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12 November 2019

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11/12/19 #SameHere Hero: Amelia Martin

Today’s #SameHere🤙Hero is clearly a better “selfie-taker” than I am: Amelia w the blog: @anotetomyteenageself

 

When I dreamed of this platform, Amelia was the type of submission I dreamed about – someone who lived overseas, read the story of others, decided to write on her own, & share a very common story of challenge.

 

She opens up about the stress of moving, challenges of finding new friends, sudden loss of loved ones, ailments of family members – & how she eventually learned to manage it all. An incredibly well-written piece, please help us welcome Amelia to the Heroes:

 

“I had a beautiful childhood. I grew up close to my parents, & grandparents & was blessed to have them just down the road.

 

Come my 10th birthday, things began to change. We moved the following week to Northamptonshire, albeit only half an hour down the road, my life changed entirely.

 

New house, new school, new friends. Or lack thereof. Despite being a confident talker & making my best efforts to make friends, I was firmly rejected from the already close knit friendships formed in the tiny year group of not even 30 people.

 

My first major life trauma occurred when my Nan got diagnosed with lung cancer. Diagnosed in October, & passing in February, I didn’t have much time to wrap my head around how cancer worked & how just like that…I would never see my Nan again. Barely having time to grieve, the next trauma came along when my Dad was rushed to hospital in the middle of the night. I spent the summer between year 6 & 7 visiting the hospital every morning, & back again for dinner. Eventually they established my Dad had suffered a very rare spinal stroke, & would have to relearn walking, & various other previously easy tasks. The next few years become a bit of a blur.

 

A mixture between teenage angst, & genuine stress about my Dad’s health & my own home life meant day to day became difficult. In & out of a pit of sadness, hormones, boys & friendship problems, it was a constant struggle. My anxiety was through the roof. I constantly expected bad things to happen, because as far as I knew, they did happen, without explanation. I was depressed, didn’t want to engage in social activities, or even talk to my family. I fell into a cycle of coming home from school (if I went in) & going straight to bed.

 

In light of my childhood trauma, I saw support workers at school, a once a week counsellor outside of school, but none of it proved particularly useful. When I reached Year 11, & life became real, with real exams that would contribute to my real future, I decided it was time to reach out, & improve my mental health for good. I called my Mum, & asked to meet for coffee. I told her I was at the lowest I’d been, & if I didn’t get help, & quick, I’d fail my exams & my life would fall apart. It was from that moment. We went to the GP, had a referral to CAMHS & the decision was made to have Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

 

Undergoing CBT had a massive impact on my thoughts. I became a lot more aware of the thinking traps I would constantly fall into, & was given the tools to stop them. I improved my day to day mood by being encouraged to become active, & schedule ‘fun’ activities into my week.

 

I decided to blog about my #SameHere story on my instagram (at the name Eric referenced above). So far, the reaction has been incredibly positive. I’ve received an abundance of positive messages expressing gratitude for putting my story out there, allowing other young students to relate to what I was struggling with.”

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