“Incredible changes can take place when we have the confidence to share personal experiences.” – Cindy’s story

After finding a series of losses and grief was impacting her mental health, causing anxiety, low mood, and a reliance on alcohol, Cindy talks to us about how she found respite in podcasts to learn the importance of self-care and talking to others about how we’re feeling. 


I have experienced some difficult times in my life which have impacted my mental health, such as the loss of my loved ones. I have lost my mum, dad, and my sister all at different stages of my life. Grief and loss had negative effects on my mental health, inducing feelings of low mood, anxiety, and panic attacks over the years. I also used alcohol to numb my pain and emotions over the years. Life has been testing and sometimes I found it hard to push through. 

"I shut down my feelings and was unable to openly share with others what was going on for me."

– Cindy

Four years ago, after my mum died, I felt at rock bottom and I wished I could disappear from the world. I knew deep inside that something had to change. I felt I was flying on autopilot heading towards somewhere I didn’t want to be. However, I found a way through as a little voice inside told me I needed to make positive changes in my life so I could move through this difficult time. 

The first thing I did was look at podcasts and searched for topics that would help me to deal with my relationship with alcohol, such as podcasts about being alcoholfree or dealing with grief. Listening to these podcasts helped me to understand the foundations of self-care – the importance of looking after our basic needs – like having good food, sleep, and being comfortable at home. Simple things like buying bath salts and scheduling a bath time with candles and music would help, or walking in nature with my dog and taking the time to notice my surroundings. I began to enjoy simple things like looking at the sky and listening to the sounds, and most importantly stopping for a few minutes and taking deep breaths. This was just the start of my journey of exploration, as it led to listening to podcasts about trauma and how adverse experiences affect our minds and body. This really opened my eyes to how body movement such as yoga can help us with our mental health. 

My experiences inspired me to want to help other people. I started to study Counselling Skills to help others like me. I’m also now training as a Children’s Wellbeing Practitioner for NHS Child Adolescence Mental Health Services. I discovered the power of talking openly in a safe space with a trusted and careful listener. Incredible changes can take place when we have the confidence to share personal experiences. It also helped me to feel more open about sharing my experiences with those close to me, which brought about a stronger connection with others as well as giving me the space to gain more insight into what was going on for me by hearing my thoughts and feelings. This is when my healing really started to take place. 

"I strongly believe when we can talk about the tough stuff going on in our lives, we can truly see each other and support each other better."

– Cindy

I strongly believe that when we talk about the tough stuff going on in our lives, we can truly see each other and support each other better by sharing our stories. I shared my personal story on social media as part of the Time to Talk campaign, in February, to encourage more people to be less afraid of sharing their emotions. I want to continue to help encourage others to talk, and work through experiences such as trauma. 

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