Living with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

I’ve been immersed in the world of music since childhood, finding peace in lyrics and melodies – a form of self-regulation I didn’t fully grasp at the time.

However, my journey has been intertwined with the challenges of C-PTSD (Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), which has profoundly shaped my artistic path. Now, I find myself at a unique intersection as I share my new EP with the world.

My journey in the music industry has reflected my personal growth and the myriad experiences that have shaped me. Each song I’ve written serves as a snapshot of my life, capturing moments of triumph and turmoil, both before and after my healing journey began. “77“, from my debut EP Attrition (2018) symbolises my decision to break free from the cycle of abuse and trauma, bravely embarking on a new path despite the uncertainties ahead.

“The songs on my new EP “RECKLESS” mirror a period where I operated on autopilot, despite appearing independent, I was grappling with the invisible weight of C-PTSD, a reality that fuelled impulsive decisions in love, business, and personal life.”

Being an artist with C-PTSD has posed its own set of challenges, often leaving me to navigate a complex terrain with little guidance. Forgiving myself for the mistakes made along the way has been a constant struggle, but it’s a journey toward resilience and self-compassion that I continue to embrace.

Amidst the chaos, pivotal moments have prompted me to raise my voice and speak out about mental health. It’s a conviction born from the belief that our collective struggles bind us together, reminding us that we’re never truly alone. Through my battles with anxiety, eating disorders, and substance abuse, I’ve come to understand the power of vulnerability and the importance of destigmatising conversations around mental health. This fuels my advocacy, driving me to share my story in the hopes of offering solace and inspiration to others facing similar challenges. I sensed a deeper calling that led me towards healing.

This journey was messy and nonlinear, marked by moments of profound introspection and self-discovery. As I unearthed layers of trauma, I found myself imbued with a heightened sense of empathy, born from the pain I had endured. It was this empathy that catalysed my growth from musician to community activist.

From speaking engagements at Amnesty International’s 20th Writes for Rights Anniversary to addressing high schools and organisations supporting survivors of domestic abuse, I’m drawn to platforms where I can amplify voices and advocate for change.

This expansion from artist to activist felt organic, a testament to the interconnectedness of our shared human experience and the inherent power of community. While our struggles may be unique, our capacity for resilience and connection is universal.

To my fellow artists and music industry professionals navigating the tumultuous waters of mental health challenges, remember this: authenticity is your greatest asset. Regardless of external resources or support systems, the journey towards healing begins within. Embrace the broken parts of yourself with compassion, for it is from this place of acceptance that true transformation can occur.

I’ve learned firsthand the power of vulnerability and the importance of seeking support when needed. Let’s shatter the stigma surrounding mental health together, fostering open and honest conversations that pave the way for healing and growth. You are not alone.

On my journey, I’ve come to understand the impact of mental health awareness, and I am still growing. I’m grateful to Support Act for providing a platform to share my story, and I urge readers to foster a supportive community of your choosing where compassion and empathy thrive so that you can make the impact that you wish.

Looking for more? Check out the Support Act guide to trauma here.