Mind Cymru volunteer Geoff tells his story
Do you know what it's like to wake up in the morning and think 'I have to eat' and then retch at the thought of eating, even though you haven't eaten a thing for five days? You want to go to the toilet which is next to the bedroom but it seems a million miles away, when you finally go you get back on the bed giddy and exhausted. Your spouse loves you but is perplexed, she/he loves you but is totally confused, your GP sounds concerned but is consistently looking at the clock. Your friends tell you to 'pull yourself together' you want to scream 'If I could - I would'.
I lost any shame in talking about my problems. What have I got to be ashamed about? It's an illness.That was the state I was getting over when I started volunteering for Mind Cymru. They sent me to conferences and courses and I discovered I wasn't the only person in the world who had these experiences, others knew what I was going through. I lost any shame in talking about my problems. What have I got to be ashamed about? It's an illness. People stop me in the street and talk to me, because they've heard I'm involved with mental health. There's so many people scared to talk, but they talk to me because I'm a volunteer in Mind Cymru and empathise. I'm probably an asset to Mind Cymru now, but I'm only repaying the love, kindness and patience that Mind Cymru showed me when I badly needed it.