When I was first hospitalised, I was confused and did not understand why I was in hospital. I remember being diagnosed with manic depression and later on told I was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. These were just words to me. Over the years I was brought back and forth between home and hospital. Not having a ‘real’ home, depressed and stuck, in a cycle of being in and out of hospitals. I then went from one ‘temporary’ accommodation to another; it seemed totally hopeless, that no one cared apart from my family who would visit me regularly.
When I moved to Summer House, I noticed things started to change for me. I knew from the moment I saw my room that this is something I always wanted…my own space. I felt like this was such an important step as I had never lived in a place like this before. I have to be honest it took a little time to adjust – to learn how to manage my money, my medication and live with others. Apax gave me a chance to change. When they stepped me down to an extra low support flat in Brockley I felt so privileged. Despite being a little uncertain about this step I kept moving forward with the help of my family and support worker.
Eventually, I was supported to access social housing; it was worth the wait, as soon afterwards I was bidding for a one bedroom flat and 2 weeks later on from when I started to bid I had won my bid and the right to my very own flat!
I am happy now, more now than I have ever been – I have been going to college and doing a music production course. I now keep on top of my medication so I stay well. My advice to anyone experiencing mental health issues is to be strong, keep on top of your medication, seek help and get advice. There is a whole community and world of advice for you to access. You can’t just sit and write your life off because of your illness. You got to put in the work , cooperate, work as a team and you’ll find things start working for you.
The road ahead maybe hard at times, confusing and you may feel like you are not heard at times, but keep going. It will be worth it.