As part of our focus on mental health we have invited some mental health campaigners to discuss their experiences with us, in the hope that it will help others.
Today, Carney Bonner tells us about his struggle with cyber-bullying and the impact that it had on his mental health.
Carney’s story is truly inspiring.
Hello, My name is Carney Bonner.
This is my story about me and the relationship I have / had with my mental health. Many people often see mental health and person and two different issues. However, my story taught me about myself and the damage a mental illness can do to you if you do not stand up and talk about it.
At the age of 14 I found myself a victim to cyber bullying. A victim I never thought I would become. I started to receive messages telling me to kill myself and that I was nothing. Messages like theses which at first I thought was a joke, something that wouldn’t affect me. But I was wrong. I started to believe what was being said about me and I believed that I should listen to my bullies. At the age of 14 you should be out playing with your friends and enjoying yourself as a young teenager with the world ahead of you. However, that wasn’t the case for me. I was 14 and already looking for a way out of life. Looking for my fire exit and it was then when I found my ire exit.
I slipped into a state of depression and started to self-harm. I tried to take my own life and started to spend more time in hospital than I did in the classroom. Many at first said I was doing it for attention but the truth was, I didn’t know how to cope. I didn’t know what was going on and I didn’t know why my head was telling me to kill myself. It was a stage where I felt truly alone and didn’t know how to talk to anyone. I spent my mornings and night sitting in a hospital bed not wanting to talk or even open my eyes. That became my new relationship with my mind. My mental illness people tried to help me. They tried to make me see the bright when all I could see around me was dark. This chapter of my life is a chapter that could have ended sooner but I didn’t know how to talk to anyone. I felt isolated, alone and felt like I wouldn’t make it out.
This lasted a year before I started to see that I needed to change I needed to find a way out and talk to people. I also talk about this part of my journey as learning how to walk again. The reason for this is because you will always have to have a healthy relationship with yourself and mental state. Many people will often try and shy away and not want to talk about mental health but they are wrong.
As you read this post, these words, these feelings you are learning a part about me. The person that was too worried to talk about mental health, to scared. But I had to learn that talking is the best healer the hard way. I lost time fighting my battle and nearly lost my life. I was told I would be luck to make it to the age of 15. Being told that you would be lucky to make it to your next birthday was something I never thought would happen to me. But it did happen to me. I became one of many that would face this battle. I picked to try and do it alone, try and make sure I didn’t talk about it. That was my biggest mistake.
Life isn’t meant to be easy, its made up of challenges and battles you have to fight each day. Having a mental health illness isn’t the end. Mental health illnesses are real illnesses that need the right help and support. Standing up and talking about it is what is important. In a world that is changing and new challenges you have to make you know where we can turn to when we need help. Don’t let your mental illness take over and push you into the dark room. Let it show you that you need help and talk about it. It doesn’t matter if you are male or female. It doesn’t matter about your age or race. The thing that does matter is YOU.
- You the person who is dragging yourself through the day
- You the person who is crying inside but smiling on the outside
- You the person that has to keep on going on as if everything ok
- You the person who is cutting yourself because you don’t know how to cope
- You the person who is reading this trying to understand
Mental health illness aren’t easy to fight. But fighting them together makes that battle easier.
I am now at the age of 23, an age I was never meant to get to but I made it. I have campaigned with local and national charities around mental health awareness. I have made different documentaries both in the UK and overseas to show people that having mental health issues doesn’t mean the end. I urge you if you are struggling please reach out, make that first step in your recovery
For more information on me and my work please visit – www.carneybonner.co.uk
I would like to dedicate this post to the young people that have lost their battle to mental health issues and are no longer here with us today. By working together we can make sure their lives were not lost in vain.