Rosie’s story: “My voice matters here”

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Rosie, a member of Restore’s Fleet Meadow recovery group, shares her story. Rosie was diagnosed with a mental illness at the age of eleven and has spent the last nine years in and out of psychiatric hospitals before starting at Restore.

“From my very first day at Restore, and I’ve been going there for about a year now, I was struck at how warm, kind and supportive the atmosphere was. I was so anxious to be there at first, but you can come in exactly how you are without masking how you’re doing or being someone different. The staff there are genuinely some of the kindest most supportive people I’ve ever met. You kind of become like a family with the other members that come in, nobody judges each other and although your struggles are all different, you still share a common understanding.”

“Since being there, I have learnt so many new creative skills and I have found and am still finding healthier ways to deal with my struggles. Restore combines art, gardening and woodwork etc. with goal planning and structured steps to move forwards; it also helps you with life skills and links you to any other support you may need. It is not a talking therapy, but the staff are incredible with the support they offer and do whatever they can to help you with whatever you need that day. It can be so hard to open up about your past or even just begin to voice how you’re feeling, so I think that is another reason why Restore is so good. Sometimes words are too hard, so if you don’t want to talk at all then you don’t have to, you can express it in other ways.”

“It gives you a sense of achievement when you have created something you’ve never even tried before, and it helps you to see that you do have capabilities and that you can find enjoyment in creating and in community. My voice matters here, and I feel like an actual person instead of a problem or a generic list of symptoms. “

“I think Restore is a very healing environment; I cannot express enough just how healing it has been for me to be so connected to nature, to create things and learn practical ways to deal with your pain, and to really learn to be grounded.” 

“I am doing this half marathon for Restore, because I believe that this charity has and is helping me and so many others to completely rebuild our lives, and I am so forever grateful for all they do and have done for us.”