Sharing our stories

Claire Forkes writes.

I was compelled to write after reading the articles by Kyle Kelleher and Annie Hickox (October issue). They really sparked something in me. I am a student on a conversion course, with hopes of pursuing a doctorate in the future, after 15 years in mental health nursing and healthcare management. Despite my professional exposure to the topics covered by Hickox and Kelleher, I have never felt able to disclose my status as a person with ‘lived experience’. I reflected on this a lot after reading these articles and I believe that it wasn’t fear holding me back, as is often assumed by professionals. For me, it was a deep sense of unworthiness.

I think this may be similar for others in the caring professions – when you are surrounded daily by people who are in pain or suffer, who have been severely impacted by their experiences, there is almost a sense that you don’t deserve support or help because others have it so much worse. There is even a sense that things can’t have been that bad; look at you now, you have a good job, a decent income, a family, and your health. Perhaps this is a cultural problem as well? In any case, I am now intent on finding a way to share my stories, because I see that there may be value in them.

Claire Forkes

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