Inside Out

Not all wounds are visible

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It is estimated that 1 in 6 people experience a common Mental Health problem every week.


Let us come together as a community, share our stories and end the stigma attached to Mental Health.


If you want to share your story, please email us at info@mimapparel.co.uk, letting us know whether you would like us to share your name or remain anonymous.



YOU ARE NOT A NOBODY

I see your eyes weep and

You couldn't even look at us

Shared your painful history

Look at what those murderers done

Blood stained hands and

Blood stained minds

How can a man still be so warm?

You almost died in a freezer

12 hours straight

Is that how they treat ya?

You didnt want to fight so

You left for Turkey

And these reoccurring smugglers see you as

Nothing but money

And it doesn't stop there

Those snipers wanted to see you lifeless

Death behind you

Death in your face

That's what you said right?

It's a disgrace that you had to

Carry crying babies on your breaking shoulders

Walking, running to the next borders

Greece

Austria

Germany

France

Calais Jungle

God, give us the weight of all your struggles

Because my heart bleeds

Watching you

And all you wanted was for

Life to get better

Instead you're waiting at a line for 3 hours

For 6 minute showers

And I've lost count of how many times

You've been at deaths door

Because the government has money for

Nuclear wars

But too greedy and selfish

To be helping the poor

And it makes me sick that

They don't care about your ID

"Who am I really? I am nobody"

And that is how you have felt

Rubbing salt in the wounds of

Your mental health

And I'm not sure how I can help

To make this better

Apart from tell you that

We will fight for you

Fight for your rights

Fight for your life

And you may be a refugee

But,

You are not a

Nobody

- Pink Bindi


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YOU ARE IMPORTANT, ALWAYS

On Monday 12th January 2015, I was diagnosed with severe depression. I have been battling depression for over two years and I am continuing to fight it at times. I must admit, that 2015 was the most difficult year that I have ever had to go through in my life, but I have made it through to 2016 and 2017 which is saying something. I did it. I made it through, despite it being so hard for me and those around me, including family and friends.

I am going to share the ups and downs of my mental illness story but I'm hoping that both sides can be beneficial to all of you, whether you are suffering from a mental illness, whether you think you are or whether you know someone who is fighting through it.

I am going to be completely open and truthful about my experience and I do not intend to upset, hurt or trigger anybody by this. If you feel as though this will make you uncomfortable then I strongly suggest that you don't read because the last thing I'd want to do is to hurt anybody.

Throughout the last year, I have had up to 3 suicide attempts, with one being quite major. There have been quite a few times within the last year where I've had to go to hospital because of my suicidal thoughts or actions. I am still going through this illness and I am aware that it's a part of me now which I accept. Although I am confident enough to speak out about it, this does not mean those thoughts and feelings are not there anymore because I do have my moments. I have experienced many times of self harm, which I won't go into right now. I have questioned my life and existence countless amount of times, I've questioned myself from head to toe repeatedly within the last year and it has changed my life completely. Thoughts of worthlessness, uselessness and not being good enough for anybody or anything have been on my mind even way before my diagnosis.

There were days where I didn't see the point in getting out of bed, there were days where I didn't want to see anyone or talk to anybody, there were days that I stopped eating, there were nights that I didn't go to sleep at all, there were times where the most littlest things in any other person's eyes were easy to do, it was the most difficult thing for me in the world. Getting up was effort, brushing my teeth was effort, changing my clothes was effort, writing was effort, talking was effort and life was just too much effort which I didn't care in trying for.

I cannot expect anybody to understand what I am explaining unless you have been through it yourself but I am trying to speak out for people to become aware of how serious mental health problems can be. Mental illness should be seen and treated like any other illness such as cancer or diabetes.

I have had a huge amount of support since my diagnosis, from family, friends, school and my therapist. I believe that, without any of them I probably wouldn't have been here today. I am forever grateful those people even if it doesn't seem like it, so thank you to you all. It has been a difficult journey for them all as well as for me but I hope for this journey to continue in a positive way.

I started to see a therapist at a mental health clinic by the end of January 2015 - where my GP referred me to. I saw that therapist every week until the beginning of year 11 which was when I had been referred to a different therapist. I was discharged from CAMHS October 2016 and then went onto counselling at YouthTalk for a month: I was also put on anti depressants from December 2015. I felt as though the therapy was not working as much as I needed it to, so balancing it with the medication was thought to be a better route for me. Ever since the medication, I have seen a positive change in my life even though I do have my episodes every now and then, it's important to know how the medication works and I must accept the way it works.

I can definitely say that I have changed massively within the last two years from where I started as having depression. However, I am not completely better, I am still battling depression but with the help of others, the medication and my own hope, hopefully I can get through this - in my opinion I think I can almost say that I have fully recovered. Now I am not ashamed to speak out and say I have depression because it is honestly nothing to be ashamed of. If anything, I think that having this experience has made me see things so differently and my views on life and people have changed in a good way.

For any of you who feels down, or thinks that something is wrong then I hope my story has made you believe that you can get through this. I am living proof of surviving through this illness and it is such a great feeling to be fighting it and winning.

