Finally a new chapter in life!


Life can be awfully hard sometimes and we all handle it differently. This week's woman have been through lots of struggle, but never gives up and although the difficulties, she try to look at things from the bright side. Life can be unfair, and it can be overwhelming, but keep struggling is still the best we can do, and this interview will hopefully be a support to you who are in the middle of a tough time yourself.

Name: Renea Juin

Age: 50

Family: Live with my youngest son

Lives: Gloustershire, Great Britain

Problems or mental illness can of course not be taken care of just by "right thinking", but a positive attitude is always good. How does it help you to have that approach on life?

It's not always easy and something I'm still learning to adapt and some days I feel like I'm drowning or suffocating, but then I know that someone is always going to help me out. There is always support if one needs to have it. Even if it's hard, I got to do it. Some days are of course harder as I suffer from depression. After 23 of domestic violence I was diagnosed with Posttraumatic stress syndrome and Stockholm syndrome. So of course it's hard.

I'm 50 years old and have been through lots of violence and I want some normal life now. I look forward to the little things, it's all I want, just the normal things that we find in the common days, and to be like a complete person. I want my family, friends and my children to see me as the woman who got back up and showed the world she's a lot more than a victim.

Unfortunately last year my dad passed away. That was another blow. But I'm going to fight because going down will let people that hurt me to win and if I can help anyone then something good can come out of the pain. I know that there are many women going through the same thing as I do, that's why I'm telling this even if it's difficult.

You say that sharing our feelings and experiences can be a help for others in their tough situations. How do you mean?

I have had to learn by myself to get back up and carry on. It's a very harsh world we live in and sometimes I have felt that mental health issues are treated like you have the plague. I think the reason is because there's a lot of stigma attached. That's why some people finds it hard to seek help. I also find it hard, but the fear of things breaking me down puts this anger in me to survive and to battle it instead. Because even though you may feel worthless you want to show the world that "yes I'm different but I have rights to a happy life". When one is in that kind of situation, the best thing to do is to speak to others and share the burden.

Myself I never went out and didn't see family or friends during the tough years, so it's going to be hard to find a new path in life. However I will get there and although some may say that people with mental health problems are weak, I can tell that it's not true. We go down sometimes, but then we get back up and try, that's not weak, it's to be strong. Actually we all have hard times and it's the strong people that show it.

As I've got older I was told that so much has happened and you should be used to it. What people saying so don't realize is that you do get used to things, but it's not the same as to stay where you are. It hopefully is making you stronger and stronger and the stronger you get the harder it is to be broken again.

Would you say that it is easier to tackle life when being older?

I wouldn't say that things get easier when one is older, but you learn from experience that even if things sometimes breaks you down, you will survive. So it's still as hard, but one is better to handle things.

We are facing a brand new year, and you have turned 50 and began the "second phase" of life. What do you hope the future will hold for you?

I've made several plans for the new year and hoping to start with several new things. One is to do some volunteer work as I feel that there are a lot that we can do to help others. I'm also hoping to join an art class. Something else that would be fun is to take classes in photography.

Starting with new interests will hopefully bring more positive things in to my life. That will help me to build a better future for myself, but also to get the confidence to have more new experiences further on. I'm looking forward to discover new things in life and also to learn to know new people. But so far, these are my plans and it's not like going out on a big sail or so, but I'm sure it will give me lots of joy.

So after all, I'm looking forward to what will happen this year and further on. Having things and interests to focus on is a great help when life is difficult. We can never give up.