I am writing this from the past.

It’s 22:29 on a Friday evening and that odd bit in my brain is silently wishing I’d started writing this at 22:22 because 22 is my favourite number and when 22 is involved it means good luck.

You see — on the day that you will be reading this I will have finally been diagnosed as autistic.

As you can probably tell, I like to plan… to prepare myself carefully for all eventualities. Yet this is the only article I feel the need to write.

I am female. I am 33. I live…

If you see Patrick on the streets and feel compelled to talk to him, my family urge you not to tell him you’ve seen him in a campaign/blog as that would cause him to run from the area he’s been recently spotted in. However — you could tell him you recognise him from his YouTube channel and are a fan of his songs. Right now Patrick’s love of music and the ridiculous amount of talent going to waste could be the one thing that inspires him to seek and accept help.


This is my brother Patrick. He has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar and depersonalisation disorder by various doctors over the years. He is addicted to heroin, crack and alcohol. He has been living on the streets of London since February 2016.

The mental health laws are failing people like Patrick every day. Four in ten rough sleepers have a mental health problem, rising to over half of rough sleepers from the UK*.

The only way that Patrick and most other mentally ill homeless people can access help — is if they…

Abigail Balfe

I make things with words and pictures. http://abigailbalfe.com

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