I am a married woman in my early fifties. If you ask me to describe myself, I’d say I’m hopeful – an optimist – content, and caring. I love music, I love playing the fiddle at trad sessions. That’s my noisy hobby. My quiet hobby is reading. I’m not really into TV, but if I do watch, I like police or law stuff, like The Good Wife or Luther. I work in an office, and I enjoy my job – I’m good at it!

When I was 28 years old, I was diagnosed with schizophrenia. It was the worst shock I’ve ever had. I thought life was over, but with a lot of help from my husband and two very, very good friends, I realised eventually that life was just different, not over.

I never tell anyone I live with schizophrenia. I’ve seen what’s been written about it in tabloids, and I know from what I at first thought myself that people think schizophrenia means monster. I am not a monster. I am a devoted wife, a caring mother, a loyal friend, a music lover, a reader, and a damn good administrator. I am Mary. I am not schizophrenia, it’s just one part of my life.

"Mary"'s Interests