After a few posts this week about anxiety, depression and with Christmas around the corner, we wanted to share some stories from the Samaritans…
LINDA’S STORY @ www.samaritans.org
Linda called Samaritans for the first time after the death of her husband of 26 years, Brian Hudson.
At the same time, Linda was undergoing treatment for breast cancer.
It was an incredibly difficult time.
HELEN’S STORY @ www.samaritans.org
Helen, 23, from Solihull, West Midlands used Samaritans’ text service in 2012 to help her through problems she was having with her partner.
“I felt calmer, more at ease, and ready to make my own decisions after confiding in them.”
Nowhere else to turn
“I have contacted Samaritans by text a number of times. It was mainly around the time I was having problems with my (now ex) partner.
“I needed someone to talk to, in confidence, without anyone knowing. I was feeling really low, upset, angry and worried about my relationship, and didn’t know where else to turn.
Donations needed to make text service fully available
“I heard about the texting service through a friend. As I have a hearing impairment, phone calls can be very difficult for me and I am more at ease when texting people, so it was a great option for me.
“Samaritans helped me by listening (well reading!) to what I said and responding by asking questions and offering support.
“My experience of using the text service was good, even though there were times when I had to wait a while for a response. The text service is still being rolled out to its branches, and Samaritans are currently fundraising to allow more volunteers to deliver this kind of support to people like me.
Calmer and ready to make my own decisions
“I felt calmer, more at ease, and ready to make my own decisions after confiding in them.
“I think my life would be quite different if I hadn’t sought help from Samaritans.
“I still experience problems with depression and anxiety, but I am much better than I was when I first contacted Samaritans.
“The Samaritans’ text service is fantastic, particularly for people like me who have problems with anxiety as you don’t have to speak. I have recommended it to a few of my friends.”
If you want to help us be there to support people like Helen, please consider donating to Samaritans. If you’re already giving to us, thank you so much – your support means we can be there to help the millions of people who contact us each year. @ Donate-Online
Former star of hit ITV2 show “The Only Way Is Essex” Charlie King, 28, from Essex, called Samaritans in 2011 when he was struggling with the demands of a highly stressful job, and the pressure he felt to behave in a certain way:
“I grew up with my mum and sisters, dad wasn’t around so I didn’t really have a male role model.
“I knew I wasn’t really like a typical boy. Rugby and football didn’t appeal to me, I was more interested in singing and dancing. I never really had a proper girlfriend, relationships didn’t seem to happen for me.
“My mum has a successful business, and from a young age I was thrust into a business world, I felt under pressure to do well and had to live up to high expectations.
“Before I had a chance to think about my career and what I really wanted to do, I was running the family restaurant.
Stressed, anxious and lonely
“I was working non-stop, and became obsessive about the restaurant – I had to be there all the time, wouldn’t share responsibilities with other staff, and started to believe the business wouldn’t survive if I wasn’t there every waking hour. I was highly stressed and struggled with anxiety.
“When I did take time off, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I felt I had no purpose, no one to share the fruits of my labour with – I was lonely. I’d end up blowing £100s on clothes, thinking it would make me feel better, but it didn’t.
“I started to get really depressed. I had no male friends, or a girlfriend. I remember walking my dog across a country park, and my head feeling like it was going to explode.
Reaching out for support @ www.samaritans.org
“I had reached the point where I felt I couldn’t go on, like there was no point in my existence. My family could see I was struggling, but they didn’t know what to do or say.
“This was when I first called Samaritans. Speaking to them really helped me to put my thoughts in order and gave me the reassurance I needed that everything would be ok. I called six or seven times in total.
“I also sought help through my GP, and joined a gym. Doing regular exercise gave me something to focus on, I felt and looked good.
“When I was halfway through a military fitness course, I broke my leg. It was the first time in my life where I was relying on other people, I needed help.
I wish I had realised it is ok to be different.
“All these events made me realise I needed to become more open and let people into my life. I wish I had realised it is ok to be different, that I didn’t have to conform to a certain stereotype of how a man should be.
“I also realised the importance of living your life. Work isn’t significant in the bigger picture of things.
“I wish I’d talked about my problems at a much earlier stage. I realise that if I had spoken to someone I probably wouldn’t have got to the point where I was considering suicide.
“If I hadn’t called Samaritans, I honestly don’t know where I’d be today. I have my life to thank them for.”
Christmas isn’t all Instagram filters and perfect presents.
Whether it’s family difficulties, money problems, or feeling lonely, it can be a difficult time, and Samaritans are urging all of us to get real this Christmas.
“We’re here round the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you need a response immediately, it’s best to call us on the phone. This number is FREE to call. You don’t have to be suicidal to call us.”