What Clic meant to me during a dark time
This is Jacqueline from Warwickshire. She is 56 and a lifelong wheelchair user with Cerebral Palsy. Connecting with people on Clic during a really difficult time for her has had a lasting impact. Here’s her empowering story:
Trigger warning: This article mentions abuse and suicidal thoughts
"Clic gave me room to breathe and helped me find my feet again. "
My mental health journey began as a teenager when I developed Anorexia. With each of my pregnancies I also developed postnatal depression – this meant I required the support of a mental health nurse specialising in pre/postnatal symptoms.
I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in my thirties after experiencing abuse in my childhood. One of my brothers sadly took his own life as a result of the abuse faced by my siblings and I. Losing him to suicide meant I learnt to hide a lot of my emotions because of the stigma surrounding his death.
Before the first lockdown began, I was in a loving relationship, I was active in my community, I had family to support me and felt as if I was the most emotionally stable I’d ever been. I was happy and glad to be living my life.
When lockdown happened, my partner and I decided that I’d be safer if I left my wheelchair adapted bungalow and moved in with him temporarily. We’d never lived together despite being a couple for ten years but I was glad that we could survive lockdown together.
What I hadn’t realised was the price I’d pay with my emotional stability. After about a month, I realised I was crying every day and had begun to dread waking up. My body was physically struggling to cope in a non-adapted environment, I’d lost my independence and I was missing having my own things around me.
My partner did everything in his power to make life easier for me, but my triggers were getting harder and harder to keep down. Eventually, I realised my thought processes were getting darker and I knew it wasn’t a cry for help. I genuinely didn’t want to be alive anymore because I couldn’t see an end to lockdown. At that point, I HAD to tell my partner how I was feeling because I didn’t want him to go through the pain of losing a loved one to suicide.
It was a devastating conversation to have, and I felt so ashamed to admit how low I’d got. I’m so grateful that he took me seriously and mentioned it to his daughter who sent me a link to Clic.
Clic made a big difference. Being believed and having my feelings understood was a huge relief. I stopped feeling guilty and I gave myself permission to keep breathing because I knew I'd get better again even when I had bad days.
Since then, I’ve moved into an assisted living flat around the corner from my partner and we are closer than ever because I’m honest with him if I start to struggle. I’m active in my community again and life is good.
If I hadn’t been given that link to Clic, I’m not sure I’d be here now and I always tell people it got me through a dark time. I needed to feel like I wasn’t imagining things or that I wasn’t going mad. Clic gave me room to breathe and helped me find my feet again.
"Another reason why I love volunteering with Clic is because it helps me too – I’m still human and have periods where I’m struggling, and to have that support there 24/7 makes such a big difference. "