Going Forward With Life

Going Forward With Life

I initially found out about Impact whilst I was seeing an NHS therapist in the Bedfordshire Wellbeing Centre.

A Bedford learner

I had hit rock bottom and felt like there was no way out. My mental health was the worst it had ever been.
I felt like the treatment I was getting via the NHS wasn’t helping me at all, so finding Impact was a ray of hope.

I’m 30 years old, I’ve been married for 8 years to a member of the armed forces and I’m a mother to one.

I’ve had periods of poor mental health throughout most of my life. I’ve always struggled with anxiety, depression and insomnia but I also had a period of post-natal depression after my son was born. I was also diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which is exacerbated by my mental health.

Growing up I had a difficult childhood. I had very little relationship with my parents and struggled with feelings of neglect. Then, when I was 6, my brother was born and the gap just widened. I felt incredibly isolated and alone. Looking back on it now, I’m pretty confident my mother suffered from Post Natal Depression but at the time I was too young to understand.

As a teenager I was bullied for 4 years. I was verbally and physically abused on a daily basis but because of my home life I didn’t have anyone who could support me through this. When I did eventually reach out to my grandmother about being bullied; my parents removed me from the school and placed me into a new school. I was much happier and I flourished for a while.

I met my husband when I was quite young and we had 2 really fantastic years together before he joined the military. We’ve now been a part of the military for 10 years and during that time my mental health has declined rapidly. I became mentally co-dependent with my husband. Over the years I became incredibly needy and obsessive about his behaviour and we clashed repeatedly about his career. I didn’t realise that my behaviour had become toxic and I was slowly poisoning our relationship. I was always unhappy but couldn’t pin point why. At times I even questioned if our relationship was doomed to failure.

In 2012 we made the decision to try to have a baby. We were in a reasonably good patch and so when I became pregnant it felt like the icing on the cake. I didn’t realise then that becoming a parent would just increase the pressure on us as a couple. Having children within the military lifestyle can be pretty tough and we struggled at every stage. I resented my husband for leaving me alone with the baby to go to work. I felt even more alone and neglected. His career flourished and he was so happy and all the time I was supporting him, I started to hate him.

In October 2018 my husband was due to depart for a month overseas. During the weeks building up to this my son was incredibly unhappy, my dog became dangerously ill and my job was becoming increasingly stressful. I had days where I didn’t eat or sleep at all but in front of others I portrayed this controlled calm persona. When my husband eventually left, I’d had 5 solid days of no sleep and very little food. I managed to get my son up and dressed but whilst I was doing this I noticed a shortness of breath. This then progressed to a full blown panic attack. I knew in my heart that I needed professional help and managed to drive myself to my GP.

I had a desire to tell someone everything. All the things I was hiding from others and ultimately myself. He took some time discussing my symptoms and was pretty confident I was suffering from Generalised Anxiety disorder and Insomnia.

Although this isn’t one of my happiest memories, I now see it as the beginning of my recovery.

When I first attended Impact I had very little knowledge of mental health. I was initially hoping to learn about anxiety and how I could help myself to recover. Little did I know that it would not only educate me but fully equip me on my path to recovery.

I’ve attended both the You Programme and the Your Pathway to Recovery programme.

Within the YOU programme I learned how to use RAMPS to ensure I was helping myself stay mentally healthy. This subject made me realise that I had fully detached and isolated myself from everyone around me, including myself!

I decided to completely overhaul my lifestyle and introduce new routines. Some of which included making new friends and becoming more physically active. I also introduced journaling into my daily routine and started a much healthier sleep pattern.

Once I realised I had better control of my wellbeing by utilising this tool I noticed a real improvement in my mental health.

When the YOU Programme finished I couldn’t wait to carry on with the learning so signed up for the YOUR Recovery Pathway Programme.

During the gap between the courses I joined an aerobics class, started meeting with friends at least once a week and sleeping much better.

I’m currently working through the YOUR Pathway to Recovery programme. It’s been another huge eye opener for me!

I finally understand that my relationship with my husband had become toxic and how detrimental it was to my wellbeing. I knew I needed to make some huge changes in that area of my life and the class gave me the knowledge on how to achieve this.

I had another ‘Eureka!’ moment when I realised that the pain I was carrying from my childhood was severely damaging me and no one else. I needed to allow myself to process what had happened and let it go. With this knowledge and the professional help I have been receiving from a private therapist I’m working towards this.

This time last year I was incredibly unhappy and couldn’t see a way out. Now, with the skills and tools I have learned and the changes I’ve made in my life, I honestly feel like I’m recovering.

I still have periods of anxiety but now I’m prepared and equipped to deal with these episodes.

I am now in a much healthier place both mentally and physically.

A Bedford Learner

My relationships are growing and adapting to my new mentality and I look forward to the future. I now have the strength to deal with my previous issues with my parents and I’m beginning to see the possibility of a relationship with them. Also my husband and I are now working together on improving our day to day life. I feel like I can become a much better wife and mother now.

I can’t wait to go forward with my life.

A Bedford Learner

2 replies
  1. 💟
    💟 says:

    Dear Bedford learner, thank you so much for your well written story. Gave me the inspiration to write my own and to promote Impact. Also giving a talk this week at Grow Fridays at the Herd in Bedford. Being careful just to speak about my ongoing recovery from a most traumatic event. Careful not to share ” the whole cake” as the course leaders advise. From 💟

    Reply
  2. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    An inspiring story!
    We all came from different pasts, but all left looking at the present and the future with so much more hope and positivity. Good luck with your next goals. xxx

    Reply

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