Member Stories

Andy Birch

This is my story……

I spent my childhood growing up in England and my first thirteen years of life was one of the happiest times that I can remember.  Things were ripped apart however when my mother came down with schizophrenia just as I was starting my teens.  Her illness lasted for about two years until she took her own life. I still remember that day, coming home from school and trying to wake up someone who had taken a fatal dose of barbiturates.  It’s one of those events that you replay in your memory over and over.  We didn’t have a phone at that time so it took a couple of hours before a doctor came over and pronounced her dead.  My immediate reaction was one of relief.  Relief that there would be no more screaming that had been so common for the previous two years.  Screaming that was loud enough to attract neighbourhood kids to the bottom of our garden.

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