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"Panic attacks daily, feeling paranoid most of the time." - Cody's Blog

Cody, one of our new Fundraising and Events volunteers, has shared her story with us.

We would like to welcome Cody to the Solent Mind team, as she joins as one of our new Fundraising and Events volunteers! Cody has fought through mental health battles of her own that lead her to wanting to volunteer with us, she shares her story...

Whilst I had a loving family and on the outside was a happy child but, on the inside, I did have a lot of things I bottled up and kept from those who loved me until I was an adult. Throughout my childhood those things and feelings I was keeping locked up was troubling me mentally and physically, I suffered from alopecia due to the stress at the tender age of 8-9 years old and as I grew into an adult it started bothering me more and more. 

I started having panic attacks daily, feeling very paranoid most of the time and at points felt completely worthless and extremely depressed. It wasn’t until I hit rock bottom and ended up in hospital, I realised the things I was keeping locked up had to be dealt with and it wasn’t something that I should keep to myself, I needed to share my feelings to understand them.

My road to recovery was tiring and at times I wanted to just give up, but it was impossible because my friends and family wouldn’t allow it. When I started talking to the people who loved me the pressure started to ease however due to me not talking and dealing with my feelings for a long time it became obvious I needed to get professional help, I turned to my doctor and reached out to Talking Change who were able to provide me with the right treatment and gave me all the tools through CBT to understand my feelings, deal with my past demons and learn how to manage them.

The first important thing for me to realise is these problems from the past will never go away but I had to believe they will become easier to manage no matter how hard that was to believe at the time. I began working on myself with the help of therapy, I began exercising, talking more to people around me (because more people cared about me than I realised!) I began buying myself treats and gifts and it soon got easier! 

With my experience I was able to help people who needed the help, who were feeling the exact feelings I was feeling, and I was able to point them in the right direction to get the help the deserved. This made me realise with my experience I can be part of the solution.

I began turning the negative things into a positive and it made me feel great, I reached out to Solent Mind, and I am now going to be fundraising at events, raising awareness. I am also about to start my 2nd year in Psychology with The Open University part time alongside my full-time job whilst continuing to help my loved ones with their mental health and working on my own well-being (because it doesn’t stop, working on myself is important). 

Whilst not everyone needs to do this to feel better and take steps to recovery it is what helped me. All they need to do is talk. Don’t bottle things up if they are bothering you. There are people out there who will listen and the most important thing to remember is that you do matter, and you are important.

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