Elisha, March 19, 2020

A little understanding  can go a long way.  It’s not about being tidy  and it’s not a choice.  It's complex.

I joined Time to Change movement in July 2019, which turned out to be the best decision of my life. I have been struggling with mental health for so many years and I have been receiving ongoing treatment for my anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Borderline Personality. Disorder (BPD) and depression. By sharing my experience of my diagnosis with other people, I feel that my mental health has been improving, and I feel that I am not the only one in the world who suffers.

I wanted to share my thoughts and experience with people and change the stigma and discrimination that exists against mental health in our everyday lives. 

I strongly believe there are so many ways that we can stop this. At first I was scared of opening up about my mental health, especially suicide and depression. However, with the help of Time to Change and becoming a champion for this amazing movement, I am not ashamed to discuss how I feel or mention that I have an OCD and anxiety. Even though, others may wrongfully judge me for it.

I found it really hard opening up; but the support from understanding friends and family was amazing.

I had to open up because I wanted to stop making excuses that to I cannot see people or go to certain places, it was really difficult. 

 A lot of questions were popping up in my mind. Will get judged? Will people think I am seeking attention? Was this an act?  

This was my fear. This is still my fear. Only certain people understand me and the responses have been positive. I feel that people understand me more than before. I know when I need a time out and my friends and family understand that. That makes a huge difference for me that I feel that I am not alone. 

My OCD is a part of me. Just as much as other traits – like my love for dancing and watching films. A little understanding can go a long way. It’s not about being tidy and it’s not a choice. It's complex.

I have so many intrusive thoughts a lot of compulsions; which until today I am tackling. The stigma around my diagnosis made me feel suicidal, isolated and felt that I could not be heard. After opening up about it, I knew I was not alone and there were others suffering like me.

OCD is an illness that can effect everything inside you; it’s a bully. It controls your mind and tells you to do certain tasks first it controls, the way you sleep, talk, and eat and how you dress.  This is how my BPD entered my life. One day I am extremely happy and then next I am sad. It effects everything, it’s like living two lives. 

There was a point where I considered taking my own life. I was alone and it was late at night. However, I took a step back and I thought, what will my family go through if I did not come home that night?  How will they cope if I lost my life? Will this cause more deaths?  That night, I was vulnerable, very low and my brain kept on telling me do it. But my heart said no.

By opening up to the right people and the amazing support services out there, I've managed to get help. I want people to know not to judge or assume quickly, we don’t know what other people going through. Be kind always, give them love. Life is short and so precious please be nice.

If you know anyone who may be suffering inside, please reach out. Ask how they are, and ask them twice to give them that reassurance. 

The more we share our stories, the more the world will be a better place for understanding and helping each other.

I also work on my own project called My Powerful Mind. This focuses on to raising awareness about anxiety and suicide at train stations, which aims to gives a help passengers who may be struggling to feel safe and supported. During one of our events, many passengers came to the stall and wanted to know more about mental health. A lot of passengers opened up about their own experiences, and they felt relieved that they were heard by us Time to Change Champions. By sharing our own experiences, they felt supported. 

I am very passionate and excited about this project; I am hoping this will enable me and all of you to stand out in bringing transformation into the world.

You can follow me for new ideas, emotional and practical support and shared experiences on Instagram @my_powerful_mind

Share your story

Too many people are made to feel ashamed. By sharing your story, you can help spread knowledge and perspective about mental illness that could change the way people think about it.