“I Have Found My Voice and It’s Here to Stay”

A South East GROW member has written this very powerful leader’s testimony on how GROW has helped her to “feel alive” and rediscover “a passion for life instead of just existing”.

I started attending GROW meetings in 2014. I was extremely nervous entering the room as I had suffered from social anxiety all my life. My earliest memory of my anxiety was when I was asked to read aloud in front of the class in primary school.

I didn’t know back then I was having a panic attack, I just remember feeling very frightened and frozen to the spot.  So as you can imagine, I detested school.

My childhood home life was very dysfunctional; it wasn’t a place where I could relax, I couldn’t express what I was experiencing, I didn’t feel I had a voice.

I have been down the route of medication, counselling, holistic therapies, meditation and read numerous self help books, all of which helped me at the time and some still do.

So I’m sure you can appreciate the anxiety I felt entering the GROW meeting but I was made to feel very welcome.

Over the following weeks, I was asked to say a little about myself and encouraged to take part in the meeting which can involve reading aloud, if you wish to. There was no pressure. Shortly afterwards, I was asked to lead a meeting which I thoroughly enjoyed. This was a huge thing for me and has given me such a confidence boost.

I have since gone back to study and have given a presentation in my workplace, something I could have only dreamed of before. I now feel alive and have a passion for life instead of just “existing”.  I now say “I can” instead of the forever resounding “I can’t”. I say “try me” instead of “why me”.  I have found my voice and it’s here to stay.

Sometimes we can talk forever about our problems, this does not always help. It can often just cement them further within us. Until we are ready to be proactive and take some responsibility for our lives, we can never change.

GROW is a 12 step programme which was written by people who had suffered some form of emotional/mental distress. So basically it works. It is a programme of lived experience and a programme for wellbeing in general.

Sincere thanks to the GROW member who so kindly shared this testimony.