I’d spent time in hostels and shared housing and found these difficult. It was hard not having my own space, especially cos I was dealing with shit at the time. Having that space and security has made it easier to improve my life. Just after we spoke I got a catering job. A flat and a job. All my problems solved. Ha, as if.
Last time We spoke I’d had a rocky few years but had just got a secure tenancy. That took me about 3 years.
I’d spent time in hostels and shared housing and found these difficult. It was hard not having my own space, especially cos I was dealing with shit at the time.
Having that space and security has made it easier to improve my life. Just after we spoke I got a catering job. A flat and a job. All my problems solved. Ha, as if.
Homelessness isn’t just caused by lack of housing. There are always other issues at play. I struggle to cope with stuff from my past and have spent years self medicating with alcohol. I had the flat and I had the job but I didn’t face up to the rest.
So I got this job as a kitchen porter but the stress and the hours got to me. I ended up drinking when I should have been working so eventually they sacked me.
I hadn’t dealt with my issues and a home and job couldn’t paper over the cracks so I went back to a place where I had felt comfortable and supported, Mustard Tree. I signed up to volunteer in the kitchen.
After my first couple of weeks back I was feeling really stressed and upset. The CEO could see I wasn’t feeling well and asked me for a chat. That was the first time I ever really spoke about how I was feeling. I brought up my depression and was advised to go to the doctors. I was given tablets but I couldn’t handle the side effects
My key worker at Mustard Tree has been an amazing support for me. I trust her completely so when she suggested I use the house counsellor I decided to give it a go.
I tried counselling before and it didn’t go well, but I thought I should try it again and I’m really pleased I did. Not every counsellor will be right for you, but this guy is really working for me. Things are starting to change quickly now because I am facing up to my issues. I was sexually assaulted some years ago and have finally been able to tell someone. This has been an important development for me.
I’m about 10 sessions in and it’s really helping me to process stuff. Things come back to me from years ago and I’m able to work through it. I feel like by talking about this stuff it will stop it from getting in the way of my life.
I’m getting some great kitchen training at the moment and building my confidence. The next step is to get help with my drinking.
The plan is that when I can get myself free of my problem drinking, I will have the experience and confidence already in place to get back into work. I can start looking forwards instead of backwards.