Clemmie is 25 years old and is a Private Chef and Mental Health and Addictions Speaker based in London. Clemmie decided to get involved with Student Life so she could spread awareness and help stamp out the stigma on Mental Health and Addictions.
I have battled with a range of Mental Health Illnesses and Addictions from a young age (approx. 10 years old) and struggled to voice my problems. My family thought that I was having a difficult time settling in to school and hormones balancing out, but it went a lot deeper than that. I didn’t know how to cope with these feelings and didn’t feel like anyone believed me when I tried to speak up. It was my boyfriend at the time who helped me to speak up and without him I wouldn’t be where I am now.
When I was in treatment, my therapists heard me and reassured me that what I was feeling was valid. As my self confidence and self acceptance grew I decided I wanted to help other sufferers find their voice and speak out. When I was in treatment, my love of cooking also came back so I now use that as a way of helping and inspiring fellow mental health sufferers and addicts, to use cooking as a healthy coping mechanism rather than turning to self harm, drink or drugs. Cooking has become such an instrumental part of my recovery and helps me to express how I’m feeling and turn negative feelings in to positive creations.
I felt so alone when I was drinking and using, and I would never want anyone to go through that. I was brought up with the ‘stiff-upper-lip’ attitude and that you always had to put on a happy front. I want people to know and believe that it is ok to not be ok. I will forever shout my story from the rooftops for any other sufferer to feel some reassurance that they aren’t alone and that life can get better. If you feel like you are slipping in to addictive behaviours, I would suggest getting advice from a doctor or therapist, and speak out honestly with friends and family. Speak to anyone and everyone that will listen to you. Keep speaking out until you are heard. You are NOT alone.