April 25, 2014

As a person who has mental health difficulties, I can understand the importance of things in life. matthew The routine of life, the knowledge of how good and bad days affect us (particular people with mental health difficulties) and the way people with mental health issues can be judged. One thing I have learnt most though is who I can truly trust and rely upon. On my journey with mental health, I was very fortunate to have a close family around me - although not all of them understood the condition, the ones that did really tried their best to support me.

At college I met some of my closest friends

College life for me was completely different to school life, I didn’t feel alone or judged. Everyone was treated as an equal and even some of the tutors made you feel better, it was a much better environment. I recall on my first day of college, meeting some ‘wild’ people, they were full of energy and laughing and joking. Something I had forgot how to do! After a few days with these people, I classed them as ‘close’ friends and continued hanging around with them for the rest of the year.

I was included without having to change, it was great!

On the second, third and fourth year at college, I made a tremendous amount of friends. They wanted to listen to my problems, they bothered to include me for being me, and I didn’t have to pretend I was all okay, when actually I wasn’t. I was included without having to change, it was great! I told my friends I had mental health problems at college, most seemed to understand and offer support to me when I felt low in mood, they could often see this as I became very down and anxious. I hated pretending I was well and everything was fine, that would be a lie and hiding from my mental health state. A similar story to this is Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh, many saw him as a ‘depressive, gloomy character’ who most probably wouldn’t want to be around, however Winnie the Pooh and his friends, didn’t leave Eeyore out for being different and as a result, he felt included and involved. This should be the example that all ‘FRIENDS’ have when finding out their friend has mental health. Otherwise are they really friends?

I felt more involved at college, than I ever did before. I didn’t want to give up anymore and my friends kept me involved with almost everything they did. I didn’t have stigma to contend with on a daily basis and it began to feel less of a worry! If I could choose a second family, it unquestionably would be these guys.

My friends mean the world to me

My friends mean the world to me, some I class as family. It can feel like you’re isolated when being told you have a mental health condition. Depression, for me, was the wake-up call I didn’t, at first, want to accept. However, having depression for many years has taught me who my true friends are and the ones that aren’t around today are not really worth worrying about! So friends really are the family we choose, without my friends, I wouldn’t have the motivation to continue pursuing my dreams, nor would I feel involved.

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