Q&A with Roger*
How did you get in touch with TPA?
I was working with CBT at Stepping Hill Hospital and they referred me, I didn’t really know what to expect.
Were you involved with other services? If yes, which?
Only Healthy Minds and sometimes my GP.
What was happening when you first got in touch with TPA?
Basically, I was almost agoraphobic, I was just pacing the house and not going anywhere, I had stopped drinking and didn’t want to be around anyone. I was scared of making eye contact with people and didn’t want to be around men from bad experiences in the past. I was worried that I wasn’t going to get on with the worker.
What did you identify as your strengths?
I didn’t really think that I had any strength’s because I wasn’t going out, but I wanted to get out and I was ready to change.
What were your goals?
I wanted to get out again and meet people, and just do something with my life.
How did we encourage you to use your strengths?
I got on with you (worker) straight away and I knew it was going to be alright, because you said that we could just go at my speed. We talked about what I wanted to do, and I said I didn’t know but that I liked being outdoors. I said I didn’t go out of Heaton’s on my own and that I would like to be able to do this at some point, and you (worker) said that we could work on that together and it made me feel better. I told you I liked history, so you told me about all the stuff in Stockport like Staircase house and then helped me get a leisure key so that I could build myself up to going into Stockport to see Staircase house.
Which community networks did we explore?
We met in the library a few times, and we looked at getting the book app on my Ipad so I could look at books at home, as I like conspiracies. You told me about loads of different groups and let me choose which ones I wanted to do, we went to that men in sheds one, in Reddish but I didn’t like it and then I felt bad because I didn’t want to stay, but you made me feel better because you said that it’s okay not to like the first group and that you had been to stuff that you didn’t like, and then I felt ready to try another group.
The next group I was really nervous about because it was on the other side of Stockport, but I really wanted to do it. You came with me on the bus for the first time and I hated it but I was buzzing when we had done it, and now I feel daft because I love the bus now I am used to it, and I even pass my day saver on to other people after I have finished now.
We did that bus first without going to the group and I liked that, so I could see where it was and I used my stuff I learnt with CBT to help.
Then I had my wobble and I was going to go on my own, but couldn’t so I then felt bad but then when you asked how it went I felt better when you said it was find that I didn’t go on my own and you came with me to introduce myself, and then it was fine. I knew where to go and now I go all the time and I have banter with everyone, even men that before I went there I was scared off, these are ex bouncers and everything, which I was really scared of before I started that.
I am now going all the time and I did some voluntary work with the shop selling reefs for the charity and it was amazing to feel like I was properly helping something.
You helped me go to the worry club, well it’s not a worry club but I call it that because it helps me manage my worries and I learn loads there about not worrying as much.
How did we explore ways that you could give some of your time?
We talked about the We Grow group at Woodbank park because they donate the stuff they grow and then sell it at low prices in poorer areas. I have now been volunteering with them for ages and I am going to be going out and I might get some actual paid work with them.
What is happening now that you have worked with TPA?
Life is so different now, I feel like I have got my personality back, I am laughing and having banter at WE GROW with people I would have been scared of, it’s so much better to have a place that everyone knows that we have all had alcohol stuff, but it’s more than that, and that’s why I never really liked proper alcohol services.
I feel like I am part of society again, and I just feel so much better with everything. I only had my mum and sister to talk to and now I feel like I have people are like friends.
*Roger is not his real name