Humans of Scotland

Linda’s story – self managing mental health and recovery

"I’ve got really good friends...I’m enjoying life, my life is so good!”

This story is about: Long Term ConditionsAddictionMental healthSelf management

“At school I was a chatty wee thing but I had no confidence in myself. When I was 11 I picked up alcohol, then glue and hash. I had a miscarriage at 16 and the alcohol and drug use got worse. I felt I was a failure. I moved away and thought everything would change but it got worse. When I was pregnant with my second son I felt I couldn’t cope. My son was born early and after that I was sectioned.

My marriage was difficult. My mental health got worse and eventually I did get divorced. I ended up going to detox off alcohol but there was no support after it and everything just went back to the same again. Later I went for more treatment and I came out I stayed off drugs and alcohol for over a year and then I relapsed. I had time on and off drugs but when my mum died I picked up alcohol. It was like that on and off for ages, it was just horrible and I ended up feeling suicidal.

Everything was broken, my body was broken down. I just needed to say yes to all the help. Every day I was just getting through the day not using drugs or alcohol, I went to groups, I went to mindfulness, I saw a psychologist. I did everything I could. I was determined.

I started voluntary peer supporting at the treatment centre and I thought ‘this is what I’m meant to be doing with my life’, I love helping others. Then I volunteered at Health in Mind and went on the mental health peer work course and now I have a qualification. My kids are so chuffed!

I’ve got really good friends and I’ve not used drugs or alcohol for two years. We’re having afternoon tea to celebrate, it’s remarkable. I started college this week to do an HNC in counselling and think how can the wee lassie who left school with nothing be going to college? I’m enjoying life, my life is so good!”