OCD problems and traumatic time led Jacqueline to ask for support

November 2020

Jacqueline explains how the support she’s receiving through our Midhurst hub has proved a lifeline through the coronavirus pandemic

I have had problems with my mental health – OCD and anxiety - on and off for many years. In fact, over the last 10 years things have been very difficult and chaotic for me. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) has helped me a lot, but the back end of 2019 was a very difficult, traumatic time, and I needed more support. I was put through to West Sussex Mind by Mind in Brighton and Hove, so I could access a service nearer to where I live.

I’m the sole carer for my disabled daughter, and my son has had problems too. It was his problems that intensified my own stress and anxiety. It was a very difficult time.

When I first spoke to Rhiannon, and then Toni, at West Sussex Mind they had some really good ideas for me, like thinking about my stress bucket. But the pandemic has set me back.

With OCD, the things I worry about usually aren’t real. Now, with the pandemic, they are real. My daughter is being shielded because she’s so ill, and if I got it, there would be no-one to look after her. Since the lockdown started I’ve only been out once a day to walk to the dog. Apart from that I don’t go out and I haven’t seen anyone. It has been great to have Toni to talk to – we achieve as much on the phone as we would do in person, and I’m so grateful for the support.

I feel I can say what I need to say to Toni. She’s excellent at showing me that there’s a way forward. When I’m ready, when things have calmed down, I’m going to try and do something simple, like go for a coffee. But I am pleased that I can still do things on the phone, and not always in person.

I know that there are some groups that I could join, to do things I enjoy, but I’ve always found groups very difficult – I don’t know where I fit in, or how I’m supposed to behave. So I’m going to try one of the online groups, because it’s been suggested it might help me.

But talking to Toni has been a lifeline. I am very grateful for the support.