Here Kat writes about the groups at MindOut that have kept her afloat.
I initially heard about MindOut via a friend who put me in touch with MindOut’s group in Durrington, West Sussex, which I have been attending for a while. Si the group worker offered me a place in their first Trans and Non-Binary Out of the Blue (TNBOOTB) group and I accepted as 3 big things have happened to me in the past year. I first made an attempt on my life 2 years ago and then experienced several traumatic events in December 2016 and January 2017 which made me feel distressed and suicidal. I have attended the TNBOOTB for 12 weeks now and I also attend the monthly Durrington group as I live in West Sussex.
My mental health is full of ups and downs and if mental health is a ship on the ocean of mental ill-health… most people have seaworthy vessels but I have a rubber dinghy with holes in it. I patch it up as best I can and MindOut has provided stronger duct tape, support and a life jacket.
Just the fact that MindOut is there and that I can attend every week helps me cope. I might not be here without the Trans Non-Binary Out of the Blue group and I have been feeling so low that I had to get signed off sick from work.
What really helps about the group is the other people – just hearing that others have had worse experiences than mine helps me put things into perspective. I hear voices (that I call dark passengers) which don’t want me to admit to feeling weak and vulnerable so getting signed off work just seemed to prove the voices right – that I was too weak.
So the knowledge that I can attend these groups every week helps me to cope and improves my resilience – I guess they act as a placebo. I have made friends with other group members and sometimes we go for a drink after the group which has really brought me out of my shell. I experienced depression for 12 years and it is really hard to be yourself when you’ve never really known who you really are.
If you would like to attend any of MindOut’s LGBTQ peer support groups, contact us via [email protected] or call 01273 234 839
To read more about Project SemiColon, go to: projectsemicolon.com