Michelle's Story

After overcoming others' expectations about her gender identity, Michelle then had to get through depression and the trauma of transitioning. She worked through her recovery by helping others with theirs.

I was in a state of anxiety most of my young life

I looked a bit different than the others and acted a little bit different. I wanted to do girls things, but made sure nobody ever knew. I thought I’d just keep on trying to be macho Mike.

All sorts of things affect your mental health.


I lived in a state of sleep deprivation, alcohol and drugs from age 14 well into my 30s

It took its toll.  I transitioned in Australia. The anxiety of going over there, leaving my job and partner... it wasn’t just anxiety anymore; it had gone well, well past that into quite a severe depression.

Depression or anxiety is different for everyone


I let it go too far and that was the thing

I should have talked. I should have talked to someone but I had spent my whole life not talking to people. I thought that I would only bum people out. That is something I have learnt and I talk a lot with Tams.

There are things that can help you get through


Being a peer supporter helped me recover

When I got into recovery that is when I got into peer support; talking about recovery, helping other people see the light. So now, ten years later I am a service manager and I actually run two peer support services.

There are changes you can make to stay well


Now I have a really clear view of who I am and what I want to be and where I want to go

Other people's stories

I felt different

I couldn't control my body

My worlds clashed

My disability affected my self-esteem