Life deposited me in Iran aged 12. The culture was oppressive – becoming a
woman self-diminishing. School was an ordeal: English speaking, I stumbled through classes in Farsi, unable to concentrate. For a while, relief came from playing tom-boy, climbing high into the Alborz mountains above Tehran.
At 19 I ran away from home, abandoning friends and enraging family. My luggage was light: a few Smashing Pumpkins CDs, hiking boots and a one-way ticket to the UK.
Arriving in the UK alone with just a $100 dollar bill, without contacts, boldness (naivety) and intuition helped me survive to a point – but I realised I struggled with basic life skills and depended on caffeine fuelled adrenalin rushes to function. I went on a frenzy of acquiring knowledge. Then, in 2008, mid-way through university (necessitating a twenty mile daily cycle ride) I collapsed with abdominal pain and was rushed to hospital. The life-threatening episode turned my world to dust.
But out of it a sense of purpose arose: to sort my shit out.
So over the years I’ve managed to fumble my way through life but it’s felt like an uphill struggle. Throughout my 30s I’ve collected a number of diagnoses: ADHD, Autism & most recently PTSD (due to being a victim of domestic abuse).
Now 37 years old and to this day I am still trying to sort my shit out.