Thanks for stopping by.
Let me tell you a little about myself.
I'm just an ordinary gal, living in an ordinary town, working an ordinary job. I am however the 1 in 4 - I have a mental illness. My diagnosis is bipolar II but I also live with anxiety and self harm issues as well as mild OCD. Most of this has been with me since my early teens but I have survived into my mid forties; I used to hide my mental illness but now openly share my experiences. Life is easier now that I'm no longer weighed down by secrecy. I have my share of challenges, who doesn't? Over the years my main coping mechanism has been my journaling and poetry - this is what I am offering in my new book - a glimpse into this previously private world.
I was born in the 60's and I live in Portadown, Northern Ireland. I have been with my husband now close to 30 years and, although we were never blessed with kids, I have a wonderfully supportive and loving family. I am really lucky. My work history was rather patchy up until about 10 years ago when I found an administrative post where I could be both comfortable and productive. Since then I have moved into work as a Domiciliary Carer and do a lot of voluntary work with a mental health charity. My life is rewarding and it plays out without much drama, and that's the way I like it. I enjoy film and theatre and good food shared with good friends. My musical taste is eclectic covering everything from gospel and stage musical to opera, 80's and heavy metal - something for every mood. My favourite films are It's a wonderful life, The matrix trilogy and Shawshank redemption. My favourite book is The hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy - a trilogy in five parts. My favourite television is Red Dwarf, Star Trek and Crime dramas.
Sounds pretty normal doesn't it? Well, that's just the point - mental illness affects ordinary people who live ordinary lives. It doesn't discriminate, but sadly some people do - stigma is still a very real problem for those of us with mental illness. I am sharing some of my personal journey with you in the hope that you may better understand the mind of someone touched by madness.
I am a qualified yoga and meditation teacher and relaxation therapist and CBT therapist and use these skills both in workshops, classes and one to one where possible to help others in their journey. I am ASIST trained in suicide first aid and to better help others, and continue to do personal development courses as the opportunity arises.
I've been managing this illness for many years - to learn a little about it and how I deal with it all just click here.