A childhood of mental abuse, injustice, horrendous betrayal, and domestic violence led to my abuse of drugs and alcohol, self-harm and suicide attempts. I used these as a form of self-medication and to escape from a mind of nightmares.
Sometimes I survive on a thread. During my struggle I have lost myself. My personal pride in myself and my home, my organisational skills, joys of gardening, my animals and creativity. All of me and who I was.
I began hearing voices in 2013. They had been lying, dormant, for years, until I fell victim to the abuse from mental health, drug and alcohol “professionals” during my (self imposed) 4 months at a rehabilitation facility.
As a child I sought the comfort of imaginary friends. I believe this capability has also set me up to experience hallucinations as a adult. Most of my voices are negative, but two of them are my friends and protectors. They are with me right now.
Trauma: means wound, to be traumatised is to be wounded.
We are the Wounded Warriors. We are Warriors.
Some of the tools that give me my strength are…
My Support Network
I am a very blessed person, as I have a loving, supportive husband and adult son. I have found a group outside of my beautiful little family who I feel I can finally trust. My psychiatrist, general practitioner, mentors from JOC Wellness & Recovery and my Hearing Voices group in Mandurah, all very dear and beautiful people. I have learned the power of “NO”, after decades of burning out because of catering to the demands of others. Coping with feelings of guilt when using “No” takes practice, be patient with yourself. My support network has helped me immensely in this regard.
We Have a Right to Be
“I am a child of this universe, no less than the trees and the stars; I have a right to be here.” – Desiderata.
Every one of us has a right to be here in this world, and whether we know it or not we are important. Without us, there would be less understanding of mental wellness, and “Hearing Voices”. We are an integral part of the wellbeing of future voice hearers and all that entails. We have a right to experience happiness, be who we are, develop out strengths, to love and to be loved, to be supported in taking challenges, to be supported when we fail so that we can try again. Sometimes I believe that we have our burden only because we are the ones who have the strength to carry it.
The Child Within
At times, I suffer from horror memories, self-doubt, guilt and self-loathing. I cope by using a positive form of disassociation. I take my hurting out of myself and I become a loving, nurturing mother who is comforting a broken child. I do what all loving mums do… dry the tears, blow on the painful cuts, cuddle, comfort, and remind her that it’s okay to make mistakes. I tell my broken child that she is wonderful, beautiful, clever and unique.
I was fortunate enough to undertake a 12-month course called DBT (dialectic behaviour therapy) for people with borderline personality disorder. One of the hardest lessons we covered was finding proof for all the self-beliefs we had. I struggled with it as I found lots of proof for my negative behaviours, and very little for my positive ones. I shared my problem with my team, who showed me a different way of looking at it. Sometimes we need help from others in remembering what we have done, what we can do, and the person they see.
JOC Wellness & Recovery services are for individuals living with mental illness who require support in relation to community living, education, employment, and their wellbeing.
Entry to the service is initiated by referral. The referral form is to be completed by a GP or Mental Health Professional.
Meditation is the guided practice of quiet sitting in a comfortable up right position with attention to slowing down breathing, relaxing and release of the body tension. Calming the mind helps greater clarity to emerge and encourages self-awareness. Meditation is a great tool to develop physical and mental wellbeing. It is an excellent holistic approach to managing stress and anxiety.
In order to have a healthy mind it is imperative to have a healthy body. It is vital to enmesh the two in order to function as well as possible. During this time there is a dedicated Personal Trainer available to participants.
There can be many benefits to those who write regularly as they share their thoughts with a piece of paper. One of the biggest benefits is that it brings closure,
an appreciation of the little things and begins to close down our negative judgements of self.
JOC is currently funded entirely by the Mental Health Commission and by the generosity of grants from Lotterywest. Unfortunately, programs that we offer are limited by the funding we receive.
Donations will be used to support or expand existing programs, and develop new initiatives for our members. All programs delivered by JOC aim to improve the mental health, social wellbeing and overall quality of life of adults living with a diagnosed mental illness.
We respectfully acknowledge that we work on Aboriginal land and pay our respects to community members and elders, past and present.
Individuals pictured are models and are used for illustrative purposes only.
JOC Shenton Park
Suite 4/315 Railway Road
Ph: +61 08 9381 7727
Unit 1/20 Mercer Lane,
Ph: +61 08 9301 1227
Email : email@example.com