Lonely, frightened, and dejected. All credible adjectives to describe my time in an acute mental health hospital. Not as a nurse, however, but as a service user. I was viewed as a cancerous leach, sucking the resources from society. Everybody had given up on me, but worst of all, I had given up on myself. I had hit rock-bottom.
Then came Ben. A mental health nurse who would not let me accept the life that I could have so easily succumbed too. He would set me realistic goals. Goals like making my bed in the morning, brushing my teeth, washing my face. Increasing in complexity and difficulty. Ben gave me what I hadn’t had in years. Hope. Hope for a better future. Hope for a better me.
The impact Ben made on my life was immeasurable. It was clear from that moment what I wanted to do. I want to be like Ben. Surpass my own challenges for the benefit of others. Transform myself from a cancerous leach to an inspiration for those at rock bottom. That’s why I’m going to be a mental health nurse.
At first, I was anxious about university. Statistically, most people who leave higher education do it because they lack support. As a mentally ill, mature student I felt I would just be another statistic. Yet, from day one the University of Derby have accommodated, supported, and encouraged me. If you’re thinking about a rewarding career, if you want something more than an income, think of nursing.