I Found Impact
After trying a number of organisations and my doctor to be met with a minimum of 12 weeks waiting lists. My cousin came across Impact through her volunteering with CLI. They immediately offered me a place starting the following week, lucky me 😄
I needed help!
After a life with abusive parents I sought a way out and thought I’d found that with my husband who also turned out to be abusive. I ended the relationship with my parents 5 years ago and the relationship with my husband at the end of 2018.
Around this time my relationship with my daughter broke down and my mother passed away in January 2019. I decided to make a big move to a different country in a bid to start a new life. I have suffered with poor mental health for a number of years and have had treatments and been on various courses. When I made the move my husband decided to go full speed with the control and applied for custody of our child. Then it hit me like a brick wall, overwhelmed, depression, no self-worth, anxiety, I felt like I was losing control, everything was my fault… it had to be me! I wasn’t good enough.
I knew my mental health was poor and I needed help. So I reached out to a number of organisations, so many that by the time I spoke with impact I had my story down to a tee. I was almost robotic in saying it, I had said it so many times before. Eventually, and what felt like just in time I was starting the Impact YOU programme.
My self-worth and confidence were on the floor and the thoughts of sitting with a group and discussing things scared me. I was scared of being judged, put on the spot and finding out that I had brought this on myself!
I turned up despite my fears and was me with a smile and a hug and my fears started to fall away a little.
There was no judgement, no pressure, no being put on the spot. There was nothing only huge understanding, support, great people, lots of tea and biscuits and a wealth of knowledge, which I am proud to say I have taken a great deal of with me.
On the YOU Programme we learned how the brain has 3 parts when it comes to our thoughts and how one part is our worst critic, which when we have poor mental health this is the one we tend to listen to. We learned simple techniques like naming this part our chimp, to be able to distinguish it. Which was a huge moment for me because it helped me understand where all these negative thoughts were coming from and it wasn’t only me who had a chimp! There are studies to prove it’s in all of us, it’s just up to us how much we listen to it and let it affect us.
Impact were straight in there with their box of tools to help us keep our chimp within its boundaries. Simple tools such as breathing, acknowledge our chimp and looking after ourselves more. We were introduced to the Impact tool called RAMPS, which is a great and easy way to remember what kind of thing’s we should be doing every day to help our mental health… even for just a few minutes each day.
This helped me in so many different ways. I started to feel a little lighter, think a little clearer, which in turn makes everything a little easier. The huge bonus was that whilst I was learning all these new techniques I was also receiving fantastic peer support from a great group of people from all walks of life with different stories.
We shared laughs, tears, cakes😁 hugs and respect for each other. Which continued into the YOUR Recovery Pathways Programme, which was a master class in itself, but definitely did not feel like school or I’d been straight out that door!
We watched talk clips, played game’s (surprisingly good & funny 😂) did arts and crafts, had discussions and the knowledge and understanding I got was amazing.
Sometimes straight away in light bulb moments, where I was saying ‘Oh my God’ and for others it might have taken a little longer to sink in and even in a group environment there was never any pressure and everyone moved at their own pace.
We looked into our life expectations, relationships, shame with others and ourselves. Fear, personal strengths, self-nurture, visualisation, ego, mindfulness, goals and my step by step plans to help me move forward to where I want to be. Which has not only given me the confidence and strength but the passion to get to that place.
For me this was the start of my learning and me building myself up to the kick ass b***h I know I can be. I know I’m strong, I’ve got through all of this but I’m imagining what I can now become when I put that strength into positive actions in my life, instead of it getting me through the negative. I know life has ups and downs and I look forward to them because I believe I will never hit the same lows I have before…
My eyes have really been opened to things I can’t un-see and with the knowledge, tools and understanding I’ve been given by Impact and my peers I’m going to grab this beautiful life with both hands and live it to my fullest.