Amber’s story

Amber Doughty - Lotus Photography UK

10th April 2022

Hi I’m Amber and I’m a Young Person’s Peer. I love reading, roller derby and giraffes….oh and I’m a bit obsessed with drinking bubble tea!

I’ve struggled with mental health my entire life – I don’t remember a time before, or who I even was, so all I have is the after and the journey I’ve gone on to discover who I am outside of my mental health diagnoses.

I was well known to services as a young person and transitioning to adult services was particularly difficult. I didn’t feel supported in adult services, especially not after coming from CAMHS. There was a pretty poignant moment when I had to choose whether the life I was living was the life I wanted, and if it wasn’t what was I going to do about it.

Sometimes I think that my recovery was my biggest act of rebellion – against my own brain, maybe, but I guess my inner stubborn self might have her uses after all!

Recovery to me is an ongoing journey, rather than a destination – it’s hard, especially as you don’t get a day off from it, for me there isn’t a point where I can let up because I know that if I do I will go backwards.

It’s the best choice I’ve ever made though, and it’s a choice that I keep making every day. There have been times where I have fallen back, and that’s ok – it’s all part of living and learning, and most importantly recovery.

If I could go back and talk to little Amber, there are many things I would say to her.

I’d tell her that it’s ok to fall sometimes, as long as you don’t stay on the floor forever. You can take your time, there’s no rush, but you do have to get up.

I’d tell her that although life itself is linear, the journey through it is not. You have time, so take it and try not to worry that your friends are moving forward and you’re not.

Mostly, I’d just stand in front of her – physically well, mentally a work in progress and I’d say, ‘’We survived because you are stronger than you think. We’re doing a job we love and we are living a life we thought was impossible’’.


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