So the co-founders of blink have not just got huge not for profit, business acumen and campaign experience behind them; they also have experience of mental ill health and being stuck on huge waiting lists or refused treatment from the NHS. Blink was born out the frustration and determination to help other people. 17 people a day kill themselves in the UK and Mike, one of the co-founders, was nearly part of that statistic. He talks below about being labelled ’high-functioning’ and the impact that can have.
So I’ve been told by various medical professionals that I’m one of the ‘high-functioning’ ones. High functioning depressive to be precise.
And at first it sounds like a compliment. And I thought it was.
Sure, of course I’m grateful that I can work, and I have got friends and I am achieving things. No doubt about that.
But we are the ones that could be on a knife edge between working full time, socialising, and suicide. Well I am anyway.
When I was at what I call my lowest (defined because I had 4 months off work, hospitalised for a month, voluntary sectioned, and a 9 year relationship breakdown); people at work would tell me ‘you’ll get through this’, ‘you can talk to me any time’, ‘stay strong’. I have some amazing work colleagues and friends who, have 100% helped me get through my darkest days, and I appreciate every single one of them.
But some people still have no idea.
No idea that 18 months on when I ‘seem a lot better’ in their words, that I’m still suicidal.
No idea when they tell me ‘I told you you’d get through it’ , that I haven’t. And I still get suicidal.
No idea....you get the picture.
The thing is I don’t qualify for talking therapy on the NHS and I cannot afford private. And there’s 100,000 in my position. What do we do ?
I hate when people say ‘Don’t let your mental illness define you...’ as they clearly have no experience of having one. Of course I don’t let it define me, and I’m trying to get rid of it. I’m ashamed writing that, but I’m ashamed by having it. And I want it gone.
But after thirty odd years on this planet of it not flaring up, not being suicidal, not being diagnosed with having mental ill health; to this. How can it not define me just a little bit. How can it not be a part of me. Even if I don’t want it to be.
Truth is I’m scared that one day it may be too much. I’m scared that I now have to live with this. Forever. To cope with it. Forever. To identify my triggers and solider on.
Why? Because I’m a highly functioning depressive. But please look out for us too, because tomorrow could be my last
We appreciate every like, every share and every comment we receive. Without you blink wouldn’t be able to exist. But we are also a small not for profit, and if you fancying donating to help provide rapid peer and professional support, when people need it most. It would mean everything to us. It is a cliche but any amount can help make a huge different to people’s lives. Our go fund me page is https://www.gofundme.com/afdgxk-blink-the-mental-health-campaign
thank you from Mike & Nicole (blinks founders)