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My story begins when I was 14, that is when my mental health issues arose.

I was a happy, smart, motivated girl and became someone very different.

My world became dark, I lost who I was, and I fell into a mental state that was

anything but healthy. This came and went, still does today.


My Nan was hit by a car and killed in Drysdale 8 years ago. Not long after, my

parents separated and my Dad came out as being gay.


These events sparked the beginning of a journey that has been difficult,

exhausting, and left me living in a mindset it felt never let me reach

my full potential, or be who I felt I truly was.


I left school at the end of year 10 and went on to full time work. I was in a

relationship that was not a healthy one, but broke up after a year.

I became pregnant at 16, and miscarried. I lost my second pregnancy at 18 to

a different partner, but fell pregnant very soon after, which resulted in my now

4 year old little boy. His Dad and I separated when he was 1, and I have been a

single parent for the last 3 years.


During his pregnancy I joined a young mothers group, which ignited my passion

for women, birth and families. It was very clear to me that these were the people

I needed to work with.


I completed my Doula training but realised I needed to be doing more, so I

applied to Deakin. My application was successful and I entered into the

Bachelor of Nursing, with hopes to complete post-graduate studies  in mental

health and midwifery, and work with women who are pregnant and post

birth who have mental health issues.


At the beginning of 2013, possibly because of anti depressants I was prescribed,

the impending start of my degree, and my age, I started to go manic. For

3 months I was trapped in a fast forward, hyperactive, severely unstable environment. I made very bad parenting choices, didn't make my family a priority, and embarked on a very downward spiral which I was awoken from when I found out I was pregnant for a fourth time. This pregnancy I chose to not continue with as it did not come out of anything healthy.


I began very heavy medication but went manic not long after I came out of my first episode. I don't remember this much at all and it didn't last long. I became case managed and very heavily medicated. I lived for a year in a severe depression. Almost everyday I wanted to kill myself.

I had some great times, connected with great people and passed all of my first year units at uni, but it was not ever easy.


I became pregnant again in December 2013. This baby was my lucky baby, my miracle child maybe.

Every thing fell into place after I found out I was pregnant with him.


For almost a year now I have been in a 'perfect' mental state -  my mind is clear, I am set in what I want in my life and where I am going. I am not the best parent but I do the best I can. Tobi is my whole world and now Jaxx is too.


Every single day I struggle with my mental health, am always aware that I can be pushed over the edge, can fall down the rabbit hole into madness or into a dark world with no light. I do the best I can and I feel I am on the right path.


This is just a part of my story, not all the details, only scratching the surface but it is what has led me to this amazing project. I have motivation for life and want to bring about change, I will never stop wanting to change peoples lives for the better.


These parts of who I am has allowed me to view the world with no judgement, have empathy for all others, and see people as they are and accept them as exactly that. I have understanding and motivation to ensure I make it okay to not be okay.


I hope by sharing a part of my story I can help to reduce the stigmas on a lot of issues here, can inspire some women to speak up and make sure at least one person knows they are not ever alone!


Lets make it 'okay to not be okay' and accept that we have illness everywhere that we can not see but it is there and it needs to be accepted.


Love always,

Maddie xx


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