6 months ago · Andy
The following was submitted by one of our service users, who has asked to remain anonymous.
I’ve been asked to write a little something for the Arch Care website, something that I am very happy to do since they have given me my life back.
Since my adulthood I’ve had to deal with the condition of bi-polar, formerly known as manic depression, something which has wrecked large parts of my life throughout my 20s.
Though having obtained an English Lit degree from the University of Aberstywyth when I came out of it to return back to life in Weston with my parents I struggled to cope.
Before I went off to Uni I had won first prize for a one-act drama I had written in an arts competition held at the Blakehay Theatre, something that I did more of when I was at Aber and was particularly successful at. But when I returned to their actors company I was told that they had lost their funding due to arts cuts and in thinking of trying to further my writing I was struggling to know were to turn.
Things broke down between me and my parents and I was put into accommodation with a housing company called Curo, which I didn’t like much as I felt very isolated.
I spent years with Curo until I was evicted by them and spent a terrible couple of months in hospitals and temporary accommodation in Bristol. But when I went back to hospital some people from Arch Care said they could take me on in their new place in Clevedon.
When I visited the place I couldn’t believe it. An actual house! With a garden! And no CCTV! I moved in and soon got a book case, a telly, a typewriter and a comfortable chair from the Changing Lives charity shop across the road and soon I was settling in with the place and living with the others people in the house in a way I couldn’t have done before. I was really happy that everything had worked out.
Things kept on working out, soon after I moved in I was offered a involvee job at the hospital to facilitate creative writing, I self-published a long poem called The First Man In Space, which I’ve sold a few copies of, sent off a play to a London theatre, done a short teacher training course, been volunteering with the Theatre Shop and seeing lots of plays, read twenty books, and now I’ve been offered another job at an art gallery running a course on how to write about art.
This success has been largely due to the comfortable space I’ve been offered as well as the help and support I’ve been given by the live-in staff. It’s been transformational. And I’ve stayed well. It’s an understatement to say that this has been one of the best years of my whole adult life and I’ve partly Archcare to thanks for it.
Now I am about to view a place in Weston and I now have the confidence to tackle living on my own and continue my writing career to take me into more and more interesting places in the future. I feel I have a better handle on my illness thanks to mood diaries and mindfulness as well as medication and feeling more stable within myself.
What a result!
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