Growth & Confidence
From being a shut-away, couch potato to a confident man, new learner, Peter tells us how the College proved to be a remarkable catalyst for change in his life.
My story starts way back and includes: irregular childhood psychological development, neurodiversity, a personality disorder, a motorcycle accident causing a brain injury and other injuries which resulted in several health issues.
The past year has been tough, with additional physical and mental health issues. I felt worried, depressed and anxious and was unable to work or leave my apartment for long periods. I spent a lot of time binge-watching YouTube or Netflix, attempting to just zone out and ignore the problems. I was in pretty bad shape.
The Recovery & Wellbeing College was exactly what I needed. Run by kind, caring people, who were reassuring and supportive from the outset. I knew that I was able to just show up and do what I could, with no pressure. Simply through showing up, I could transform my life. Sometimes it really is OK to be a bit ‘selfish’ and to take some time and do things that benefit YOU.
Very quickly I felt motivated to change, to pay attention to improving my health and make better choices. After joining the Cycle for Health programme, I got an eBike; making cycling a little easier, while still allowing me to get out there, enjoy the freedom, have fun and do some exercise. I’ve also learnt to take time to slow down. The online ‘Mindful Doodles’ course motivated me to just stop occasionally and get the pens and pencils out and pay deep attention to what I am doing, enjoying a moment all for myself. With the help of the College, I’ve learnt how to Doodle like a champ!
The College’s ‘Creative Walks’ have got me out socialising as well. Learning new, interesting things about my local area, as well as an opportunity to sketch or practise some crafts. The ‘Chess for Beginners’ course taught me to slow down, think about how best to play with others, to be kind while still trying to beat the other guy! But win or lose, it didn’t matter – I felt like a winner just being there.
Others started to notice changes in me; receiving positive comments and encouragement from others has boosted my confidence and self-esteem. I couldn’t help but improve my health and wellbeing! I worry less and kind of just get on with things. I am gradually returning to work, doing what I feel capable of and at my own pace, but also pushing myself to do more each day – to get better each day. While I still have a way to go, I feel confident – and happy.
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