“I can’t even remember a time when I didn’t have issues with anxiety or panic attacks. I suffered with my mental health most of my life. There was a time when I had 27 panic attacks in one day. It feels like having a heart attack. I would lose control of my body. Sometimes, I just start to tremble. Other times, when it’s more severe, my legs would just go from under me and I’d collapse. I could be in a Zoo or a shopping centre… It happened once at a football match. People were stepping over me thinking I was drunk. In the beginning, I tried to cope by myself and went down all the wrong rabbit holes of alcohol and drugs, but they all failed me pretty soon. I have visited many doctors in my life and seen them opening books and flicking through pages trying to put a more accurate label on what is wrong with me, but that never really made a difference in my experience. After my third suicide attempt, I had to visit my psychiatric doctor regularly and in the waiting room, I came across a Grow Mental Health leaflet. The nurse there suggested that I should give them a call. With Grow, you start slow. First step: Leave the house for a walk. For some people, this may sound ridiculous, but when you are in that state, this can be the hardest thing to do. At the time, the curtains were closed all day and I only left my room to go to the bathroom. I can understand people who are going into AA or NA and literarily have to be carried in the door. They want help so much that they make it to the door, but they can’t get the courage to step in. I was that person at the door of Grow when I first went there. But from then on, my experience couldn’t have been more positive. With Grow, you are in a group with people facing similar challenges. Grow creates an environment where we feel safe sharing our own experiences and talk about your own coping mechanisms. Getting to know the insights of others and meeting my group regularly was one of the greatest forms of help I have ever received. I am not free of challenges, but with Grow, I acquired a toolbox that gave me back the control over my life.”
This story was highlighted by @GROWMentalHealth and Expressway. With the number of enquiries to Grow Mental Health soaring by 400% since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, we need your help to open more support groups and connect with more people who need it most.
@GrowMentalHealth and @Expresswayire are asking you to Text ‘RECONNECT’ to 50300 (Texts cost €4) and take the 12 Calls of Christmas Challenge calling people you’ve lost touch with. This could make all the difference this Christmas.