Headcase Hero of the Month; Laura

Photo by Mike Sim

Photo by Mike Sim

There was nobody else we even considered starting this portrait series with, than Laura.

Laura embodies everything that Headcase stands for, represents, and seeks to share with the world.

A radiant, energetic bundle of positivity and ‘yes I can’, Laura’s shocking story couldn’t be more at odds with the character you find when you meet her.

Laura has funded all of her qualifications herself, works both day and evenings at minimum wage to pay her bills, yet was one of the first to volunteer to help in ANY way she could with Headcase’s launch. She offered to drive all the way to London to help us set up, and after the event has already emailed to ask how we are, and if we’d like her to come round with a home-made lasagne or to help with anything we need!

People like Laura make the world a beautiful, wonderful place.

To think that personal unhappiness at home, and thus in herself, could drive a person like this to want to die, is a story far too often repeated.

It’s almost overwhelmingly fantastic to see how someone can dig deep into themselves, pull out of such a terrible, endless black hole, and start to live life happily.

Laura, we salute you. And we’ll take that lasagna very gladly any time!

"It is wonderfully appropriate that this photo was taken in front of a stream of traffic.
It was in fact a much faster, much bigger and much noisier stream of traffic (on the A14 dual carriageway), that I decided to walk straight into, in an attempt to take my own life.
Five days after my 18th Birthday I hot-footed it down to the nearest lay by on the A14 and tried my luck against an articulated lorry heading straight towards me, travelling at 60 mph - and still the bloody thing didn't kill me.
What it did do however, was put me in hospital for a month, with the task of learning to walk again, countless life-changing injuries and (at the time) an unwanted second chance at this thing called life.
The 18 years prior to me heading out and playing with the traffic had been a joyous mix of neglect, abuse, broken homes, self doubt, incomprehensibly shit parents, and an overwhelming battle with the idea that I might actually be gay.
Inevitably, anyone that knew me at the time would have said I was happy, funny, (maybe) full of life and energy (definitely) and the last possible person to think about suicide.

Funny trend that, amongst those who are suffering; the biggest smiles hide the greatest hurt.

Thankfully the 6 years after having a fight with a lorry have been full of picking myself up and trying again. Because if walking out in front of a lorry can't kill me then clearly I am bionic woman and I need to make the most of that.
I have been working as a qualified personal trainer for three years, ran my first marathon last year and have two more to enjoy this year.
The good news about reaching rock bottom, is that the only way is up! And there is only one person who can send you soaring all the way up, or all the way down, and that is you.”

LAURA - PERSONAL TRAINER
Liz Fraser