My nursing career started almost eight years ago. I worked my way up through the ranks, starting as the baby, an assistant in nursing (AIN) – aged care of course. I went on to complete my diploma and become an Endorsed Enrolled Nurse (EEN), and shortly after, was granted a promotion to become Enrolled Nurse Advanced Practice (ENAP) in acute mental health in the public health system. Approximately 18months after this, I added a bachelor’s degree to my list of achievements and became a Registered Nurse (RN). Currently, I am an RN in the private sector. One of my daily mental struggles now is, do I undertake a post-graduate certificate? Do I complete my Masters’ degree? Orrrr do I do anything? And that right there, is the depression talking.
I was “officially” diagnosed with depression in approximately 2014. At least that’s when I was first commenced on antidepressant medication, sitting in my GP’s office like a little stunned mullet. However, putting my knowledge where my mouth is makes me realise I’ve been struggling with depression since at least 2010.
The purpose of this blog is to share my experiences and my knowledge with the world about being a mental health nurse, struggling with a mental illness. One of my goals is to help break down the stigma attached to mental illness, to show the world it is ok to talk about it, to ask for help, and that it is possible, and extremely common to be a functioning professional and still struggle with the ability to get out of bed in the morning.
As I end my posts, I vow to leave you with a quote. Whether that is to provoke thought, mindfulness, empowerment or gain a giggle, it is my mission to provide you with a word, a thought, or a sentence that I value.
“You are not bipolar. You have bipolar. Do not define yourself based on your illness.”