“Friends had noticed that I wasn’t ‘me’ … sadly many also identified with my feelings but had felt that it was just something that had to be ‘weathered’.
I had no idea why I was feeling like I was; I was sad, crying, upset and generally very emotional. I tried on numerous occasions to ‘pull myself together’ but these negative feelings were so overpowering I decided to visit my GP. My GP talked to me about the IAPT service and how they might be able to help so I gave them a call. The person I spoke to was helpful and friendly and talked me through a number of treatment options, including one to one therapy and/or a stress control class. I desperately didn’t want to start medication and was keen to start to feel better and get on with my life again; I therefore opted to start the stress control class.
From week one I found the classes so helpful, although much harder than I expected. The classes basically helped me to understand myself and why I was feeling the way I did. It was helpful having someone who was ‘neutral’. I’d got to the point where I couldn’t help myself so knew I needed additional support. The first class helped me to understand where I was, the facilitators (Sally and Alice) took time to go through a variety of scenarios with the group; I found these very pertinent and easily identifiable. As the classes progressed we learnt skills and techniques to help conquer the negative feelings that had become part of my every day life. Sally and Alice pointed out that it wasn’t going to be an easy journey but very worthwhile to complete all the sessions to gain maximum benefit.
I didn’t feel that I wanted to speak to anyone other than my GP and husband prior to attending the classes, I don’t know why, perhaps it was because I felt slightly inadequate and pathetic, something I wasn’t used to.. After attending for two or three sessions I felt strong enough to speak to my son and also close friends. Friends had noticed that I wasn’t ‘me’ and were surprised when I told them the full story, saying I was the least likely person they had ever imagined to feel like that. Sadly many also identified with my feelings but had felt that it was just something that had to be ‘weathered’ and was a natural part of getting older and changing relationships with friends and family.
Now that the classes are complete I still refer back to the course booklets, they help me to maintain my confidence, recognise the triggers and do something proactive, and most importantly enable me to rekindle the activities and friendships I had previously loved.