In March 2017, I was literally at the end of all I could take. I needed help. I could only cover up for so long how I felt, until I couldn't anymore. I went to the doctors and they gave me a leaflet to self refer for counselling/therapy. I knew how I felt wasn't right. I didn't want to be here, I hadn't necessarily had suicidal thoughts, or had I? More the thought of wishing I weren't here. The pain I felt inside of me wasn't something I could describe, the c.O. N.s.t.a.n.t thoughts in my head. The anxiety, the panic attacks had taken over my body, my life.
From April 2011, starting my first job at 17, I was mentally and emotionally abused by a member of staff who was a grade above me. At that age, a young, quiet 17 year old, I didn't know any different, she was the one who I was always told to go to. She was manipulative, a liar, would twist words, was nice one minute, screaming at you the next, a bully. I would report things in work and have management telling me not to tell anyone.
In October of the same year, I was attacked by a German Shepherd dog. I was in the hospital and I remember texting the, let's call her "the woman" checking I weren't on rota for the next day, panicking incase I was and what she would say to me. Rather than thinking about what had just happened, I was really in shock. I remember vaguely going to the doctors and they said I was suffering with PTSD, they sent me for counselling. I went once and never went back. I couldn't understand what I was being asked, about my childhood etc. I'd just turned 18, going through trauma and they were asking about my childhood, rather than the reason I'd been sent. I was too young to understand or speak about what was happening, and had already happened to me.
Although my life had already probably changed for the long haul before the dog attack by what the woman had done to me, this was the day that changed my life forever.
2017 - 6 years later, still in the same job, a bit less human, depressed, suffering with anxiety, PTSD. Trying. To. Keep. Going. "the woman" had completely changed my life for the worse, alongside being attacked by the dog, I wouldn't walk anywhere away from my house, wouldn't go out in the dark, didn't walk where I was attacked by the dog, down a road I used to walk in a daily basis, slowly stopped socialising. I had to keep refusing to work at the venue I was at that day, because the woman was there and in my head that put a connection between her and the dog attack.
Towards the end of 2016, Luck or not. The woman bullying me had gone off work for the foreseeable and eventually, management started to listen to what I was telling them and I was able to confide in a senior with everything I had written down, and feel some sort of relief.
I started therapy, I saw a lady called Rebecca every week for around 8 weeks, in the last session, I completely broke. Rebecca was nice but I didn't feel any different. So thankfully, she referred me to a mental health team higher up.
I remember the day I received the letter, opening it and it saying my CBT appointment was at: The Brooker Centre. Immediately I thought, oh my word, am I that bad? Yes I am that bad and need someone to help me. When I was younger, I remember in school people would laugh and joke about The Brooker Centre, I remember how I imagined it being, people crawling up the walls and trying to escape over huge fences outside the building.
When I went for my first appointment, my imagination from my 11 year old self completely changed. It was calm, like a doctors waiting room, there were lots of leaflets on the walls, with help and support, some with events on, music playing in the background, Radio 1 or something, not that depressing stuff.
My therapist came out and greeted me, her room was quite far down the corridor, walking down i kept thinking oh god what am I doing, whilst at the same time, thinking she was going to lay me down and hypnotise me or something, and just take away the pain I had inside me. Her name was Jo, and I didn't know it yet, but she would change my life.
The first appointment, dug deep, but not too deep, it gave her a lot of information, and in that appointment I told her things I had never said to anyone, I told her how I really felt. I broke down, I really cried, and I think I cried so much at the relief of being able to say to someone how I felt, and feeling like they understood.
7 months from my original appointment, I was signed off from my appointments with Jo. It was scary, knowing I wouldn't have her to go and speak to weekly. Relief, knowing I felt like I was in a position to try to be able to live my life but feel so different. Happy, sad, weightless, literally every emotion, it was a strange feeling walking out of that building that day.
I started RUNNING. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED it. I used to run when I was in school, cross COUNTRY, I wish I'd kept it up. The first time I went out, I told myself I would do a 10k by the end of the year, and I did it the same week! Probably far too much too soon, but it gave me this sense of relief, I felt so #bleeping relieved when I finished, exhilarated, overwhelmed, flipping fantastic! I accomplished something that made me feel absolutely amazing! I carried on running and joined a local Plodders group with a work friend, I loved It. It made me socialise, something I was so scared of. I was actually socialising with people and they were all so nice, even though I didn't really speak, they were all so nice to me. I was finding my voice again, finding me.
A couple of weeks later I had a 10k race planned, at this point I was having a few niggle problems with a knee injury, but I'd just found something I absolutely loved so there was no stopping me! I found GIRLS THAT JEFF on Facebook. So started run/walk intervals, or more like jeffing!
I entered my first race, Tatton Park 10k, I "jeffed" the whole race, (ran) 60/ (walked) 30. My mum came to support me. It was incredible, wow! My legs collapsed after the finish line and I literally balled my eyes out with Happy tears. No-one could take that feeling away from me, to me it was HUGE, In my head it was like I was belching out I'M A SURVIVOR! Because I really was, and I so desperately needed that moment!
In 2018, I finally found myself a new job! And was totally on the up from then on.
From then on I entered lots of races, mainly my faves, 10ks. Running really did change my life. To find something you love, that gives you so much back maybe without even realising it.
It gave me friends, it gave me confidence, It gave me life, it gave me, Me!
I still have days where I suffer with anxiety, the anxiety never really goes away, I just learned how to control it when decides to creep up on me, sometimes not so bad as others.
Nowadays I walk or power walk, due to injury, but I hope to some day be able to run again! It definitely doesn't stop me entering races, I have a place for London Marathon 2020, now defered for 2021. Wish me luck!!
My Instagram is: leannemoore_