After a turbulent few years, Pauline’s mental health was on the brink of collapse – with her life hanging precariously in the balance.
“I had become so unwell that I found myself making plans to end my life. I was really scared and didn’t want to be in the place I was in. After talking to someone in the emergency psychiatric team, it was decided that I needed to be admitted.”
Pauline spent four days in hospital before being transferred to the Transitional Recovery Service (TRS) house in Robina, a warm and welcoming environment which allowed her to begin the slow journey back to health.
“I went from sleeping in my room all day, to sleeping on the couch, to one day leaving the house and going for a swim with one of the support workers. I was terrified of the crowds and went into a total panic, but I calmed down and ended up enjoying the swim. Over time, with support, I became more willing to engage in life.”
After three weeks in the house, Pauline joined Capstone – a program where former TRS residents continue building healthy habits and routines through participating in social activities and support sessions. The program became a sanctuary for Pauline; a safe space where she could rebuild her confidence and discover her place in the world once more.
“I loved Capstone so much that I never wanted to leave. My support worker pulled me through some really tough times. Yet, I knew that soon enough I would have to say goodbye and move onto the next chapter of my life. Honestly, the thought filled me with anxiety and dread.”
Facing her fears head-on, Pauline stepped forward into the great unknown. It turns out she was more capable and resilient than she gave herself credit for.
“I started a program with Wesley Mission and found part-time work in a lolly shop. Since then, I have completed my Certificate III in Disability Support and started a new career that I absolutely love. I’m looking forward to tackling a Certificate IV in disability or mental health next.”
Pauline has emerged from the storm with no visible scars, but a head full of hard-fought lessons. She’s tapped into the tenacity needed to carry her through future challenges and is keen to share her learnings with others.
“I often visit the weekly Capstone BBQ to share my story and reassure people that life after Capstone is not so bad. While TRS and Capstone provide us with comfort and security when we need it most, there comes a time when we must move on – even though it’s scary.”
With courage, conviction and the right people in your corner, Pauline says all things are possible.
“I never thought I would get to this point. When you’re in a state where you are constantly idealising suicide, it is hard to imagine a future where you have things to look forward to – where you feel hopeful and can find joy in life again. I look at life in a different way now.”