When I was given my first diagnosis (borderline personality disorder), I was halfway through a fulltime diploma of publishing.

I had two pre-school aged sons, was separated from my husband and had hit rock bottom.

Because the course tutor was so supportive, I was able to graduate with the rest of my class.

During that time my diagnosis was changed to cyclothymia (or ‘bipolar light' according to actor and writer Stephen Fry, who shares the diagnosis).

Amazing people on same journey

Along the path of recovery, I met many amazing people on the same journey. One such person fostered me into the mental health sector by introducing me to the consumer movement.

I attended a Like Minds two-day Speak Your Mind Community Voices training and subsequently joined the Wellington Speakers Bureau. It was my first step into a career.

A year or so later, I became the speakers bureau coordinator at Case Consulting. Then I became a project manager in a job that has become my vocation.

Safety induces clarity

From the safety of my current spiritual wellness, I have identified addiction issues. This realisation has unlocked the cause of my suffering. With the support of many good people, including colleagues, life has new meaning from the drudgery I tried many times, in many ways to escape.

An integral part of this progression was the opportunity to work. The work I have found, because of my experience of mental illness, enriches my life every day.

Work is a fundamental, integral part not only of my recovery, but of my life; without it there is only depression.