From receiving accommodation support to counselling services, find out how positivity and access to the right people has transformed Anna’s life.
“Before coming to The Wallich I was lost and lonely.
I was at rock bottom. I didn’t really live, I just existed.”
“My support worker, Alys, was open and honest and didn’t judge me at all.
I was being evicted at the time. She helped me get a property. It wasn’t easy, I was not the best person to rent somewhere to.
I had thousands of pounds worth of rent arrears because my children had been taken from me and I had to pay bedroom tax and I couldn’t afford it.
Nobody was going to take a chance on me, but Alys made it possible for me to get somewhere. I’ve got somewhere now and I’m really happy.
The people who took the chance on me, and rented me the property are really happy, because I’ve absolutely turned my life around.
We came up with our own arrangement where I would give them a little bit of extra money, just in case anything went wrong, so that I wasn’t such a risk.
I’ve been able to lend that money back now, to buy myself a PC.”
“Steph, my counsellor, where do I start. She is amazing, she is the best counsellor I have ever had.
She honestly made me feel validated, she made me feel understood.
If you’re not judged, and if you do feel validated and understood, you can tell the counsellor stuff that you’ve never told anyone else. Once you’ve told them, you can start finding the answers.
It has been a really hard journey for me, but from where I was when I started speaking to Steph, to where I am now, they are so far apart. I’m a completely changed person.
Steph has helped me overcome problems that I’ve had since childhood that I never really understood before. I have understood them now and I have overcome them.
Steph has helped me become a whole person now. She’s put all the jigsaw pieces together at last, and I finally feel whole.
I’ve been taking Quetiapine for probably six years I think, from when I got diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.
But since I’ve been supported by Alys, and had counselling with Steph, I’ve actually managed to half my medication.
I was heavily using cannabis to self-medicate. I have now cut my cannabis use down to more than half.
We’re trying to stop the cannabis, which is a lot harder than it sounds as I’ve been self-medicating with cannabis for 30 years. But I realise now that I don’t need it because I’ve got a positive life.
I know how to deal with these little things that happen to me, when I feel my emotions are becoming too much.
I’ve got little tips and tricks now that I can use so they don’t overtake me.”
“I am now living in a bedsit, and for the first time ever, it’s clean and tidy.
If you’d seen the places I’d lived before, well, let’s just say it wasn’t good, because my mental health wasn’t good.
You know, I’ve learnt now that, what do they say, tidy house tidy mind? Do you know what, I used to think it was a pile of rubbish, but it’s actually true, believe me.
I’m now on top of my finances, I’m not rich by any means, but I don’t feel as poor as I used to. I’ve still got benefits only, but I’m starting to feel a bit richer inside, and a bit more fulfilled.
I am a different person now. I’m not at the bottom. I live my life. I feel whole.
I get up in the morning and I’m happy some days. Some days not, but we get there in the end with positive thoughts.
I now surround myself with positivity because it’s very easy to be positive if you surround yourself with positivity.
If you’re surrounding yourself with toxicity, it will poison you and turn you toxic.
So, there is a way out, you just need to believe in positivity.”
“Going from having absolutely no plans, apart from surviving and not actually doing anything with my life, I’d now like to change the world.
I can see that there are things in the world that are not right. I’ve been stigmatized, abused and I felt poverty.
I’ve made decisions about paying the electric or buying food.
I’ve found the answers to the questions that were keeping me locked up inside, stopping me from having a life.
I found that helping other people helped me. I’m going to share my life story and boy, has it been a life.
But I’m not scared anymore. I’m not scared to be me.
My children taught me that happy people don’t bully people, because if you’re happy, you’d like to see other people happy.”
Find out more about our Torfaen Tenancy Support project and Reflections Network.