Colin accessed six free counselling sessions from us following the first Covid lockdown. He lives with his elderly parents and cares for them both.
“I’m a typical bloke – I thought I could cope and didn’t ask for help. I hadn’t faced up to how I really felt. The counselling gave me that kick up the backside.
I struggle with a lot of anxiety and panic attacks and I struggle with interacting with people face to face. The counselling was done over the phone and that was really good for me.
Caring was getting harder and harder for me but not because of the lockdowns. I feel like I’ve already been locked down for the last 15 years.
I was bedridden for 2 years myself following an illness, and had to give up my job.
I moved back home so my mum could look after me as I was in a wheelchair. Then mum developed cancer and was really poorly. I had to become her carer while struggling with a lot of my own problems.
I’ve had to learn how to walk again. I was getting back to normal physically, but mentally I was shot to pieces. I also care for my 93 year old father and we’re all living under the same roof – I’ve been living in the lounge for 15 years now.
The first counselling session I was talking non-step as I was so nervous. As I got to know the counsellor, I calmed down and we got along really well.
After the first couple of sessions I calmed down and realised I had someone I could really open up to. I was so grateful for those sessions as it gave me the time to start getting things off my chest.
I still speak to him every 2 weeks. Mentally I’m still struggling, but I’m really grateful I was given the opportunity to have the counselling. If it hadn’t been offered to me I would have kept putting it off.”