I could say I was just an ordinary girl, but what, actually, does ordinary mean.  I was definitely the quiet one with, what I have learned recently, nothing much to say until I had to or was forced to. Recently, because I had to, through pressure, stress, abuse and sheer frustration, I shouted out to the whole world (or was it?????), not once, not twice but four times in two months.  I am writing a book, but here is a summary and I hope it is not too long for anyone!

I didn’t really understand why my best friend had to leave me for two weeks in January when he had been away quite a bit the year before, I did respect that he knew what he was doing though and left it at that.

I had no concern really about being on my own, I trusted my neighbours and had places I could go. I had a lot I wanted to do for the community I live in,  and the community of Leith. I was actually content for the first time in ten years.  You see I had resigned from the Mental Health Organisation I was working with, not only for one reason, I could not actually afford to keep going.

I now had the opportunity to do the community work I wanted, pass on my skills and abilities, becoming part of helping future generations in Muirhouse, North Edinburgh and Leith go forwards to become all they can be.  I wanted to and still want to make a contribution in this way towards the future.  I was totally inspired by a study visit to Manheim and Freiburg that showed me what I had always believed was achievable, maybe not in exactly the same way, but that solutions can be achieved.

On the mental health side I have, a Scotland Positive Facebook page and I really want to create something I can leave behind that will encourage positive action, including of course, peer support and a community support network.  I do want to write about the journey of this community and that in Leith, both on the blog and wherever else I can get the word out.  You see that is me now.  Excuse me but I am going to write in Scottish here.  YAE CANNAE EVIR DAE IT ALANE THO, you have to take everyone with you and let them be community champions for themselves, their families, their professional and personal relationships and the whole community at large. I think the motto goes BY THE COMMUNITY, FOR EVERYONE AND ME CAUSE I AM PART OF THE COMMUNITY TOO.

My book is about the whole pilgrimage from January to March 2018 and it is for everyone from the lovely genuine people I know and love, to some terrors who, I hope will get there in the end, to the church community.

This journey has seen me suddenly go from being content, and the key is suddenly, to a humiliated, angry, frustrated, fearful withdrawn human being, who did not know quite where the boundaries were any more.  I believe I have been challenged by communities within the area who I thought knew me and who I found out did not. Professional organisations who have tested me hard. I have gone through uphill battles trying to keep my sanity, putting one foot in front of the other, keeping everything on as right a track as I could through what appears to have been a mind test game by phone and wifi with no real person present that I could at least talk to face to face. I have been tested about my faith and where it came from and felt at times as if I was being interrogated about everything I have ever known or done without knowing why and for what.

I managed to get through, I really don’t know how, except it had a lot to do with God, the Cross, Faith, and upbringing, to carry out most of the meetings and workshops I wanted to do, including going to the doctor to ask for counselling for stress and anxiety and running away several times for a day or two days at a time to get some peace, not realising that my phone was part of the problem.

Everything that happens has a reason and I worked out at least to myself that this pilgrimage and exam I have been put through do have positive conclusions, the first being I am most definitely not mad or demented at the moment and have never been as far as I know.  The second and really most beautiful that I have been blessed by God quite literally, three times. I have faith that the whole community here was blessed at the same time. I believe this came about because of God’s love, grace and faith in me and everyone here.

I have also found out and experienced more of what it is to be human than ever before. I have travelled only a small part of the journey Jesus travelled between Palm Sunday and Easter Day.  I have been hated, judged, laughed at, humiliated mentally a little bit like Jesus was and yesterday thanked our Lord Jesus again for his sacrifice but with more heart felt humbleness and thankfulness than I have ever known before.

I have faith that when you ask you get what you ask for. I asked for peace but I also asked for truth, to be part of the community working together, to connect all cultures, professional people and services in all their diversity, to work together for the future. Perhaps making the communities of Muirhouse, North Edinburgh, Leith and Scotland a catalyst for the rest of the world.

So as I believe has been said it is about the Community, not money, the Community, every Community.  The truth, is the truth is the truth, God help us all, God bless us all and most of all WE ARE ALL IN IT TOGETHER. this is Sandra Marshall sharing Over! and Out!

31 March 2018