Overcoming fear, self-doubt and anxiety


May 20, 2024

We are so grateful to learner, Robert who has shared his experience of attending the Recovery & Wellbeing College and how it has helped him move forward in his life and overcome fear, self-doubt and anxiety.

“When I first came to the Recovery College I was nervous, anxious and feeling down. My confidence was broken. I realised that I couldn’t continue to do what I’d always done; wanting to try new and different things but, filled with self-doubt and anxiety, always backing out. I was also self-harming and I knew I couldn’t continue down that path. If I kept repeating the same cycle I knew it would only make things worse.

The first time I attended the College I was petrified. I didn’t know what to expect. I thought everyone would judge me or think I had no business being there. I realise now that the biggest hurdle is getting there. Attending any course is an achievement. Initially I chose discussion-based courses as I thought these were the ones I needed to do in order to get better. I didn’t realise that creative courses also have the same effect.

I’d never considered an art or craft type course, believing I wasn’t a creative person and didn’t have the necessary skills, but with the courage to try just one course (lino printing) did I realise the benefits. I enjoyed the process of making something. It inspired me to try more courses, each time gaining more confidence. It gave me something to look forward to. After telling my family about the printing course, they bought me some supplies for Christmas so I could continue my newly learnt skills at home, which I find really therapeutic.

When doing this type of course, primarily you are there to enjoy the task but you can still talk about things you are going through. Being with others who may be in similar situations, in a relaxed environment, was like talking with friends. I was able to unburden myself, without even realising I was doing so, rather than keeping things locked up inside.

Since starting at the College it’s really helped me develop as a person; it is only by coming here that things changed for me. The College creates such a positive environment that you can’t help but feel safe and relaxed. The Facilitators are so enthusiastic, interesting and passionate about their subjects, whether it’s printing or old films (Golden Age of Hollywood), they create an atmosphere that makes it easier for people who have anxiety and depression and this environment helped me to keep coming back.

I’m now back working, something I’d never dreamt possible having had to give up my previous role due to my mental health. By reconnecting with people, using my social skills, getting involved in confidence boosting activities helped build a foundation for moving forward in my life. My family have noticed a change in me and are able to see how far I’ve come, even if it’s not always obvious to me.

I hope that the Recovery College continues its outstanding work for years to come, because to me it really does change lives. It’s certainly changed mine.”


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