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Taking off the Mask – Part 2

Here’s part 2 of an incredible story from one of the survivors we have worked with…

So here I am sitting in a comfy RSVP chair with my counsellor going into my past. The words poured out. We discussed my feelings; how my words were making me feel and possible ways I could feel in order to change my coping mechanism.

Without the support of RSVP I wouldn’t be where I am now. I have learnt more about myself than I ever thought possible. I talk so much more, I cry too, not because I’m unhappy but because I can if I’m upset. I’ve learnt that it’s ok to be upset. I’ve learnt that my feelings are mine and it’s ok to feel them.

Now I have a new partner and she is so understanding. She is kind, beautiful and patient with me, she understands the length of my recovery and has spent many times with me coming to my counselling sessions and waiting in the waiting room for me.

I have had my bad days but with help of RSVP and my partner’s patience I have been able to get the help that I’ve needed, so my blips are more of a passing moment than a troublesome few weeks.

I am on anti-depressants but I don’t see this as a bad thing. It simply means that I have an illness, and just as you would take paracetamol for a headache, I find anti-depressants helpful in controlling my illness.

I have a good job that I enjoy and I also completed an introductory level in counselling. Since completing my counselling with RSVP, I have gone on to raise money for them and I’m currently giving some spare time to help them with a few things on a voluntary level. It’s my way of saying thank you for their hard work and continued support.

My partner and I have been on a couple of holidays together and this year we’re taking my children away. It will be the first time that I have been abroad with them, I’m so looking forward to it.

My partner and I live together and I find that since I learnt to take my mask off, when I giggle with her it is real, I laugh because I am happy.

I still get on with my ex-wife, we work through things with our children and I am there for them every day and continue to provide for them. I see them on a daily basis and FaceTime or text them all the time.`

I’m not saying that my journey has all but ended, I still have a way to go yet, but the road that I am on is clearer and for the first time in my life I have no mask and I am not running.

I think and feel more clearly. If I’m struggling, I talk about it. I’m more open and honest about how I’m feeling. There is a saying that I picked up during this journey that will always stay with me:

“If you always do, what you have always done, you will always get, what you have always got”

This seems very fitting for my journey. I have changed what I do and opened up and now what I get back has also completely changed. All of this would never have been possible without the help, guidance and support of RSVP.

Thankfully my story still continues with a more positive outlook.

Thank you RSVP.

If you would like to find out more about the work of RSVP, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Posted 7 September 2016

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