Volunteering has opened up a whole new way of life for me. It has given me a stronger sense of identity, of belonging in my community, a sense of worth and a sense of pride in what I have accomplished.
I had become very isolated. Although I was working I needed to do something for me and prove to myself that I had something to offer.
Before I started volunteering I was pretty down as I hated my work – my experience of volunteering showed me that I was capable of doing more with my life and gave me a better view of choices I had in my life.
I have some excellent friends and support that I would never have had, had I not become a volunteer.
Because of my volunteering I learned different ways of self-managing my condition and although I’ve had a few serious blips I’ve managed to keep out of hospital as a result.
I’ve started to heal from the inside out, rather than plaster over the cracks of the latest crisis. I get excited about life in a good way. Even my wardrobe is more colourful.