“I came from a loving family – but I always felt like an outsider. No one in my family had any experience of mental illness – so I always felt different. Isolated. My parents took me to see paediatricians, psychologists, occupational therapists, everyone – you name it,” explains Leah.
“I couldn’t control my violent rages and massive physical outbursts. Those close to me would say, ‘Why can’t you just STOP?’” At just 15, Leah sought solace in cannabis.
“It was an escape, a way to calm myself down. But it quickly escalated into addiction. One drug wasn’t enough! I went onto the next thing. Then the next thing. All combined with a massive cocktail of prescription drugs. My mental health and violent rages were worse than ever. I stopped attending school regularly and was self-harming.”
Soon, Leah was couch surfing, saying that at this time she “chose drugs over her family”. Her turning point came at age 19, when she experienced trauma whilst sleeping rough surrounded by strangers.