“It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.”Erma Bombeck
This is a short intro about me (you can call me Caz) and if you wish to read more — The bigger picture — you can do so here. Further down, you’ll find links to My Journey through a psychotic depression.
Read of my Struggles and How I Faced Them
I overcame child sexual abuse, domestic violence, losing both my physical and mental health, together with my career, and some friends along the way. At times, it felt like I was clinging on by my fingernails, desperate and alone — I hated the world and everyone in it.
I was a Mental Health Nurse and then a Ward Manager for many years before I was diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder (Transverse Myelitis), which sadly culminated in my early medical retirement at the ripe old age of fifty.
I’m a single and very proud mum to two amazing grown-up sons. The eldest is a Neuromuscular Research Scientist in the States and my youngest is now a Physiotherapist.
I’d been a Personnel Office and Human resources manager for many years before I took the plunge and went back to studying; something I’d been thinking about for ages. However, while I knew I wanted a better education than my poor ‘o’ level grades, I wasn’t sure what to study and whether I was smart enough.
While working part time, I was able to study all the various forms of massage, which I seemed to be good at (all the tutors said they could feel my aura, eh?). Anyhow, I passed all my exams, practical and written, with distinction.
That proved to me that I could study and learn. I’d previously been told by various teachers who, while prodding roughly at my shoulders, that I was thick, stupid etc, so I never thought of myself as clever.
I was about to be made redundant for a second time and I was over the moon — it gave me the kick up the backside I needed to look at full-time study options.
It was during this time and many months after my relationship with the boys’ dad ended, I had my own ‘break down‘. And, let me tell you, that’s exactly what it felt like; both physically and mentally, I was broken.
So, during my lengthy recovery, I applied to train as a Mental Health Nurse. After three long years of study, I worked successfully as a Mental Health Nurse in various settings before becoming a Ward Manager.
If anyone’s considering a change of direction or wondering what to study — seriously, mental health nursing is the best job in the world. There’s never a dull day and you won’t know what’s going to happen from one minute to the next.
Unfortunately, due to my disability and ongoing mental health problems I am no longer able to work in the job I loved and even after nine years, I still miss it. I often reflect on some of the most amazing and inspiring patients, remembering some of their journeys and the difficult changes they made on their road to recovery. I reminisce about the good times I had with some fabulous colleagues. Tho’ there are some who — I could have taken their heads off their shoulders at times.
In my blog, I’ll be writing about my nursing practice, telling secrets about my days on the wards and in various mental health setting — together with my parallel life experiences, my mental illness, wellness and recovery.
I’m extremely passionate about raising mental health awareness and fighting the stigma that comes with it. I hope that mental health students, qualified nurses and anyone who’s experienced, or thinks they might be experiencing mental illness will be able to take something positive from my blog.