Member Success Stories
“If it was not forACCI, I don’t knowwhere I’d be today.”
The work we do has a deep and lasting impact on our Service Members lives thanks to our incredible team and supporters. Learn about what we do through eyes of our Service Members.
Angela from Wolverhampton shares her story on how she used her creative talents and ACCI’s holistic support to aid her on her mental wellbeing recovery journey.
Service member, Angela started her journey with ACCI in June 1999 and shares her story to inspire and provide hope for others.
Interview with Angela
Q1. When you were diagnosed how did you feel?
I was diagnosed with bipolar at the age of 29. When I had my first mental breakdown, I remember thinking, “well, that’s it, I know my life is over now.”
Q2. When did you realise you needed support?
At my worst, I wasn’t sleeping, my thoughts were racing, I was beginning to lose touch with
reality, I was becoming very paranoid and spending excessive amounts of money.
Q3. Where did it all begin?
I was in full-time employment and struggling at work because I was being bullied and experiencing racism at work for around a year and half. But I didn’t realise that I was becoming ill as a result of the bullying because I’ve never suffered from mental health before.
Q4. ACCI’s Holistic Support
I always remember the first meeting I had with Alicia. I was very ill at the time, but I was allowed to come out of hospital to come to ACCI. I always remember Alicia saying to me, “there’s life after breakdown.”
Since 1999, ACCI has helped me recover and when I’ve had relapses the ACCI would always come and visit me in hospital.
In 2001, I became part of a women’s writing group through the ACCI. As part of the group, I was asked to write and talk about my own personal mental health experiences, and I wrote an article called ‘When I Returned To Me.’ I presented it at the Jubilee Christian Church on World Mental Health Day. The positive reception I received from the audience and the pastor taught me that my words have power, which I never realised before.
Q5. Talking Therapy
After my breakdown, it took 10 years to get therapy through the NHS. During therapy I realised that I had post-traumatic stress disorder because of the bullying I had experienced at work. I’m now currently paying for private therapy to get myself as well as I can be.
Q6. What are some of the self-help tools you use?
My creativity has really helped. For the last 22 years the songs I write have been a form of
therapy. I attended a song writing boot camp at Bath University. This helped me to believe that my song writing was a way for me to go forward and it’s something I’ve done for the last 20 years. Leading to my EP that I released on the 7th May 2021.
Q7. What advice would you give to others?
I do believe that therapy is helpful. Obviously, the first point of call should be their GP and trying to access the NHS. If you have good friends and family you should share what you are going through with them, you might be surprised at how people can help. Really if it wasn’t for the ACCI, I don’t know where I’d be today, and I can’t thank them enough.
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