Glenrothes woman combats homelessness and mental health with help of Kirkcaldy gym

A woman from Glenrothes, who has battled with homelessness and mental health issues, has found purpose and meaning to life after joining a Kirkcaldy gym.
Paul Deas and Jamie-Lee Ogilvie. Pic: Fife Photo Agency.Paul Deas and Jamie-Lee Ogilvie. Pic: Fife Photo Agency.
Paul Deas and Jamie-Lee Ogilvie. Pic: Fife Photo Agency.

Jamie-Lee Ogilvie (25), has faced multiple barriers in her life.She suffered a broken neck in a fall when she was only 12-years-old, was diagnosed with ADHD in high school, experienced homelessness, and diagnosed with OCD, paranoia and Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD) in her early 20s.

However, even in the face of these obstacles,Jamie-Lee has managed to turn her life around with support from Paul Deas, owner of Xross Fight Gym in Kirkcaldy.

Jamie-Lee said: “My problems started when I was young.

Jamie-Lee Ogilvie. Pic: Fife Photo Agency.Jamie-Lee Ogilvie. Pic: Fife Photo Agency.
Jamie-Lee Ogilvie. Pic: Fife Photo Agency.
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"My home life with my mum and dad was unstable so I went to live with my gran when I was only a baby.

"In primary school I had a lot of issues as I have ADHD, but it was never picked up on until I went to high school, I was really misunderstood by all of my teachers.

"In high school, an additional support needs teacher gave my gran a book that explained ADHD and it all just clicked.

"My gran turned to me and said that everything in it described my behaviour exactly, so we went to the doctors and that was when I was diagnosed with the disorder. “Jamie-Lee said: “I loved school, but school hated me. Just like in primary, the teachers never had time for my behaviour or me, and they kicked me out when I was in third year.”

Paul Deas. Pic: Fife Photo Agency.Paul Deas. Pic: Fife Photo Agency.
Paul Deas. Pic: Fife Photo Agency.
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Jamie-Lee went on to study catering as well other classes to enable her to sit her Standard Grades at Fife College.

All was going good for her until she reached her 20s, and when after having compulsive thoughts telling her to kill herself, Jamie-Lee visited her doctor.

“Eventually I was diagnosed with OCD, paranoia and EUPD,” she said. “When I was 12 I fell through a roof, landed on my head and shattered a bone in my neck – the doctors told me the fall was most probably the cause of the damage to my brain.

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"It was horrible. I was suffering from schizophrenic episodes – I had two split sides to me, the good side was Jamie-Lee, and the bad side was Frank.

"When Frank was in control I couldn’t see and I didn’t know what I was doing. It was like I was a passenger in my own body - I would cut myself and punch myself in the face, and would have thoughts telling me to kill myself.”

Up until this point Jamie-Lee was still living with her gran, but decided to move out after her compulsive thoughts took an even darker turn.

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"One night after I went to bed I had a loud compulsive thought telling me to kill my gran and our dogs, and then myself. The next day I spoke to my gran about it and told her I was moving out as I couldn’t stand the thought that I might hurt her. I would never do that, but I was scared that my mental health would.

"I moved into homeless accommodation for about eight months before moving into a shared flat with one other person to see if I was able to support myself if I was living alone.

"It took me quite a while to adapt because my whole life my gran had done everything for me. I had a few ups and downs but I lasted, and was eventually put into my own house three months ago.”

Jamie-Lee decided to make changes in her life when she was homeless and joined the Xross Fight Gym in Kirkcaldy after meeting owner Paul at an Ultra MMA event.

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She said: “Before I met Paul and started training at his gym I was in a very dark hole, I think I was more scared than anything.

“He has really helped me to focus my energy.

"My mental health is better, I’m eating healthier, and I’m sleeping a lot better. When I moved into my house I had four rooms and nothing else - my gran and Paul helped me to furnish it.

"He made a video where we appealed for people to help me and to donate items for my house – it was a total success.

"He is not just a coach but a friend. He doesn’t even realise how much he has helped me. I’m feeling a lot better mentally, emotionally and physically now and to all the people who have helped me, I appreciate them more than they will ever know.

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"My advice to anyone who is suffering from mental health issues is to not be scared and to seek help, there is always someone out there willing to help.”

Paul, who owns the gym and flooring company The Laminate Collection first realised that Jamie-Lee was struggling at the start of lockdown.

“I noticed she wasn’t quite herself when lockdown started,” Paul said. She opened up to me and I wanted to try and help her anyway I could.

"We created a JustGiving page and put a video on Facebook appealing for help furnishing Jamie-Lee’s new house and the response was amazing.

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"We raised £300, provided her with couches and other furniture, kitchen utensils and other household essentials, and I supplied and fitted brand new flooring.

"What I try to tell people is to make goals and not dreams, put it down in writing and push forward until you achieve them - and to not see failing as a setback, but as failing forwards.

"I like to teach people about the one percent club, I hate to do pull ups, so I make myself do 10 pull ups everyday. It’s not a lot or that hard but even one percent is a victory.”

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