My name is Emily and I have been challenged to talk to you about my life free of anxiety and depression.  My journey of depression and anxiety started about ten years ago when I just felt very unhappy and that I had no energy and often had thoughts of suicide. After speaking to my boss she decided that I needed to go into therapy and I agreed. It was through therapy that I was diagnosed. I got put on all kinds of meds and they seemed to work until my dad died five years ago. I thought that I was coping but realised that I was not actually coping as I could not function as there were so many days where I just could not get out of bed. I also found myself having these feelings of abandonment and not knowing how to express myself so I would take it out on myself by scratching and self-medicating on top of the prescribed meds and they just became stronger and eventually, my body just got used to them. I would often say that I wish I had died instead of dad. I literally just gave up and my relationship with my family was virtually non-existent.

One night, I was sitting in church and they were running a grief share course and I just knew that I had to be there. One night one of my facilitators, Robin Kolberg literally pushed me to break point. He made me realise that I really need help. We started chatting and from there on I thought he was the right person to help. We have been working together for the past couple of months and he has been giving me a whole load of coping skills to put into place like knitting and doing breathing exercises instead of taking my anxiety out on myself and they are really working. I have realised that I don’t need my meds to cope as I have the right tools in place. I have decided to come off my meds and it has given me a new lease of life. I now see things in a completely different light as I have been given a new set of tools to help me cope (healthier options) also now that I have started working on my relationship with my family it has taken a huge weight off my shoulders and feel like I can do anything I put my mind to, just having someone who has not given up on me really makes a huge difference. I am the type of person who always wants to be in control of my life and when I was on my meds I was out for control now that I am off them I have never been more in control than I am now. I feel so much happier than I have been in a really long time. It is a great feeling to be free of it and able to cope with life in a much healthier way

In conclusion, I encourage you to find help if you are suffering from depression and anxiety as trust me I know it works and you can do it!