I was first diagnosed with depression when I was 13. This stemmed from childhood trauma and for the last 20 years, more mental health issues have reared their head as a result, from anxiety to PTSD and borderline personality disorder. I first contacted Penumbra in 2017 after a nervous breakdown and I haven’t looked back since.
Working closely with Natalie, a Recovery Practitioner, has changed my life. From our first one-to-one session together, I knew there was just something about her, she was a breath of fresh air! Any scepticism or nerves I had were quickly gone, it was like meeting up with my friend every week for a catch-up and in that period of my life, it was just what I needed and I’m so grateful to Natalie and to Penumbra.
I felt for the first time in a long time, excited and hopeful for the future
I recall fondly, during one of our last sessions together, Natalie showing me my I.ROC chart and just experiencing this overwhelming sense of pride and achievement. I hadn’t realised just how hard I’d worked to get to that point, but there it was in my chart. I felt for the first time in a long time, excited and hopeful for the future.
I’ve just gotten through my first winter period when I wasn’t depressed. I know there’s still a long journey ahead but I’m confident I can overcome any obstacle life throws at me. People often say to me, “we’re all in the same boat”, but it’s not true. I believe everyone is on a different boat, going down the same river. That’s what makes Penumbra special, they tailor their service to meet the unique needs of the person.
Life today is drama free and quiet. I’m focused and looking forward. The support I have received from Penumbra has inspired me in my own career aspirations and I would love to take my lived experience with mental ill health and support young people dealing with the same. I want to open respite centres so young people have a place of sanctuary and support; I know at 13 I would have benefited from somewhere like that. To know I wasn’t alone and there were other kids like me.