualifications in fitness and nutrition because over the years, I have realised that there are several things I can do to keep me contented, and able to cope with my day-to-day life most of the time.

Here are some tips I have learned over the years:

keeping moderately physically active; eating healthily regularly throughout the day to keep cortisol levels under control; occasional food treats; keeping hydrated with water tapering-off before bedtime; getting enough rest; opening-up and talking honestly no filter from brain to mouth to my family and friends I feel safe with; using the mental health crisis teams when I need to; getting out for fresh air and sunlight when I feel safe enough; doing simple bits of housework.

These are things I do that tweak my mood and help me feel better.  There is more information in my book Fit Mind Fit Body, which is available from Amazon.  Be proud of yourself for looking for information and help to get yourself back on track too, there is hope, please believe me.

Thank you so much, Nicole, for sharing your journey and for inspiring us all trough your own lived experience. If Nicole’s got you thinking about sharing your own journey with us, drop us a line communications@penumbra.org.uk 

If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide you can contact the following organisations:

Samaritans -116 123 (24/7)

Breathing Space – 0800 83 85 87 (Monday-Thursday 6pm-2am | Friday 6pm – Monday 6am)

NHS24 – 111

If you live in Edinburgh, our team at the Edinburgh Crisis Centre can support people aged 16 and over living in the city. You can contact the team 24/7 on 0808 801 0414 and by email on Crisis@EdinburghCrisisCentre.org.uk

You’ll also find the team on Facebook.