Stay Up Late Ambassador Leanne on mental health
Hope for the future is where I get my strength from
Leanne McAllister is part of Stay Up Late Scotland and a Stay Up Late Ambassador. In this blog she discusses her own experiences with depression and anxiety and where she draws hope.
Hi, my name is Leanne and I am 29 years old. I have been suffering with depression and anxiety for a good number of years now. I was diagnosed with depression when I was 17, and I have been experiencing anxiety ever since I was 20 years old. I believe depression affects different people in different ways, as can anxiety. I think we all can experience mental health difficulties through out our lives.
I have adverse childhood traumatic experiences which has led me to feel a mixture of self hatred and low self worth. However, I have spent a lot of time working on my personal development which helps me to give myself the compassion I need in order to feel love for myself.
Some examples of the work I have been doing over the years are:
One to one work: where I have been committed to exploring painful topics in order to allow me to process events and experiences.
Group Art Therapy
Volunteering: Volunteering helps me to have a sense of purpose in my life and gives me a sense of achievement and gives me a focus which helps me not to ruminate and dwell on everything that has happened to me. I volunteer with a number of activities and groups such as: Get Together and Gig Buddies. I really value my volunteering role I have with Get Together and Gig Buddies and stay up late.
My Go To Place is: my safety plan: Because it reminds me of coping strategies I have developed over the period of time I have been feeling low. People who care about me, my smile book and my drawings.
Whilst suffering from mental health issues can be extremely challenging and upsetting, I feel there is nothing else for it but to carry on, with a sense of hope. Hope for the future is where I get my strength from and I believe there is a new life further down the road, where I will be in a place where I feel more content and able to manage my mental health issues.