Getting to Know You: What makes you get out of bed every day?

My child, and the knowledge that I’m still alive. Truly.

The first point is understandable but the second might sound a bit strange. However it means a hell of a lot to me. I’ve been through a lot of tough times in my life, and as a result, I’ve tried to take my own life more than once. Before you panic, don’t. The last time was over six years ago. Regardless, those experiences have changed me – and every day I wake up grateful that I’m still here.

I’ve suffered from recurrent depression since I was a young teen, and have been diagnosed with a personality disorder. I’ve also had many consultations on whether I’m bipolar or not. I’ve been an inpatient on a mental health ward and an outpatient at countless clinics.

By the time I was fifteen, I’d suffered depression for many years, and then I became the victim of a stalker, which culminated in sexual assualt. I also realised I wasn’t heterosexual, nor was I sure of my gender.

I couldn’t cope. I told no-one.

Instead, I coped by becoming a prolific self-harmer, and eventually I decided I’d had enough. Nothing ever seemed to get better. Bad things kept happening. I fell into a cycle of self-harm, which worsened to the point of suicide attempts.

But I’m still here. I’m alive and kicking. I’ve got my husband, my pup, my friends, my family, and I’m trying to make a difference with my books. I hope that I can find me, somewhere out there, and that young person will find solace in Emmy, Charo, Zecha and Mantos’s story.

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