Man standing on train station platform with rucksack on back

"Relationships have been the only things that have given meaning to my life"

“What makes me most happy is travelling and meeting different people.  I seem to make friends more easily when I am abroad.  I hope to travel to Slovenia this summer to meet a woman with whom I fell in love last year, but I will need to save money, which is difficult on benefits and a long-distance relationship is difficult.

As a teenager, I had to stay in the Adolescent Unit of Stratheden Hospital in Fife and was kept there for two and a half years.  The longer I stayed there, the more and more depressed I became. At the age of 17, I wrote a book about my experiences there, entitled, “The Madhouse of Love”

Due to my education having been disrupted, I have never had a good job, although I was quite clever at school, and have had to survive by doing unskilled jobs, interspersed with periods of unemployment.

In 2006, I returned to Holland, where I had worked before, but things didn’t work out and I ended up almost starving in a tent outside Amsterdam. I managed to get back to Edinburgh, where I became homeless.  I stayed at the Salvation Army Hostel for about nine months before finding a flat from the council in sheltered housing.

My life has been very up and down recently, and, at times, I have been severely depressed.  I am generally very isolated for most of the time and that has led to severe anxiety and depression.  There have been times when I have been nearly suicidal.

Relationships have been the only things that have given meaning to my life, apart from artistic activities and travelling.

If I could achieve anything in life, it would be to be recognised as a writer and a musician.

The only thing that gives me hope for the future is the possibility that I still might be able form a relationship.”


Continue reading stories: