From hell to wellness.
It only seems like yesterday when I found myself staring into the darkest gaping black hole imaginable ,or that’s how it seemed at the time , Fear seclusion ,isolation , and every other dark thought you can imagine .
But I am not going to dwell on those times I would like to share how I over came all of these things with support from the services and friends and new friends that I met on my journey to where I am now ,because I feel that this is the here and now and that of course was then .
I was lucky in some ways that things had just started to change in the mental health service through in Clackmannanshire when I became unwell and when I was referred to a well mans group for the first time I was probably as sceptical as the next man about the service, I said well I’ll try it but I cant see what good its going to do me sitting in a room full of men with mental health problems. But all the same I went along and listened to what they had to say and what they planned to do. As I was still very unwell at this time the second week was a struggle I had to force myself out of my comfort zone and make the effort to go along to the group, where I was half expecting the other guys not to show but to my surprise they all turned up and like myself all still as sceptical as ever. The two workers welcomed us all into the group and the work began. To begin with you could not see where it was going, or how they were going to achieve there aim but within week six of our group meetings you could see big changes in everyone’s confidence when they were answering questions and just with the different conversations that we were having, they had new goals and new purpose in there days my self included we had all became friends and unwittingly been helping each other to see things differently. just by doing simple worksheets and having discussions about different things e.g. diets our fears and coping techniques that we individually had been using and how we would like things to change ,how we our selves would like to change , each individual had different ideas about them selves each had different fears about what the future held for them but we all had plans and goals something that none of us had on that first day we walked into the room all complete strangers , I have spoken to my support worker and he informs that those guys are still doing well and are moving on and some now run there own groups and that there are still many positive changes being made to improve the services , And me myself have continued to move on from that day forward , I got involved with a news letter and from witch led to many other groups and forums across the forth valley attending meetings up and down Scotland it kept me occupied and gave me a new purpose in life I had something to get up for something that was so worth while I was then asked to take part in huge event held at the tollbooth in Stirling witch was a great success , I was then offered the opportunity to attend two workshops the first one was WRAP training a two day event held in Glasgow and this is still part of my life today and is now helping more and more people with there own recovery’s it is a tool for life one that could be used not only in mental health but in all kinds of situations that need coping strategies and planning ,the second course was Peer Support training for me this change my life around in many different ways from both the educational aspect to my personal life . I not only learnt some incredible things about the illness and how it effects people in so many different ways I also learned and was able to address life time events for probably the very first time things I had swept under the carpet and tried to forget and learned to deal with them and put them behind me and this was amazing , I also met a new circle of friends and shared some very moving stories with these people who felt that could share heart moving details with the group ,but we all agreed that sharing these stories had in affect helped us to forgive in some cases and in others take some relief from what we had kept bottled for so long and to move on a step further , but for myself life was to keep changing and for the better because not only did I gain a wealth of knowledge on this course a new set of friends who I still keep in touch with I also met a new partner who is now my wife and I am part of a Happy family of six in a lovely house , so I have gained so much more including a lovely daughter as well, I am not saying that this going to happen for everybody it would nice but unlikely but with a good support network and the correct support .i strongly believe that we can achieve a good level of wellness and live a rewarding and successful life because recovery is possible I am not saying its easy and it does not happen over night but with HOPE RISK AND PURPOSE it is indeed possible . I am now working as a Peer Support worker and hope to pass on what I have learned and support others to apply these coping skills into there lives and to help them achieve new goals and to take risks and support them in there own recovery’s I believe that everyone deserves the chance to have the right support to take back control of there lives and to strive for a better future and to recognise when the sun is shining.
Raymond s story
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