"Poles Apart" tells the story of how suffering from severe mental health problems since the age of 17 nearly destroyed Michelle. But now, strangely, when she looks back at her life she feels it has made her stronger.
It took ten years before she was diagnosed with Bi-polar disorder.
Her low episodes were caused by very excessive stress in the workplace as a personal assistant in local government and she had three breakdowns at the ages of 17, 22 and 27. During this last one she threw herself under a train and miraculously survived with no injuries.
She was sectioned into a Victorian style mental hospital. This, she says, was sheer hell on earth.
'I decided to write my autobiography because I am convinced that there will be a lot of people out there, in this stressful age, who have suffered like me. If one person picks up my book and I give them hope by everything that has happened to me, and how my life is now happy and fulfilled, then I will have a great sense of personal achievement. I would like fellow sufferers who are currently still very ill to see that, even though life seems so bleak at times, things can turn round and you can get better.'
About the Author
Although married for 4 years, Michelle was surprised to find herself pregnant. Throughout the whole of the pregnancy she was still very depressed and convinced she was dying and that her body was tricking her into thinking she was pregnant. Nobody knew. Eventually she gave birth to Kirsty, who she calls 'my darling daughter' (now aged 8).
This turned her life around for the better: 'Something registered in my sub conscious when I had Kirsty and I stopped thinking I was dying - how could a dying body give birth to a healthy child?'