Mindful Fund Raising
Maria Robertson, a CA graduate apprentice at Cunningham Grant in Cupar, has shaved her hair to raise funds for Support in Mind Scotland. We are pleased to be able to share Maria’s story …
Maria has struggled with her mental health for 6 years “and counting“. Over this time, she says that things got progressively worse to the point where she sought therapy and medication – due to “thoughts and urges I shouldn’t have been having“.
So why fund raise now? Maria explains: “This is something that started off as passive thoughts on the odd occasion – until today, I just thought to myself ‘why have I not done this yet’ … after all, it is exhausting thinking about the ‘what if’ of it all, there are too many possibilities that I just don’t have the energy to contemplate. So I have decided to rip the band aid off, and cross this off my bucket list.”
In support of mental health, and raising awareness, Maria decided to shave her hair in an effort to raise money for Support in Mind Scotland. She has shared her story through her Just Giving page – and we are repeating it here to help support Maria and others.
As Maria takes time to point out: “Please be mindful when reading, it may be upsetting.”
When I was 13, I started believing there was something fundamentally wrong with me, I didn’t recognise the person staring back at me in the mirror – almost disconnected. Nothing, not even my own skin, seemed real.
When I was 14, I harmed myself for the first time. It made me feel better, it was something I could control (or I thought I could) when other things became overwhelming.
When I was 15, I wrote my first suicide note. I did not want to be here anymore, and from a very young age I never saw life past 18. Before I turned 18 I imagined myself just disappearing – I didn’t know how it was going to happen, I just knew it would.
When I was 16, I was forced into counselling by a concerned person in my life at the time. I soon abandoned it due to not being ready and overwhelmed with pressure – needless to say that person is not around anymore.
When I was 17, I made my own decision to go to therapy and look for the answer to my question – what is wrong with me? It’s not as simple as just googling aspects of your experience with mental health, everyone’s experience is different – no two are the same. Google will tell you it’s OCD, or BPD, or another, I realised the only way to get the answer I needed was by arranging an appointment and hunting it down myself.
When I was 18, I opened up to friends, family and colleagues about how I was feeling and many conversations were had about support and reassurance.
Now I am 19. I am still struggling, but I’m still here. Despite having planned my own suicide out on several occasions, I am still fighting. I had thought long and hard about several different methods, but each time I came so close to taking my final breath, something stopped me. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I’m thankful it’s there.
Maria says these are not easy things to admit. She did contemplate deleting it and just posting a simple fundraising link with very little about her reasons. But as she explains: “The only way to raise true awareness is by admitting to your own journey and talking about the experience.”
Maria adds: “Shaving your head is usually something that is done in support of MacMillan cancer, to represent the loss of hair through chemotherapy. Instead I am shaving my head for mental health to symbolise a mental as well as physical weight being lifted off my shoulders. While raising money for MacMillan is a great thing to do, mental health is more personal to me.”
She has beaten her target – raising £605.00 to date – although she is keeping her page open if anyone wishes to show their support after the event. To do so, simply click on the following and it will take you to Maria’s page …
More on the charity …
The charity Maria chose to support is Support in Mind Scotland. This was due to the amazing stories she has heard from people who look to them for support and advice. Their goal is to ensure that no one has to face their struggle with mental health alone, they help improve the quality of life for everyone affected by it – including family and friends.
SiMS support people of all ages in several ways: they work to find and encourage opportunities in people’s lives, provide assistance in building confidence and social skills as well as helping people to reconnect with their family and community.
Further assistance is provided around practical issues such as physical wellness, guidance is given regarding exercise and healthy-eating. No matter the reason a person makes contact with this charity, no matter the support they are looking for, they are treated with patience and respect by all team members.
Thanks for reading.