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Life is Getting Better

One of our customers has really started to turn his life around since moving into one of our mental health services in Dagenham. 

Here is his story:

The summer just before starting university, I was under a lot of stress and was severely depressed.  I had a lot of doubt about whether I was able to complete the course, due to not getting the higher grades in my A-levels (C grades).  I also would be living away from home so I wasn’t confident that I could cope overall.  All of these thoughts and feeling of fear led me to start socially smoking cannabis.

I decided to go to university because I felt it was the positive thing to do, with the condition that I’d have to stop working, as it would have been too much otherwise.

The year didn’t begin in a good enough fashion at all for various reasons; my student finance payment was late that year due to the change in personnel responsible for the loans.  The accommodation we were living in was also very uncomfortable and unsuitable for me and my friend from school, who had also decided he was going to the same location as me.  Not feeling settled and stable, I was unable to focus and as a result of this, I was performing badly in my studies. 

When things started to get better towards the end of the year regarding my stability and organisation it was too late to get the grades I wanted to and decided to defer the year.  This made me feel distraught because I didn’t really have anything to look forward to or any goals to achieve.  I started to smoke cannabis alone.

The year after that I became unwell because of me being at home not doing much, wanting to do something that would make me feel happier, keep me busy so I wouldn’t get depressed over life.  I also stopped talking to my friends and I felt I wasn’t good enough to be around them. 

I then started to neglect myself and after not being able to cope with life efficiently my mother thought that going into hospital would be the best option for me at the time.  This tore my life apart and although I feel hospital helped at that time, it changed my perception of life forever as I felt I would never end up in such a bad place.

Since then I haven’t felt confident in life at all and don’t feel as able to do anything as I did before.  I have attempted studying since being in hospital but failed which made me realise I am in a very negative cycle of life involving severe depression, anxiety, moderate cannabis use, self neglect, reclusive behaviour, no direction and even suicidal thoughts.

However being a mental health patient has stopped my life from reaching that point that I’m unable to recover from , but hitting that low point that I did I’ve always felt I needed more support to better my life and fortunately I’ve been introduced to Outlook Care by my Care Co-ordinator. 

Outlook Care has been very supportive in me trying to build my life up again and be independent. 

They have given me accommodation that has saved me from being homeless as I was no longer able to keep the bed and breakfast tenancy up and living there had a negative effect on me.  They have also supported me in organising my life, offered me a counselling service for my cannabis use which I find to be useful and social workers encourage me to maintain my wellbeing.

I am very appreciative of this chance given to me by Outlook Care.  I feel very settled and safe here.  The management and the staff have been very helpful and supportive. 

I have recently been able to get a voluntary position doing administration and hopefully things will continue to improve.