This is a little long winded but please stay tuned, it's worth a read - also, excuse any spelling mistakes!
I’m not doing this to be famous, nor wealthy or even popular and for that reason I am staying anonymous. I really don’t know how to start. I guess I would normally introduce myself but that would go against my first sentence.
Anyway, here it goes. Ever since primary school I have been a little different. I was never interested in football or skate parks which unfortunately left me with a little bit of a short ‘friends’ list. I tried hard to fit in, but it was never going to happen. I was told that in secondary school everything will be different, so I carried on thinking all would change. Long story short – it didn’t.
When I reached year 7, my first year at ‘big school’, I found myself in a similar situation where I couldn’t really find anyone to socialise with. Unfortunately, this carried on and I started to get very anxious as people would stare at me as I walked past, simply because I was on my own. I started to think there was something wrong with my appearance. Spots? My hair? My uniform? I started to get so anxious I would sit in the toilet cubicle during break and lunch times to hide away. Eventually, after about a year of failing to find any friends that stuck around for longer than a few days or that weren’t too embarrassed to be seen with me, I started to become depressed and uncontrollably harmed myself through anger. I was given some time off school and had a mental health assessment. During my time off, I decided I would do something productive and so I started making a small internet radio station. I found a passion for entertainment and later started a small business doing mobile discos. I later returned to school and carried on with my education.
A few years passed, the business I had started had stalled all of the negative situations I had previously been in and my anxiety subsided. I had found something that I loved doing. Business. It’s not the money or the authority that interests me the most but the processes of how businesses work that thrills me. By the time I hit the final year of secondary education, I had six employees, an Under 18s Nightclub and a regular slot presenting a breakfast radio show. Running all of this was busy, stressful and I absolutely loved it.
When I got to year 11, my final year, it sprung upon me that I had exams coming up and with the business growing faster than ever, my family decided that I was to stop it all until after my exams. All of my contracts were passed on and future bookings cancelled, which really annoyed me but I understood that they were doing it for my own good.
After a few weeks I started to realise that all of my friends for the 4 years of running a business had been the people I had employed. It seemed to be like the people who I counted as friends were only there because I paid them. I was pretty much back at square 1. I had been known for my business and being on the radio and all of a sudden that identity was gone.
Unfortunately, within just a few weeks I started to become very depressed and my anxiety had become uncontrollable. After a while of suffering, I attempted to take my own life. I was found by the police whilst sat on a cliff edge. I was taken to A&E in an ambulance and admitted to hospital, pretty much on suicide watch.
When I was discharged, I was prescribed with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, which re-trains your mind without the anxiety and depression. This therapy is proven to be very effective but it does take time. Three weeks after being discharged I attempted suicide once again. In pure desperation, I turned to the Mind charity helpline which I can honestly say, saved my life.
I am currently being treated with the CBT, and am in a much better mental state. I am confident that I will not return to the state I have previously been in.
After thinking about how I can do my bit to repay the Mind charity. I have decided to use my business knowledge to launch a new business that produces smoothies and drinks and 100% of the profits will be donated to Mind UK. I have recently met a gentleman with experience in the industry who is volunteering his time to help kick-start the enterprise.
In the future I hope we make enough profits that we can regularly donate to a number of charities across the UK helping children and adults with mental health issues.
We are raising funds to help with our start-up costs and whatever amount is left after we have launched will be donated directly to Mind UK.
Every person who pledges £20.00 or more will be eligible to receive 2 free bottles of selected smoothies, delivered by post once we have launched.
Personally, I would like to thank every single person who donates to our cause, or have donated to any mental health charity in the past. With a financially struggling National Health Service, mental health services are suffering and charities like Mind help to save lives, just like they saved mine.