Steven shares his experiences living with OI, and touches on mental health:
“My name is Steven and I have lived in Balloch Loch Lomond all my life. I was 36 the last time I Checked! I have been making cards for many years and enjoy chatting to people. I enjoy watching TV and going to the cinema. I also happen to have Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) or Brittle Bones. I use a powered wheelchair as I am unable to walk.
I have felt down a lot over the years since I was about 12 when there were a few changes, like high school and wanting more independence. I’d been to speak to people over the years but felt better about myself after 2012 when I attended a weekend away for young people, ran by The BBS called VOICE. I then signed up to an extras agency and I was in the Scottish Soap River City. I also began to meet more people with OI and keep in contact threw Facebook.
Volunteering at my local Citizens Advice Bureau for many years was great although at times I was unsure about what else I wanted to do. In 2016 I stopped going as I didn’t feel like doing much. I started staying at home a lot and I struggled to feel content even in my house, at times I wanted to go out but felt unable to face it. I was getting support from carers to take me out but a lot of the time I didn’t feel like it, so we’d just stay in.
In late 2016 I contacted a local Mental Health Organisation in my area called Stepping Stones. At first, I wasn’t sure but knew something needed to change. I joined one of their Local Social groups which is great. I am now learning how to paint at an Art Class, I have learned more about card making as I attend a card making club. I go to Tai Chi, a Folk Club and returned to the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Since attending more things, I have made a few friends and my life is a bit more fun and interesting. I have been getting on better with my Mum & Dad and other family who have always tried to support me.
Keeping Positive is not always easy but I try. If you ever feel low or need help always remember It’s good to talk as the BT Adverts used to say.”