“I couldn’t cope on my own any longer”
When I referred originally, I was suffering from social anxiety. My GP suggested I give Stepping Stones a call. I had been dealing with everything on my own and I was suffering from OCD and I felt ashamed. I couldn’t cope on my own any longer. It took me days to phone. I was scared that someone would laugh at me. When I did call it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Everyone at Stepping Stones was nice.
“I am a whole different person now”
I am a whole different person now. Then everybody was my enemy. I cried at the least wee thing. Now I can think differently. I’m not ashamed about my mental health. I attend the groups at Stepping Stones and this has made me realise I’m not the only one who deals with these things. We can all learn from each other. It makes you realise that you’re not the only one. I can control my life now, instead of someone telling me how to feel.
I have learned different techniques through the years. You forget stuff, then you redo it, and it comes back to you. You’re learning something all the time. You learn from the group, as well as from your support work. At first I had weekly meetings, then fortnightly, then monthly now it’s as and when required. Jackie has helped me. She’s made things easier for me. She knows I don’t like using the phone, so she will arrange appointments with me when she sees me at groups.
You’re always going to have moments when you’re not great or don’t want to speak to people. Once you’re in the group that changes.
I would recommend Stepping Stones to other people. I’ve gained a lot through the years. I’ve come on a lot and other people recognise that in me. It’s helped me to accept that this is me. Wee outbursts happen and that’s nothing to be ashamed of.