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Sarah's story

27.09.2017 1688 XX

"I started getting depression after my daughter was born. I didn’t have much family around me and I felt isolated all the time. The stress became too much and I just couldn’t cope. Health workers came and gave me some support but none of my family really helped or understood. I couldn’t look after her properly, and I began to take everything out on my partner too.

Social services became involved because I was beginning to neglect her. I didn’t want my daughter taken into care so I decided I would leave instead. That meant she could stay in our flat with my ex-partner.

I’ve suffered with depression most of my life. I didn’t have a good childhood. I was abused when I was little and that still weighs really heavily on me. Me and my sister had to go and live with my nan when we were 10 until we were 19 because of it. My mum has her own mental health issues and is still quite ill, so I can’t live with her. She’s got loads of problems of her own.

I always struggled with school too. I’ve got dyslexia and I find it hard to do basic things like budget and just understand normal things, and the school wasn't that supportive.

When I left my daughter I stayed in a Premier Inn for two weeks. Then I heard about the hostel I’m in now and called them up to see if they had any room. They called me back a few days later when something became available.

I hope one day I’ll be strong enough to look after my daughter full time. I want to be the right mum for her. I go and visit her every Tuesday and Thursday at the children’s centre and get lots of kisses and cuddles from her. I just love her. She’s the best thing that’s happened to me. I have a plan with social services now but I just know I couldn’t cope looking after her full-time. I wish I wasn’t like that, but I’m glad she’s in her dad’s care. 

My ex-partner does understand now. I put him through hell and we weren’t on talking terms for quite a while, but we are now for the baby’s sake.

I've got my own room at the hostel but the atmosphere is not always good. If people have had drink or drugs down them they can start kicking off and I'm sick of that. Sometimes boredom is the hardest part. With my depression and anxiety I just get so down and fed up being on my own all the time. I want to get my own place and get into work. I used to do care work looking after old people and I went to college to do hairdressing but I found them really hard.

I do have some support with my mental health. I used to have a mental health advocate who would help me, and now I have a key worker in the hostel and see a therapist. They help me with a lot of things. If I didn’t have that I know I’d really struggle."

Sarah, Liverpool

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