I am Lin Woolmington and I would like to share with you some of my experience of clinical depression. Often a difficult subject to talk about but, because I survived, I can and do tell just how devastating the consequences can be of this terrible illness.
About a year after retirement I was diagnosed with clinical depression and on a 16/20 weeks waiting list to be assessed for counselling. In burning pain, gaining irrational fears and losing all pleasure in living, I had a life I did not want. I could not eat, I could not sleep, I could not wait.
In July 2008 I was air lifted from the railway line at my local station and delivered to the Royal London Hospital. My injuries were life threatening and life changing. The skill, knowledge and expertise of the air ambulance crew and the hospital trauma team were paramount in my survival. Despite my amputations and scars I believe I am the luckiest of patients. All my pain was gone; I felt I had my life back.
Five months in hospital gave me an insight into human nature I would otherwise never have experienced. Some patients were inspirational and some in need of inspiration. The hospital staff from many disciplines including surgery, psychiatry and physiotherapy, were there for me every step f the way on my long journey of recovery.
My survival was featured on Channel 5 TV News and my case was presented at the Annual Convention of Plastic Surgical Nurses in Boston, USA 2014.
I was encouraged to tell my story so I became a public speaker and spoke at some amazing venues including local groups as well as universities, a prison and London’s City Hall for International Women’s Day, representing the Katie Piper Foundation, also at Kent Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance events. I became a volunteer for both these charities.
During my recovery I wrote about my experience in a newsletter for a charity called Lets Face It and wrote an update two years later. This made me realize how far I had come on my road to recovery. Feedback from my talks proved that my story was helping people so I turned my experience into my autobiography. When people ask what happened to me, and they often do, I suggest they might like to read my book. Having a smart answer for inquisitive strangers was not the primary reason for writing my story. I hope my book reaches a larger audience and helps more people understand depression, believe a full recovery is possible and life can be even better than before.
The trauma of these events changed my life forever but it has taught me so much and given me opportunities to visit amazing venues and meet so many interesting people. Yes, my life has been enriched by adversity.
Lin’s book is available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Recharged-Lin-Woolmington/dp/1912183455