Natasha

Mind HK Ambassador

I AM... a mental health advocate.

I AM... an expat.






"The longest day is only 24 hours, the longest hour is only 60 minutes, and the longest minute is only 60 seconds. Choose your time frame and aim for getting through that, and the next one."



Where/what has been important to you in your mental health journey? Why?

London. My mental health recovery officially began there, when I was essentially coerced into receiving treatment — I wanted to make my family and friends feel better rather than help myself.

While I was in treatment, I was given the opportunity to move to Hong Kong, which I took as my sign to restart and reset my life. My last few years in the United Kingdom were small and dark, but after moving, my eyes were opened to how much there is out there to fight for.

The second place is the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade. I first lived in Hung Hom and would go on daily walks along it simply to take in the magnificent skyline — no matter how many times I see it, I’m reminded that I can keep going.


How has mental health affected your day to day life?

Most of the time I think my day-to-day life is pretty "normal" — I can get up, shower, focus on work, talk to friends and go out. All while genuinely enjoying myself.

Other times — thankfully these have become much fewer and further in between, since I've learnt to trust myself in talking openly about my thoughts and feelings — the prospect of getting out of bed, or the sofa, is too much. I don't want to put on my happy face and pretend everything is fine and that I'm not wracked with anxiety or that everyone is watching and judging me. However, I have learnt to take the bad times in my stride. I know that they will pass, and they do not define me or what I can do. Knowing this helps me pick myself up the next day and try again.


How would you describe yourself? What are your labels?

A Giver - All I try to do is help those who need it, especially animals. When in the United Kingdom, I volunteered for a wildlife charity as well as several dog rescue organisations. I do the same here in Hong Kong. This does mean that I have a tendency to feel disappointed in myself when I don't have more than 24 hours in a day to volunteer, or a big enough home to adopt all the dogs and cats that need love!

Enthusiastic - If I'm tasked with doing something, you can be guaranteed I will do it 120% and deliver it with sparkles and bows way earlier than needed!

Living with Anorexia Nervosa - Probably the least interesting thing about me is my phobic aversion to pasta.

Long distance daughter and sister - Living on the other side of the world to my family, and not being able to go visit them since 2019, has been much harder than expected. It's made me learn to appreciate my family so much more than I used to!


What would you tell someone who is going through something similar to what you have experienced?

You will be okay! It doesn't feel like it now, and it may not feel like it tomorrow, but just keep holding out that little longer and I promise things will get better. I always tell myself the longest day is only 24 hours, the longest hour is only 60 minutes, and the longest minute is only 60 seconds. Choose your time frame and aim for getting through that, and the next one.

Reach out to those you love and trust. They will be more understanding than you think, and all they will want to do is help you!


What are you most proud of?

The fact I am still here and, despite not being perfect. I'm thriving!

 

Learn more about eating disorders:

https://www.mind.org.hk/mental-health-a-to-z/eating-disorders/about-eating-problems/

Seeking help in Hong Kong:

https://www.mind.org.hk/getting-help/

List of mental health services provided by local NGOs:

https://www.mind.org.hk/community-directory/

Find help now:

https://www.mind.org.hk/find-help-now/