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Keep On Going

I was an in-care child from the age of sixteen till I was twenty-five. At that time, I already knew what I wanted to do with my life. I was already on the right track. Social Services helped support me with college and pursuing my goals, so they wanted me to continue that, but also felt that I needed support along the way. Obviously when Social Services leave you that can be very daunting, and stressful, for a person that's been in care most of their life. That's why I initially got involved with Elmore, about three years ago now.  

 

Before I met Elmore, I had a bit of a difficult situation where I was living, I had a nightmare neighbour next door. I worked at the hospital for two years then moved to the doctor's surgery when Covid first started, and because doctor's appointments weren't face to face anymore, I was getting quite a lot of abuse off patients. And then because I had that problem with my neighbour as well, I was going to work with abuse, and I was coming home and getting abuse. So, it was just really daunting, and it really affected my mental health, which is what Elmore supported me with. Elmore helped me go to the MP and stuff because my housing association were useless. They stood by me and argued that I needed to be moved, and I eventually got given Band Two. They helped me to take myself away and move, and just decide what I want to do next.  

 

After I moved, I started to work on my self-esteem, and my confidence, and study as well. Elmore helped me to go to training courses, like ‘Managing Anxiety’, and they supported me when I had to go to hospital and things like that. When I had problems with my job, they talked to me about it. They helped me feel confident and that I was making the right decision to step away, and to reflect on my problems and make myself feel better. I don't know what would have happened if I didn't take myself away from that.  

 

With anxiety and depression, you can spiral out of control and listen to the negative voice, and people like me don't have many friends, or we don't go out. But Elmore, you can phone them up and say, oh, you know, ‘I feel like this,’ and, and they will call you.  When I'm crying or when I feel like I'm going to self-harm or something. Just to have somebody at the end of the phone talking me through what it is and why. And making me feel it's okay, it's not me. It makes me feel like I'm not so alone.  

 

I'm just taking this time to get back on my feet. I've studied quite a lot. I've done five years of education after school. Doing the courses that I did - Child Care, Health and Social Care, Social Science, Awareness of Mental Health Problems… really made me very aware how I had been treated wasn’t normal, and how you should be treated, and how other people should be treated, and respected.  

 

I've learned a lot about boundaries. It’s so hard. I didn’t used to put boundaries in with my sister, but I’ve started to lately. Which is quite good. But it's taken me a lot. I learned about boundaries in college but it's different putting them in place. Trace has really helped me with that. And she's congratulated me when I've done it. And I hadn't even known that I've done it. She's like, ‘You’ve just put in a boundary,’ and I'm like, ‘What?!’.  

 

It made me realise that I don't need my family. I can do without, and I'm not on my own. And it made me see who positive and negative people are, even friends, relationships. And just how to cope with certain aspects of life. Like, who to turn to when you need counselling, and stuff. That really made me realise that I want to help other people as well, because I want to be a mental health worker. That's my dream. 

 

I would say Elmore supported me to be a better person and achieve the things that I want to achieve.  I think I would have struggled greatly if I didn't have somebody to talk to and to point me in the right direction of things that I need and push me in a positive way. I would have struggled a lot more to reach my goals and my achievements, if I didn't have that support.  

 

When you suffer with mental health conditions, to have somebody there that understands and makes you feel like you're not alone in it, and that it's understandable why you've made decisions that you have, I think that it does help to move you forwards. I don't know where I'd be if Elmore didn't take me on and support me. It means a lot that they are still here for me today. And I think I'll always think of Trace and the support she gave me you know, even ten years down the line. 

 

I just completed my last college course, which was Awareness of Mental Health Problems. I passed that. And then I did a course on domestic abuse. So, I'm a Domestic Abuse Champion. And I'm working. I’m doing some volunteering currently at The Porch, which is helping people that are homeless. Giving them a meal, and clean clothes, and letting them use the computer, to like work, or just talk to them about things. Which because I ran away from home when I was sixteen, and I got put in a hostel, I kind of understand. So that's nice because people feel like they can talk to me because I've been through it.  

 

I'm going to do the Porch for a while I reckon, and then I might go to Turning Point. I'm gonna do that for a bit. And then, mid-New Year I want to probably get a part time job, but at the minute I'm gonna volunteer until I find the right setting for me. And then hopefully, they've got a job where I'm comfortable, where I enjoy.  

 

I want to make a difference. I think that where you've overcome in the past, you can overcome again, and it will make you stronger. Don't put up with your family or your friends or your partner, treating you in a way that you shouldn't be treated. Find the right people for advice on how to get out of that situation.  

 

Just because you're going through it right now, doesn't mean it's gonna go on forever. It's okay to take time for yourself and to figure out what you want to do with your life. There's nothing wrong with that, you're not failing because you're doing that, you're trying to become a better person. And it's okay to feel down on some days and struggle and not want to get up or get dressed, but you know, always look for a better day. I guess that's what I would say to myself if I was younger – ‘Keep on going’... 

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