Today’s date puts a strange feeling in my stomach. A year ago, on 15th February, just as I was sitting down to eat my lunch (I still remember the exact meal, it was homemade pasta arrabiata) the doorbell rang. The kids were away at a play date at the time (thankfully). 3 mental health professionals were at the door, about to section me under the mental health act. I was absolutely speechless. Yes, I hadn’t felt like myself for a few weeks, my mind was racing and I knew something wasn’t right. I was becoming very paranoid and had lost my inhibition. But to be sectioned felt so extreme. I genuinely felt like I was being framed. I went upstairs and ran a bath. But I knew the team would be waiting for me. That night in hospital I wept. I was so confused. I still had access to my phone and discovered the news about Caroline Flack, having lost her life that day. It made me so sad and so angry about the stigma around mental health. A couple of months before I was sectioned, I felt healthy, happy and grounded. Some said I ‘didn’t seem like the type of person you would find in a mental hospital’. The truth is, that’s stigma. We all have a mind and therefore of course ANYONE can end up in a hospital for the mind just like a hospital for a broken bone. In retrospect I needed time to rest and slow down. I was overstimulated as there was SO much going on in my personal, professional and spiritual life. A year later and I’m thankful to have been home for 11 months and back to myself.
I’m still sad about the stigma though and will continue to share openly to encourage others to do the same. I’ve had so many messages from people this year off the back of my straight talking. People afraid to share because of the lack of understanding and empathy around our minds. I look at my eyes in this picture and I can see that I’m fragile. I’m confused. I’m shattered. Look out for those around you. Like me, they might not realise at the time just how much help they need.