For Femi It all started in 2006 in Nigeria when he had his first ever manic episode. At that time, no one knew what it was and to make matters worse the hospital he was taken to had no idea of how to deal with patient's mental illness.

My uncle and the neighbours where able to pin me down when I wanted to run onto oncoming vehicle, fortunately I was given an injection that made me sleep for a day or two.

Unfortunately for me I had another manic episode in 2008 and again my uncle was there to stop me from taking my life, this was when my uncle decided to get my father’s family involved in my care because at this time he was beginning to fear for me and he did not want me to come to any harm.

My father’s family did not know what to do and where to start looking for solutions, nevertheless, I got better again and this time I was able to complete my university education at university where I graduated as an educational  administrator.

On arriving in the UK, I started doing all sorts of odd jobs to meet ends meet and to support my wife in paying the house bills; I then became unwell again in 2014 just after my second child’s birthday in December. During this third manic episode I jumped out of our bathroom window (Thank God) we lived on the ground floor of the building. My wife, knowing my history called 999 immediately and the police responded with an ambulance.  I was then  officially diagnosed with bipolar  disorder. Indeed, coming out of the hospital after spending two months there and reflecting carefully about my life and that of my young family, I made a decision to enrol in the university to study mental health nursing so to educate myself and also give back to the society.

My experience as a service user here in the UK made me  ambitious that I had to leave the security guard job and started looking for a job in a mental health hospital where I could  learn more about mental illness and at the same time manage my own illness. Luckily for me, I started working in a mental health hospital after telling them a little bit of my story in the interview I had with them. That was how I become more motivated to wake up every morning, look into a mirror enthused to face the day.

In conclusion, it is never too late to learn or reinvent yourself intellectually and it is possible to live positively well with what on the face of it can be viewed as a debilitating condition.