From Link Service to Befriending to college
I was referred to the Link Service by my Psychologist who, after doing lots of work with me on my fear of lots of things, felt that I needed more support to talk about these things and help me to think about my future, to get a life free from all my fears.
The Link Worker talked to me about lots of things – what was holding me back, what I would love to do with my life and the steps needed to get me moving in the right direction. At first I thought it was really hard because I had hidden myself away in the house for so long but gradually we managed to make a plan! I had homework!
I needed to start seeing my friends again so I forced myself to make contact with them and very soon I was back having our Friday night girl’s night at each others houses which I used to love and missed. I was so scared but did not need to be as they were so supportive, I felt great. One of my friends helped me to start using the buses again and I started to walk a wee bit further with my dog, all of the time feeling very anxious, but this was my homework and I understand what Jane was saying, that I had to feel this anxiety, work through it and yes, she was right, nothing bad happened, in fact I felt better.
I found the confidence to take driving lessons, my mum and dad couldn’t believe it, I was starting to get a life. My dream was to go to college and eventually get a job with children, I never thought I would be able to do this but with the support of the Link Service I took the next step to get there. I put my application form in to the college, me and Jane went to the college to find out more information about the courses available and met with a Learning Advisor who reassured me that I would be supported if I got a place on the course. The college was huge, I was really nervous but it was good to be there, I was getting nearer to my dream, so exciting.
Eventually we got the letter saying I had been accepted on to the course, I was so happy, at last I was living my life like all my other friends but there is still work to be done. Jane referred me to the Befriending Service here at FDAMH so that I could gain more confidence about using the buses before my course starts in August, my new befriender is lovely, she supports me with going on the buses and I am gradually gaining in confidence.
I can’t wait to get to college in August, thank you!
Tags: Anxiety, Befriending, Isolation and Loneliness, Link Service, Phobia
25/11/2013 at 7:19 pm
Without my Link Worker I’d still be shut up in my house
My experience of the link service is a very positive one. I met Jane when she came for a visit, after a talk it was decided that I would benefit from this service. Jane would come to the house and pick me up, then we would go out for a walk and decide what would happen next. She helped me get into a craft group (not an easy task), we were getting on really well till a group of about 6 people entered at one time. I escaped panicking and could not go back in.
After trying another couple of things Jane suggested we go down to FDAMH and we went up into her office. Next she introduced me to the Next Step Course and came with me on the days out, I was quite secure when we were out in the open I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Jane continued to support me in many other ways too, I could only get off the bus at one bus stop, so Jane met me at the bus-stop for a few weeks then she got on the bus with me to a stop nearer the centre, this was very scary for me as I was afraid she would not get on the bus. After another couple of weeks she met me at the next bus stop instead of coming on the bus. After that she would meet me further and further down the road till the first time I made it on my own, You have no idea how I felt that day.
I was introduced to the Arts and Media Group, this was amazing, I actually got up on stage in front of a crowd of over 100 people and played my part in our brilliant play, ‘We are all Bobby’, my husband and son could not believe it! We are now rehearsing for a Comedy charity night during Mental Health Awareness Week in October, can’t wait.
With Jane’s encouragement I applied to be a volunteer with the Third Age Befriending Project, I completed the training, I am now waiting to be matched with a befriendee, who would have thought it!
Without the help of Jane as my link worker I would still be shut up in my house, I cannot say how big a support the Link service is.
Tags: Activity Groups, Anxiety, Isolation and Loneliness, Link Service, Panic, Volunteering
25/11/2013 at 7:14 pm