* This post has been written by our Secretary. *
Hi, I’m Amber! AYL’s newest team member and secretary, which is a new, challenging, and exciting adventure for me. I am particularly enjoying learning how both the company and website operate behind the scenes, and will soon be learning to publish weekly blog posts - just like the one you are reading now. Most of all, I have enjoyed working alongside a team of people that continually support people living with disabilities - people like my brother!
Although I don’t have a disability myself, I have a younger brother who has Global Development Delay, Hypermobility, and Arnold Chiari Syndrome. Seeing him in everyday situations struggling to understand or communicate, and eventually end up crying, throwing toys to the floor, and often hurting himself in the process - allowed me to understand how difficult it is to feel ok one minute, then feel overwhelmed and unable to control your feelings the next. I also have a small insight into the endless challenges people with disabilities face, such as accessing relevant services and attending endless hospital appointments.
My mental health wasn’t the best when I was younger, as I was one of 10 siblings and our Dad would drink every night, making sure we were out the way and in bed by 6pm. This was extremely hard for me to go through every single night, plus I never understood why he didn’t want to sit and chat or spend time together like other families. He also favoured certain siblings which were equally frustrating and upsetting for me to deal with, although it must have been even harder for my younger siblings to try and comprehend what was going on. Eventually, my Mam left my Dad and went to a safe house for 6 months - I genuinely felt on top of the world for the first time. That was until my life crumbled back down and she went back, meaning my newfound positive outlook and sense of normalcy vanished in an instant.
Fast forward a few years and I gradually began to pick myself up and eventually made it to where I am now. Living in my own place, with a job I enjoy and my beloved dog by my side. When I’m not working, I love seeing my siblings, looking after my pets, and trying new things. So, for anyone who needs to hear this, remember your mental health really does matter!
I’m hoping to share more about my mental health journey in the future, so stay tuned! In the meantime, if you have any questions relating to my experiences, please get in touch via the links below!
Thanks For Reading - Amber