Julie’s Story

“I had been suffering from depression”

I had been suffering from depression. Through Stepping Stones, I’ve learned the word is not as all consuming as it used to be. I’ve had bouts of depression all my life. I had been going over the same things with my sister, but I felt she was absorbing it and got fed up listening to me. There were things I needed to speak about that I wouldn’t discuss with my children. I was blowing things out of proportion and started to panic last year. There were many lingering issues from when I was a teenager.

I was sitting in the house all day. Once a week, I would maybe visit my daughter or go for a coffee with my sister, but other than that I wouldn’t go out. I was getting deeper down and knew how far down I had got when I didn’t want to wash. It felt like I was only one step away from not opening my curtains. I would sit in places in the house where I knew no one looking in the window could see me. I was getting up later and later. When I retired I would watch daytime television, and one of the shows made me start to question some things from my past. Something happens every now and again and I’m back. Things were going through my head constantly.  I thought I needed help.

“The appointment at Stepping Stones was a turning point”

The appointment at Stepping Stones was a turning point. When I first came in, I was looking forward to speaking with someone who understood but there would be no reproach. Going in for counselling there was someone to listen to me and it didn’t matter what I said. I couldn’t talk to my family but I felt comfortable talking to Lloyd. Lloyd listened very well. Counselling gave me awareness. When I came to see Lloyd I felt I had to get everything out from the beginning. I was emotionally drained after counselling, but I feel stronger for it. It’s as if part of the old me is back. The inner core is stronger, it’s not all mush.

Joining the group has helped fantastically. I had to meet other people. Coming to the group was daunting at first but enjoyed feeling involved. I enjoy it. I don’t like to see people struggling to join the group. It’s important to listen in the group, to make other people feel like they’re being heard. It needs a bigger group as some people don’t want to participate, but enjoy watching what’s going on. With a small group it’s harder for them to do that, but if there’s eight or so participating then four or five can watch and feel involved even if they’re not talking. I want to give back because this is giving me a lot.

Would I recommend Stepping Stones to others? Oh gosh yes! I already have recommended Stepping Stones to people.

There’s a lot of friendliness here. The staff are all approachable. New members don’t feel left alone. They know there’s someone they can phone and talk to. Friendships have grown in the group.