Thursday, August 31, 2017
I was looking to get back out there socialising with people and I googled and Befriend popped up. I started to feel like I just didn't belong anywhere anymore and I wanted to belong again and expanding my friend circle... having fun and making new friends.
I was in domestic violence. My brother has been quite emotionally and physically and verbally abusive all my life. I was in a really dark place with depression.... The domestic violence and especially after losing a child and then cancer, I kind of felt like a broken model. I still feel like a broken model in some ways but I'm fixing myself. I started believing the negative things I was getting told. I only left the house to go to medical appointments.
It's taken 27 years but I finally broke away from that because of Befriend...I've been put down so much that I thought I deserved the cancer, I thought I deserved to have no one. I thought I deserved to sit in an empty house by myself because I wasn't worth anything.
Now I feel like I am, I'm worth the world... I've made some great friends through Befriend, event hosts and also just other members of Befriend's community. I make friends nearly every day. I am mostly doing co-hosting, just supporting anyone I can. Then hopefully this year I will start taking on the host role more and more. It's given me the confidence that I didn't think it was going to.
Now even if I don't have a medical appointment I get out of the house every day. It doesn't matter if I'm just going for a walk down to the park. I get out of the house every day. It's given me my life back... I've finally realised that I am enough. People do want to listen to what I have to say. So it wasn't just everyone else excluding me, it was me excluding myself. I've learnt that I shouldn't exclude myself because there's always someone out there that's willing to talk.
[The most significant change as a result of Befriend was] breaking away from domestic violence. Feeling that I am needed and wanted in life because I was in a really dark place ... It's got to a point now, six months down the track, and I'm not on anti-depressants anymore because just the way ...all the members and the event hosts and coordinators ... have made me feel like I'm just one person but I'm important.
[That is significant to me] because I felt like I lost myself through cancer and I'm finally getting to know ... the new person and it's really exciting and fun. I love the fact that I now have the confidence to go up and speak to anyone. I don't lock myself away anymore. I am not afraid to go sit at a café and have lunch by myself because by the end of lunch I'm normally talking to someone... I'm finally finding myself again because of that confidence and that's the main thing to me.