Sally: my new occupational therapist
I had a bit of a turn of luck really because I got a new worker called Sally and she was an occupational therapist. The great thing about Sally was she never ever stopped at my diagnosis. She looked beyond it for the person.
There is also a massive feeling of oppression in psychiatric services. Its not always what workers create, but when you are in services your confidence and self esteem is at rock bottom, and you see everyone else as above you. You have to address that power balance. The way Sally did it for me was she just told me about herself - her own stresses and traumas. Suddenly I thought, this woman does understand. For me to let a woman in my life, who was not going to harm me, was a very very big turning point. She also said – ‘why do you isolate yourself on a Friday?’ So we discussed why I did this. She said ‘you know when you are sick, and you isolate yourself, your voices get worse’. Now I know there is red tape in services. But she made a great judgment call and its one of the reasons I am sat here today. She said, ‘you know where I live’, and I did know where Sally lived. She said ‘don't be on your own on a Friday, come and see me at home if you want’. Now I only ever went twice. I just had a glass of wine with her and her partner and then I left. I wouldn’t abuse it, but just knowing she was there, made a massive difference.