I am certain that I have missed out certain parts of my story and some of it may have not made sense but if there are any questions about my experience or anything that you think will benefit you or someone you know then please ask.

The purpose of me sharing my story is not to seek attention or anything like that. It is simply in the hope that I can help those who are scared of speaking out or even to let people see mental health in a different light. If this post has been beneficial to you in any way, please let me know and share this to your social media sites because I feel as though this is so so important. Help get the nation talking about mental illness and let's stop the discrimination against it.

You are not alone and there is hope to get through whatever you are going through. Have faith in yourself.

You are important, don't let anybody tell you otherwise.

- Sanz


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MY JOURNEY

My name is Connor Windmill and I'm a 22 year old facing mental health struggles whilst chasing my dreams. I've been battling, but surviving, with anxiety, depression, OCD and body dysmorphic disorder for 5 years now.

My OCD is called dermatillomania which is an excoriation disorder that causes me to excessively pick at blemishes on my skin, some of which did not even exist until my habit took control. The picking is a self defence mechanism which gives me a reason to avoid anything that was causing me anxiety and also relieves it in the process. The damage I cause to my face is enough to shatter my self esteem and confidence, I then spiral into a state of self loathing, hide away from the world until I'm healed but then the cycle continues.

In all honesty my problems have not got any easier, if anything they seem to develop with time but thankfully so do I. My mental health has affected my social skills, work ethic, self esteem, leisure activities and even friend and family relationships. But ultimately the more I suffer the more I'm able to come back stronger.

By no means is my fight near its end but I'm able to accept my mental health struggles are there, avoid beating myself up for feeling the way I do and be open enough to share my journey in hope that I learn to be comfortable with who I am and that others get inspired along the way.

I have come this far and I'm not giving up.

- Connor


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YOU FIRST, ALWAYS.

My history with mental health starts at a very young age, undocumented, undiagnosed. By the age of 11 I had already experienced suicidal thoughts, attempts and self harmed.

Upon the loss of my mother i developed anxiety and depression which required counselling until 18. I’m turning 25 and I’ve had many ups and downs on this mental health journey and sometimes I have great days and a lot of the time I don’t.

I’m constantly fatigued and constantly overthinking I’ve experienced medication and decided that for me, it’s not the best. I will say that it’s all a learning process.

You have to do what’s best for you and try to seek a support system that will be there on your worst days.

Mental health affects us all differently even if you have the same condition. So, you cannot compare your struggles and your treatments, we’re on a wildly complicated spectrum.

You first. Always.

- K


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GREEN SLIP.

Before you all read this, I just want to put a disclaimer out. The way I have a dealt with my mental health may not work for you, it’s like lipstick, one shade of red won’t look good on everyone, and that’s why there’s a million shades of red out there. This is my shade, and I’m gonna wear this shade and rock it the way I want to.

Mental health.

I’m a healthy girl, I believe I am, and now I believe mental health isn’t an “unhealthy” thing. I struggled to accept it, for a long time, eight years to be accurate; “I’m going to give you some tablets, take them for a few weeks, book another appointment and we can review your progress”. I walked out the surgery nervously with a green slip and I carried that slip with me everywhere I went for seven years. I never took it to the pharmacy to exchange it for the pills that would have supposedly made me “mentally healthy” again. I never accepted what my doctor typed up on his computer screen, I ignored my issue for years because I wasn’t ready. I didn’t accept this problem because I didn’t understand it.

After a few years went by, and my “health” deteriorated and I began to really struggle, my physical health started to deteriorate too, I was six and a half stones - I had to do something, and I had to do something fast. I worked on my lifestyle, I worked on my diet, I worked on my physique, all three things helped me, a lot, I was still fighting with myself, every single day, but there was progress which for me meant the world.

Once I felt a lot happier about myself, I worked up the courage and binned the green slip, and my journeys to the gym became my saviour.

Another year went by, without the green slip in my bag, and I promise you I was doing well but it all caught up with me, like a big fat truck transporting eight years’ worth of emotions driving at 100mph. It hit me like a thunderstorm, and I had no idea why, I don’t even know what triggered it, I just felt like I was still ignoring my problems and thus neglecting myself. I really didn’t know what to do.

I started to open up, little by little, to a few friends, and they all suggested the same thing: therapy. I wasn’t ready and so, again, I ignored myself.

It was January 2016 and I felt like a walking volcano, but I was unsure of what was going to erupt, so I decided to book an appointment. My doctor asked me why I decided to come in and I burst into tears. That whole twenty minutes I looked at the floor, I couldn’t look him in the eyes, to me, he represented acceptance and I was still struggling to accept my issue of having depression.

There, I said it.
Depression. Anxiety. Stress.

Again, he printed another green slip, but with the slip he gave me a white card with a telephone number - option two. Therapy. I had to self-refer, he gave me a number and I called it the following day and had to wait for a call back.

Before I made the call, my friend called me - straight after my appointment and asked me how it went. I am to this day, so grateful because I was struggling to accept my problem, and in a way, my friend accepting my problem before I did allowed me to accept it too.

Long story short, I booked an appointment and saw a lovely lady once a week. I was still going to the gym, I still am going to the gym, it’s my safe haven, and it’s helped me a lot, but so has talking openly about feeling the way I do. I’ve learned to accept that I have mental health “problems”, it took me a long time, but I did it, and I feel like it was an accomplishment.

By the way, the second green slip I was given, I also carried that with me, for another year, and decided to bin that too. For me, accepting and talking is my medicine and I am happy with that.

-Coco #1


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TALK.

I've been battling with depression since I was 14-15. It's been something that's been a constant in my life since my grandfather died.

I started getting anxiety going to anywhere new and even sometimes coming home, it played a big part of my life that I tried to ignore by telling myself "I'm fine". When I was at sixth form it got worse, I started sleeping less, smoking more and doing whatever I could to make me feel better little did I know at the time that it was the most damaging thing to me.

At university I hid my depression by being the loudest I could be, always trying to smile and joke and use this as a way to make myself better, but it never worked. Whenever I was alone I was thinking, when I was thinking I was hurting, when I was hurting I was anxious, I would plan situations that would never happen and get myself very worked up to the point where I'd be sick.

This is when I discovered alcohol and drugs, I could disguise any pain or emotion by drinking....eventually this led to me becoming an alcoholic, I would keep telling myself I'm not but when you end up getting drunk every night or even in the day it's a sign you're not happy with yourself because you need that to carry on.

Throughout my life I've lost people I cared about, one year in particular (2014 to be precise) I lost 11 important people in 12months. This is something I could not deal with, I tried talking to people but nothing happened so I bottled it up and used my pain to help people just like I'd been doing all my life. Christmas Day 2014 my moods got the best of me and I decided to take my life. I remember leaving my home and telling my mother I loved her and I was going to "Get a bottle of coke" I never came back that night. I bought 3-4 tubs of paracetamol and took a stash of painkillers from home. I took all these pills and just sat by my GP thinking how glad I was to lose my life.

25minutes hit and I couldn't bare leaving my mother like this. I rung an emergency services and told them what I had done. They came immediately and I was sent to Accident and Emergency to get the drugs flushed out my system. I was told had I waited longer I would have been dead.

They eventually rung my mother and I've never seen anyone so hurt, I blamed myself as it was my fault but when I explained to her what I was going through she broke down even more. I'll never forget that moment but still I felt I was never gonna get back from this.

Coming out of hospital I carried on drinking, even more than I was when I was at uni. 5PM everyday at work meant beer time and beer time led to shots and shots led to coming home at 3am stinking of alcohol. This went on for about 18months, 18months of nothing but drinking everyday so I don't have to deal with what was going on in my head, as well as drugs...I consumed a lot of drugs.

As it was approaching Christmas of 2015 I started feeling what I had felt the year before, I couldn't hide it any longer even if I upped my drink intake and anything else I could get my hands on.

I started going to counseling and that didn't help either. I genuinely felt like I was a lost cause.

Summer 2016 I was out of shape, I found a wrestling school in East London and said to myself "I wanna try this, but I need to do it properly" I stopped drinking and made all my focus towards wrestling.

I'm telling you, nothing has helped me more than that. I started feeling better and happier with myself.

I still battle with my demons, but I feel I can channel myself better. It's difficult to go through this, but so long as there are people willing to listen, even if they can't help. They can listen, the whole part for my depression was that I felt alone, I felt I couldn't talk to people. Even now I have that, there's only a certain few people who know about my attempt on my life.

Talk to people, they can be anyone! If you can't talk to family or friends, talk to strangers. Counselling, phone lines. Anywhere! It's not attention seeking it's helping, if you rant you rant. Get as much of your bad feelings out by shouting, screaming. It does you wonders...well it did me anyway

-Anonymous


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OCD.

There is no normality.

How do you stop cradling your explosive thoughts because of your fear of the aftermath?

How do you rectify a thought that wasn’t committed by you?

How are you supposed to find its cause if all you know is that you don’t want to hear it again?

If normality existed, I’m the furthest away from it. It’s like a romantic love affair really; you’d happily sip the poison from a hand that feeds you because it’s familiar. You like familiar.

- Shums


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UNINVITED.

22 years in, you joined me on my journey - Anxiety, uninvited guest.

You crept in and found a home within the holes life had pierced.

Why you chose to reside here, I questioned. Why this worn out battlefield? Why me?

Silence.

I was no longer a contender in this fight. I had lost myself.

Down the beaten path we stumbled - together, unable to stop.

"Announce your presence you did not, but you cemented the gaps? Welcome here you were not, do you bear no shame?" I asked.

You smiled. "Feel me as pain, do so. Fear me as strange, do so. For shame I do not feel as departed friends are we. You resist, you refuse to see, this path and it's beauty."

"Though your route may have changed, your journey still remains. I am you, you are me. To find what it is you seek, this needs to be."

- Anonymous


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