A Wexford woman has spoken about how she is overcoming depression and suicidal thoughts with the help of Grow Wexford
Amy who didn't want to give her full name said she joined Grow in Wexford almost three years ago after attempting suicide. She said that the support from the organisation has helped turned her life around.
'A few months prior to joining Grow I had had a breakdown. I found every step I took was difficult and felt that everything was closing in on me. I was scared and frightened.
'I masked my feelings from my husband and family members. I just didn't want them to know how bad I was feeling inside. I wasn't coping with life and was very depressed. I was feeling the lowest I have ever in my life.
'I attempted suicide but thankfully didn't succeed. I just wanted the pain I was in to go away. With the help of a psychiatrist and the support of my husband and family I got back on my feet. I decided I had to do something to help myself. I didn't want to feel like that ever again.
'I saw an advertisement for Grow in a newsletter and thought to myself 'what have I got to lose?'
'Grow has given me the help to cope with everyday life and decisions. In the past I was the person who dreaded and feared what other people thought of me and spent a lot of time consumed in my thoughts.
'I realise now that a lot of stigma was in my own head. Yes there is a stigma with mental health and depression but thankfully it is getting better. Depression can hit people in any walk of life or at any age. It's nothing to be ashamed of.
'Since joining Grow I can say I'm now a more positive, confident and outgoing person. I'm not scared to take on new challenges. I now know how to say no to people's demands if they are too much for me.
'I realise it's ok not to feel okay. I now put my needs first. I'm aware not to isolate myself and I am much more involved in the community.
'I have made lots of new friends and acquaintances through voluntary work and hobbies. Just like the celebrity Bressie (Niall Breslin) physical exercise helps a lot by releasing endorphins so I'm normally buzzing afterwards. Walking and TRX exercise classes do it for me.
'I am now very happy, something I'm glad to be able to say. Grow has taught me coping and growth skills and how to be able to take the bad with the good. But it has taken a lot of work on my part too.
'Now I'm in a place that I look forward to tomorrow. I am grateful for the blessings life has brought me.
'The hardest step was that first step crossing the door into the Grow meeting in Clonard but I can say, without hesitation, it was the best decision I every made.
'The Grow meeting is a structured meeting and we follow a Grow programme and group method but if you stick with it you'll find it does work.
'If you are that person sitting reading this with a heavy heart feeling lost and confused there is hope. Make the decision to seek help today. I found the Grow group was the help I needed.
'The group are friendly, welcoming and supportive. They are non judgemental and what you say at the meetings is confidential.
'I do understand it is a work in progress but I'm glad to say my life is a lot easier.'
Grow Wexford meet on Thursday evenings at 7.30pm in Clonard. For information contact 087 2843424.