Dawn, a Spectrum People service user, came into contact with our charity through our Café and Chat project. After struggling with mental ill health, Dawn appreciated the opportunities for friendship, creativity and social interaction provided by the Café and began to document her experiences in poetry. In her own words, Dawn tells her story below.
“My life has gone through so many stages, and each stage offered me a lesson to learn – lots of lessons. I have struggled for so long to deal with my problems; I have reached out and begged for help, but my screams were silent – no-one heard. I thought suicide was the only way out. My family never understood my problems, and I have lived with stigma and taunting due to my mental state. But I fought on and one day found the café at Spectrum People, where I made friends and met people I can talk to and who could help me find different pathways.
“Then I began to write poems. Poetry helps me tell the world what it feels like to be trapped in a cycle of good days and bad days, reflecting the journey of my struggles and my hopes for recovery. One day, my poems will tell the story of how far I have come. It’s not going to be an easy journey, but it’s a journey I want to embark on and one that will lead me to be where I want and that is to help other people who struggle like I have. I want to become a peer mentor and make a difference to people’s lives to be the life I have always yearned for. I want to give something back to thank the people who have been there for me and believed in me.”