Sam | Papakura

I live with stress every day. I have to take anxiety pills.

The last time I was stressed, when my parents divorced, some family issues around there, and then because my mum and dad live in two different places, but they still live in New Zealand.

I have a mother who I’ve kind of had to bring up, because she had, I had grandparents that didn’t know that she had needs, so they didn’t get help, and growing up my mum had issues. So that was borne upon me, and as mum was growing up she did stupid things she shouldn’t have done. I’ve seen things I shouldn’t have seen.

So, for me growing up, I struggled, and not having any siblings, having a dad who liked to drink and be on the committee and do stuff with clubs and whatever, mum who was a bit coocoo who needed help. Her parents, my grandparents are like, no she’s normal, she doesn’t need all this help. So it was quite hard for me. I feel like I was the one bringing her up, because I felt like I knew more than her, but I don’t know if that was correct or, or right.

So, due to all that, it brought stress, and especially when I’ve got health-wise, a heart condition, that doesn’t help. I’m worried about weight, everything else, you know, stress around me, and especially when you have no siblings to help. So, I’ve been trying for so many years like, to get help. So, well what they do is they help you to become independent, because you don’t have your parents around.

So for me, I can be sitting in a car, and I might, sometimes I’ll get a sore stomach. I always want to go to the toilet, all these things that will happen to me, and then I feel like all these different things. Sometimes I feel like someone’s talking to me. So, if I don’t do something, it’s like someone’s etching in the back of my mind telling me, do that, do that, you’re not a better person, you know you’re not worth something. I’m the type of person who doesn’t like encouraging myself, so that doesn’t really help. When someone gives it, I’m like, no I don’t need, no I’m not like that.

So, at the moment I have my lovely support worker over there, Kate, and what we were doing before was doing the license course. So, I do things like that, that can help you in the world to move around so I can try and overcome my anxieties. I know if I just sit round and do nothing you, you’re always constantly thinking about it. That’s why I’ve got this book at home. It’s about anxiety. It’s how you read it, and how the person tells you how to cope with all these techniques.

Life, growing up for me, I’ve got a heart condition, and I’ve also got learning difficulties, I spent my lifetime in Starship hospital. The things you’re supposed to learn in primary, I missed it. When I finally got to intermediate because I didn’t need the hospital anymore, and I was on my own two feet, they thought my heart could cope, it was a shell-shock. I didn’t know all that stuff they were teaching. So I had to have teacher aides, but they don’t, they don’t give it to you all the time, because the annoying thing is, they’ve got issue with how many other students. They don’t have enough going around school, so I found school very, I’ll explain it this way. I’ll sound rude here.

Sorry, I don’t know any other way to put it, if I offend anyone out here, but if you’ve got Down’s Syndrome, and then you’ve got what I would classify as, normal or brainy, and then I’m the person who’s in between, but they don’t have schools for in between people, or classes.

My hope for the future, if I can get normal employment, because I have to look at it as, I’m capable of doing as much as I can. I have to try and push, push my ability aside. It’s so hard because all the anxieties come up over it. I would love to be working as a support worker, but I have no idea if that will happen or not. So this morning I went to MIT to see if I can get it, so they could help me with employment stuff, because that will help you to get out to do work. That will help me with the basics, and all them who do work in employment, so I can build, so I can dream. You know?  

I look like a bubbly person, but I try not to show my true colours, because I don’t want it to put on other people, because it’s not fair. It’s not their problem. It’s mine. I just get on with it. I try. People say I’m a fighter because I was supposed to die at birth, because of my heart condition, but I didn’t.”



Check out these resources from the Mental Health Foundation:  Stress and how to Handle it and the Five ways to Wellbeing.  Need to talk to someone? Free text or call 1737 anytime.  


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