Living With Mental Illness

I have tried a variety of ways to help me live with mental illness. I have been through three different types of counselling, taken up different sports to meet people and looked for social clubs. What has helped me the most was a combination of becoming a member of Swindon MIND and a recovery plan that I update every three months. Swindon MIND is a mental health charity which offers a comprehensive programme of both physical activity and practical workshops where you can learn new skills. The Be Active programme includes boxing, swimming, walking football, walking and weekly gym sessions. The great thing about these sessions is that they have a relaxed atmosphere, the instructors are patient and understand when you are having an off day. Swindon MIND also provide a weekly Job Clubs, where you are provided with help in looking for work, CV writing, help with applying for jobs and practice interviews.
My recovery plan contains one physical challenge, one mental challenge, a new place to visit every three months and one new skill to learn each year. Over the last year I have been to five new places which include Milton Keynes and Bognor Regis. New skills I have learnt include blogging and meditation, physical challenges include learning how to train like an Olympic Weight-lifter and the biggest mental challenge has been how to live with mental illness and how to be open about it. For a long time, I didn’t talk about my mental health issues. Like lots of people I felt that it was better to keep it to myself as I didn’t want to feel like a burden on other people. Eventually in my mid-twenties I began to open -up to a select few people. Last year I decided to be completely open with people. This was one of the best things I could have done as it has helped me to learn how to live with the condition.

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