My journey of recovery has been a long one but ever since joining New Leaf Wellbeing College last year as a student, my life has slowly and gradually changed for the better. I started off with my first course Understanding anxiety, and found the tutor, peer tutor and other students very welcoming. Then in the August I helped to co-produce the Writing creatively for wellbeing course along with another student and two other staff from the college. It really started to have a positive effect on my mental wellbeing. Writing and poetry are huge lifelong passions of mine. I find the physical act of putting pen to paper so therapeutic.
My attitude to life has started to change. Even though I had my dips and had to make the inevitable decision to resign from my job after many years due to ill health challenges, I started to feel by the end of last year that in the future I’d like to give something back by doing some volunteering, so I applied. In January I had my interview with HPFT and had another blip so was unable to go on the Induction in February. However, eventually by May this year I managed to go to the Induction and then was able to start one day a week at New Leaf College as a volunteer. It’s changed my whole way of thinking, along with going to some of the other courses where I’ve also made connections with other students.
I still have bad weeks where I can’t go out and engage with people. But I do feel the benefits of being part of the New Leaf community, plus learning all the time better ways to manage my ups and downs. It sounds cheesy but it has saved my life!