My Adullam journey started back in 2017 when I had a doctors appointment to discuss medication I was on. I had been on antidepressant medication for some time and it was during this appointment my doctor told me all about the Lancashire Wellbeing Service which she felt could be helpful for me.
Before I went to the doctors on this occasion, I was going through another phase of feeling really down and depressed. I hated being me and no matter how much I tried I could not change myself, all my life I had been painfully shy, I hated school and never had any friends and this theme continued right through my adulthood and I was now at a point in my life, after many years of trying that I decided to give up on changing how I was and accept that life was never going to get any better.
After leaving school, my Father had put myself and my sister through secretarial college, as all the jobs were in offices at that time – I wasn’t very good at this either. I could manage to do the typing and shorthand but my communication skills with others in the office let me down. From age 15 to 18 I had five different jobs, each employer telling me they had to let me go (when what they actually meant was that they were sacking me), this didn’t do very much for my self worth or esteem! After this, I went on to get married, had 2 children and we stayed married for 13 years, however, all the time we were together the marriage was not good and a traumatic event eventually ended the marriage and brought our relationship to an end. At that point in my life I then found myself a single parent on state benefits. So, in order to make ends meet I started some college courses to better my chances of a career, I liked the courses and got good grades for the work assignments I completed and these courses then led me onto a Btec nursery nurse course which I got excellent grades for, but, once again I was let down by my communication skills with other people. I really wanted to better myself and the nursery nurse course led me to becoming a registered childminder, I chose childminding rather than nursery nursing as it meant I would have the option to work for myself and not have to work with others which in my head solved the issue of then having to communicate with other people at work! I have got to say that I am really glad I did that as I loved every minute of being a child minder and I did this for over 15 years, the only down side was, I was still expected to attend regular child minding meetings where my communication skills caused issues for me yet again.
In my personal life, I eventually met someone else and married again which lasted 7 years and then ended badly. All through these years I suffered severe episodes of depression and was taking anti depressant medication and this was how I felt on and off for a long period of time until I had the doctors appointment when I was referred into the Lancashire Wellbeing Service who then referred me to Adullam.
My first experience of Adullam was a Coffee Morning where I was met and taken by a lovely friendly lady from the Lancashire Wellbeing Service. On entering the Adullam building, I felt nervous expecting cold, judgemental stares, I couldn’t have been more wrong, we walked over to the cafe area where 2 smiling ladies chatted to me and made me feel really welcome. After this initial meeting I then went onto join the Craft Group, the cooking course, then I joined and completed the Living Life to the Full course then going onto the Celebrate Recovery course which I still attend today 3 years on!
When I started the courses and was introduced to Adullam, Covid 19 wasn’t around and we were able to meet up face to face rather than via zoom and I have got to say that I very much prefer that face to face approach, as it is real and easier than communicating via a screen. The groups at Adullam are small and close and when one of us gets upset, a comforting touch or hug could be given and obviously, since lockdown this hasn’t been possible. Having said this, even though zoom is not my preference, I do definitely feel it is extremely important that these courses continue through zoom. CV 19 has many restrictions, one being it makes it difficult for people to meet and communicate so as an alternative, zoom is very much needed and a great way to get around some of the problems lockdown brings with it. I’ve got to be honest and say that I have struggled with this technology which is completely new to me, but after a few 1:1 sessions with the Adullam leaders I am now up and running and can access groups easily and this is the way I can meet and chat with others knowing it is safe to do so, which is really important to me at the moment. Even though we are meeting via a screen, we can still see a smile, cry and share emotions and being able to share and get things off our chest at the moment in this Covid environment is really important. Personally, I have to say that the Living Life to the Full course has helped me tremendously, being able to talk and be listened to without interruptions has enabled me to focus and work through all my life problems.
Adullam is run by a warm friendly non judgemental group of people and I am a much more confident person today because of these lovely people and the wonderful courses they run. They have given me more confidence by helping me communicate within the groups as I have got to know other people who are also struggling and as a result I have felt at home and secure to share, Adullam has given me tools and different ways of thinking that has also helped me and my mood and now I have more confidence around other people outside the Adullam Community too. Through the courses Adullam runs, I have come to like myself and accept the way I am. It hasn’t taken away my shyness, that is part of who I am and my make up, but I ‘m now happy to accept that this is the way I am made and I am liked and accepted by others regardless of that.