My name is Becky, I’m 26 and I have borderline personality disorder with chronic depression, along with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and various other ailments and illnesses.
At the time when I heard about the services that Stockport Mind offer, I was stuck; I had been unemployed and on benefits since 2015, unable to access any care from psychiatry or support from other services, and my GP was struggling to help me any further than she already had. I was at rock bottom, and most days, I felt like I wanted to die because I felt that I was “beyond help” and “a burden on my family”, my partner, my GP, society…everyone.
I had struggled significantly with my finances, as years previously I had been declined PIP, meaning I lived on ESA alone, equating to £125 a week. This PIP rejection had infuriated me, as by their own admission, I was too unwell to work (I was in the ESA support group), but not “unwell enough” to have funding to help me become more independent; this made me feel like a fraud, and I was to be forever “stuck” living with my parents, which made me experience immense feelings of guilt, as I felt “I was their burden”.
Immediately after seeing one of the Link Workers at Stockport Mind, she encouraged me to reapply for PIP, and helped me fill in the 40 page application booklet that had completely overwhelmed and scared me. She also attended my assessment, which was a massive reassurance. I had back up.
Two and a half years after my initial application, I was accepted for payment of PIP, despite my circumstances not changing between applications. I can now pay for my car again, which my Dad had previously funded for me. I can do things with my partner like afternoons out, or pay for us to go out for dinner. I can finally buy gifts out of my own money for my nephews, and I’m working my way back out of my overdraft, which had been at it’s limit since early 2013. Currently my partner and I are saving up for a deposit for our home.
My Link Worker changed to another lady earlier this year, and her support has been invaluable. I attend regular appointments with her, sometimes to talk things over when I’m feeling low, to check in and have a chat, or to discuss ideas to join other activity groups in Stockport.
I always leave these appointments feeling happier and more positive. This regular support is what I had hoped for from other services, which never happened.
I now receive DBT – Dialectical Behaviour Therapy – privately funded by my parents, and I feel I am finally making progress for the first time in my life. As a result of the support from Stockport Mind and the DBT, I have managed to continue my studies, as my hopes are to become a therapist. I have recently started working with real clients in a GP practice work placement, and I feel very optimistic about the future.
Whilst I know that my ongoing recovery will never be a straight, upward trajectory, I feel incredibly hopeful that one day, I will live a “normal”, fully functional life. I now have my healthy aspirations again, and I know that the help and ongoing support from Stockport Mind was the catalyst that begun my recovery.
It’s difficult to explain how grateful I am, as Stockport Mind changed my life for the better and I will be forever grateful for their belief in me; that I am worthy, and I can recover from my depression.
Thank you to Becky for sharing her story and we’re delighted to hear that our support has helped her find hope and progress.
If you would like to share your story, please feel free to contact us with ideas for article submissions.
Anyone who is in crisis or feeling suicidal can contact Samaritans on 116 123, 24/7.
We do have a criteria for our Link Work Service, and sometimes a waiting list for those who are eligible. The criteria is explained at the start of this video, which features the story of another person who has accessed this service, Vikki.