Join Nicky and Jane in conversion as they explore their experiences of being part of a group at PSS for Lifting Mood and Raising Self esteem ..
Nicky: I was really struggling with self-esteem massively and I feel that the course took 80% of that away.
Jane: It was really good timing for me because I’d just come back from a funeral so I was going through grief and tragedy. I got back and I could feel myself slipping right down but the letter (about the course) was here and it stopped me and reeled me back up. Like Nicky I have always suffered with low self-esteem and that’s always something that pulls me down when I get depressed. That pulls me down to another level into the basement. I’ve been doing a lot of therapy and looking at a lot of things so I was quite aware of a lot of it but it was definitely good doing it in a room full of people and realising how common a lot of those symptoms and thoughts are especially some of the darker ones where you think it’ just you that’s gone that dark. Because we all know the textbook ones but being in a room with fellow sufferers you get to the nitty gritty and get to know every single one and you get to go ‘snap’.
Nicky: Like Jayne said being in a room full of people and their self-hatred coming out I think that’s what helped me most out of all the sessions because three people in particular thought everyone in the room was lovely but they were particularly verbal about their self-hatred and low self-esteem and I remember thinking, what? I can’t believe these people feel this way about themselves they’re lovely. And it made me think well, that must mean that all my self-hate must be bull as well.
Jane: It opens your eyes to the fact it’s your distorted thinking.
Nicky: It’s not real.
Jane: And that was the beautiful thing about being in a group. Empathy’s a wonderful thing.
Nicky: You don’t get that with one on one and it was really beneficial to me being in a group.
Jane: You see reflected in someone else the very same thing that you do so it just smacks it home to you. I might not have spoken much but it was because other people were saying things that you felt. I found the life graph we did a good way of looking at the past and I liked the fact that you looked at the good and bad and sometimes I could really see the connection of, ok that was horrible but it would never have led to that. People always say that, if you hadn’t have gone though that you wouldn’t be where you are now but to see it literally for me, because In think I’m quite a visual person it was like, wow, yeah. And just to accept that one thing can’t happen without the other and life isn’t just this beautiful thing but some of your lowest points can also lead to some of your most beautiful points.
Nicky: I feel much more optimist about the future and my own capabilities.
Jane: There’s quite a few things we touched on that have affected my self-esteem positively. I think the process that we did, – the one I really liked was naming a person you looked up to. Then you had to look at when you’d had those characteristics, I was a bit sceptical but it shone a light of yeah, I have been going through quite a bit of stuff and it makes you realise. It was a way of looking at all the stuff I’ve been through and thinking I’m still here and I’m still standing. There were quite a few exercises I thought were really good for pushing your comfort zone. In the session you’re practically doing it and sharing it. So everyone’s in the same boat. It makes you grow in doing it. I liked the ones where you have to push yourself a little bit. Being in a group helps because you feel it’s only me that feels this.
Nicky: I realised at 21 that I hated myself so for twenty odd years I’d worked on learning to love myself and I couldn’t understand why I was struggling so much until I did this course. I was plodding on through life wondering if self-esteem and loving yourself are two quite different things. I’d worked so hard on loving myself and then I finally realised that I was struggling so much and not moving forward because I loved me but thought everyone else didn’t. I thought I was annoying and agitated everyone and people just didn’t like me and I think this course has brought all that together and I think that’s why it’s helped me so much. Realising that it’s not just me that feels like that. Listening to other people is a massive eye opener.
Jane: It’s the most massive thing about being in a group.