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Becoming very withdrawn at age 15, I was in a mind state of fear and negativity.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 I learned I was a solitary person with an emotionally withdrawn personality.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.