Tuesday, 24 November 2015

#Dignity - Stories from Gateway Members

Howdy all,

We will be posting member's stories from Gateway's #Dignity Workshop on the blog here.

It's really great inspirational stuff - have a read, see for yourselves!

Up first is 'The Stigma of Being Human' by Kevin.

Kevin: The Stigma of Being Human

Becoming very withdrawn at age 15, I was in a mind state of fear and negativity.  I couldn’t punch my way out of a paper bag.  I was very passive & would not or could not go to a doctor.  I was in a prison of the mind.

Then Success! At age 30 I finally found my feet with a course in Amenity Horticulture.  The identity of being both a student and gardener agreed greatly with me, giving me a role in this theatre of life, and the confidence to start thinking about how I could make positive progress on other areas.

For the first time since I was a child I had the confidence to go to the barber shop and take part in the everyday conversations held there.  Up until then my father had always cut my hair at home.  I remember feeling a glow, a halo, around my head coming out of the barbershop that day now that I had an identity, a trade of my own.  I even began to advertise in newspapers as a gardener and got work maintaining private gardens.

Looking to develop even more, aware that something was still amiss, I made up my mind to see a shrink.  I think the use of the word shrink for a psychiatrist is to do with the shrinking of an oversized ego through therapy, I read that somewhere.

In any case the Doctor got down to business.  After a few years in therapy, my progress was, to my mind poor as I still didn’t seem able to go out and socialise in the everyday world as I had hoped.
Looking back I believe the Doctors straight talking approach gave me a fair crack of the whip and I found his diagnosis helpful – throwing light on my life story up to that point.  I learned I was a solitary person with an emotionally withdrawn personality.  This did make sense to me.  I was advised that ‘I had to work on it,’ – a very sensible piece of advice.

Things eventually started to improve for me when I joined GROW Mental health, and over the years GROW,Gardening, Music, Gateway, Positive Psychology have all conspired to improve and enrich my like making it worth being human, worth living.

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