Permission to take care of me

RWC Learner

May 22, 2024

Big thanks to one of our long-standing learners, who has told us how attending the College is helping her discover how to give herself permission to take care of herself.

I have a long-standing diagnosis of Depression and Anxiety as well as an auto-immune condition and most of the time I received little or no support, which resulted in me being signed off from work a few years ago. After that, I didn’t feel I had many options but when I heard about the Recovery & Wellbeing College I decided to give it a try.

Living with Depression and Anxiety, I find it easy to be hard on myself, always focusing on the things I believe I am failing at. Although I am still not where I would like to be in terms of my mental health, I know attending the Recovery College has helped me a great deal. It’s a place where I feel safe, supported and less isolated. The courses and the people I have met there have given me so much and brought hope back into my life. While my anxiety is a constant throughout my daily life and there are still times when I am in a mess and can’t do anything, those times are definitely on the decrease and I’m having fewer periods where I reach my crisis point and need to reach out for help.

I don’t know if other people have the same fight with themselves; not allowing themselves to make time for their wellbeing. Often, I feel crippled and overwhelmed with too many things to do, too many tasks to accomplish, too many chores to undertake and although I may wish to do something creative for my own wellbeing, I rarely do because I feel bad that I should be doing all these other things instead. By attending the College I am learning to give myself permission to take care of me. I love making things and can enjoy the process of creating something just for me. When I’m there I don’t feel bad that I’m not doing the hoovering at home.

I’m so grateful for the Recovery College, it doesn’t matter if you are feeling rubbish, you can still go and take part and feel included. No-one judges you if you don’t feel like talking that day. It feels good to be in an environment where even though you may not know what people have been or are going through, you just know there is some shared understanding. No-one makes you feel awkward or weird. The Facilitators and staff are so nice, cheering us on, listening, explaining things in a way that make the subject matter fascinating. The College is a place where you can just be however you are – and there’s not a lot of places in the world like that.”

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