“I was brought up not to talk about my feelings and not to cry – I was fighter from an early age and it was all about being strong and tough. The fact is that I’d been having a difficult time for years, I lost my baby daughter in 1990 and my brother to suicide in 2009. I was really struggling with flashbacks and PTSD and the only way out I could see was suicide. I had a plan in place, had been researching suicide on the internet and had isolated myself from the world. I was really desperate. I felt lost and didn’t know where to turn. And then I got referred to James’ Place.
As soon as I walked in that building I felt safe. It makes me feel quite emotional remembering how I felt. It was very homely, very comfortable, not clinical at all. Just a warm, beautiful, safe place – a cocoon of safety. The staff were so accommodating and welcoming, nothing was too much trouble and you were greeted with a smile. In my sessions with my therapist I felt so relaxed and comfortable that it became easy for me to open up and finally talk about some problems I’d been holding on to years. It felt like letting the air out of a pressure cooker, It was so freeing to let it all out and finally be myself. I didn’t feel on my own any more.
Over time I felt a real change in myself, my self-esteem and feeling of self-worth grew and I started coming back to myself. I felt more in control of my own thoughts and the black cloud that followed me around started to lift. With my therapist I worked on a safety plan which I now keep beside my bed, learnt ways to cope and also got signposted to other services that could help me such as Love, Jasmin which supports bereaved parents. James’ Place has made such a difference to my life. I feel like I’m finally looking forward to the future – in fact I just got my first ever passport and am going on my first holiday abroad at 61 years of age! I can’t thank them enough.”
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