When it comes to assisting people with their journey to recovery, saying I am passionate is an understatement. In all avenues of my life, I strive to increase awareness, understanding and insight into mental illness and reduce stigma.
My name is Nicci Wall and I have been involved in Mental Health Advocacy, providing insight, building awareness and reducing stigma since early 2002. I am a Mental Health Lived Experience Speaker, Facilitator, Peer Educator, Trainer, Independent Peer Support , Peer Advocate and Counsellor; holding Diploma’s in Mental Health, Counselling and Alcohol & Other Drugs and a Cert IV in Training & Education.
I was diagnosed with Bipolar in November 2001, 21 years after my first (diagnosed) suicidal depression. As with many people with a mental illness, I was diagnosed and sent away with a script for medication, but not provided any information or explanation on my illness.
So, I went about educating myself through Dr Google and reading many, many books. However, the best education I received was from my Bipolar diagnosed peers on the Australian Bipolar Website Support Group “FyrenIyce“ http://members.iinet.net.au/~fractal1/list-hi.htm
Because of the high level of learning I experienced through sharing and reading peer stories, I started collecting stories of personal experiences with mental illness, collating them into a living manuscript called “Glimpses”. Glimpses now has in excess of 70 personal stories and it continues to grow as I receive new submissions. Later, following many, many requests to submit poetry, I commenced collecting poems by people with a mental illness and their carers, collating them into a living collection called “Minds Unleashed”; which now has over 400 pages of poetry. You can read individual stories/poetry on this site or download the pdf complete collections.
Because I felt isolated, confused and frustrated, particularly as there were no supports in the region I was residing in at the time, I established and facilitated my first Bipolar support group in late 2002, which ran successfully and was well attended for 7 years. When I moved to Geelong https://www.visitgeelongbellarine.com.au I established and facilitated MASKS Bipolar Support Group and most recently, in November 2016 commenced co-facilitating the Geelong Bipolar Support Group under the umbrella of Bipolar Life
On average it takes someone diagnosed with Bipolar, 8 years to achieve the right medication combination. As with most, I trialled a multitude of medications and was fortunate that it only took me 5 years to find the right mix. Since then my symptoms have been more manageable, however this illness still affects me in some way every day. I continue to have breakthrough episodes, but with the close monitoring by my family, particularly my extremely supportive husband, and a strict treatment regime, life is significantly better.
I sincerely hope you gain something positive from visiting my website and go on to share the site address with friends, family, co-workers, etc. I would love to hear your feedback and suggestions on the site; this can be done by sending me a message through the contacts page.
Thank you for visiting This Is My Reality, I hope you return soon.
Artwork by: Paul D Robertson
My vision is to provide an extensive cross-section of information on accessing support, shared lived experiences and items of interest to my peers diagnosed with a mental illness, their family, friends and the general public.
Through my services and this website, it is my desire to increase awareness and understanding of mental illness, whilst reducing stigma.