I was just eight years old. I was studying at uni. It was my neighbor. Every single day. It was relentless. Two boys would push me around at school. It was horrible, I felt trapped. They would talk about me behind my back. I would hide in the library. I stopped going out. I was being bullied by the woman next door. She’d often say mean, spiteful things. It really got to me. They would mock me, they would call me a freak. I became very self-conscious of the way I looked and eventually, I developed an eating disorder. I felt like I had no one to turn to. It was constant sniping and abuse at work. The manager would scream at you in front of everyone. I felt so worthless, I had to take time off work and because no one else said anything, I just kept quiet. Daily life became unbearable. I felt physically sick. I was stuck in an empty space. This darkness would just overwhelm me. I felt like I couldn’t escape it. You hit rock bottom and eventually you start to wonder what’s the point of going on? You contemplate the worst. A coursemate caught me after a lecture and told me about the radio society he was part of. I love music so I decided to give it a go. This small first step introduced me to a new group of people and I was able to detach myself from the bullying. When my mum realised something was wrong; She took me to the headmaster. Between them, they told me to stand up for myself. My son persuaded me to speak to the neighbour about the bullying. Turns out her mum had recently died. She was just taking it out on me. My sister gave me hope that things would get better. This helps so much, I spoke to a counsellor about my eating disorder and with their support, I managed to overcome my hurdles. My brother had gone through a similar situation and gave me the confidence to return to work and speak to HR. He reminded me that I wasn’t alone. Don’t be afraid to speak up, nothing will change until you change it. Be brave and tell someone. Bullying doesn’t only happen at school, I wish I realized what was happening to me at work, was bullying too. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. If someone is making you feel bad it’s not normal, it’s not banter and it’s not okay. You deserve more than that, you deserve support too. It’s not your fault. Bullies often struggle with their own demons, they may even be jealous of you. So why not talk to them. Accept help when it’s offered to you. There were plenty of times when I didn’t but, when I did, it changed everything.