Being Authentic - Rachael

What being REAL looks like for you?

Being REAL for me is about being authentic. Authentic is defined as "...of undisputed origin and not a copy; genuine." Being confident in how I am different and unique is a way for me to be comfortable in being genuine and authentic. 

What's stopping you or what used to stop you and how did you break free?

I used to be stopped by doubt and discouragement. Discouragement robbed me of courage to step out and make change. I'm learning to not give too much influence and space in my life to discouragement. Instead I surround myself with people who are supportive and encouraging. 

Rachael Stevens

Growing up in a broken home and a survivor of abuse, Rachael was hospitalised when she was 15 into a psychiatric ward with anorexia and depression. Later she dropped out of year 12 after being hospitalised again for attempting suicide. At this point she was informed she would never be able to work or study full time for the remainder of her life. Rachael has overcame these immense challenges and over the last 6 years used her experiences, largely in a voluntary capacity to inspire others that recovery from mental illness is possible. She is also an outstanding student in her final year of her degree at The Australian National University studying sociology. While studying in 2014 she self-published her story, entitled “The Skeleton Diaries” to provide insight, challenge stigma and to give hope to sufferers. Rachael has shared her personal story of recovery in high schools throughout Australia.