Tony has suffered with depression throughout his life and a few years ago things became very difficult for him. In 2015 his psychologist recommended that he try doing a course at Recovery College Kirklees. Tony has been involved in the college as a learner and as a volunteer to this day, sharing his kindness, experiences and skills with other learners, volunteers and staff.
“Before I came to the Recovery College I felt lost, a feeling I have had all my life. That has changed since I started to attend courses like WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Planning). This was a catalyst to my recovery as it made me think differently and simplified things. It taught me wellness tools alongside others who had their own issues and problems, and I learnt that I need to have a daily routine.
“Because of what I have learnt and put into practice I have more confidence now than ever before. My confidence and self-esteem were always very low. I am more prepared to do things that I was scared to do just a year ago, for example singing, dancing, travelling and public speaking. I struggled with being angry and annoyed with the frustrations of life. I am more relaxed now, what I call being “chilled”.
“I understand the pain of others because of my own experience and people confide in me which is a great honour. I now enjoy volunteering and being around others in the college. I love what the Recovery College stands for and the hope that it gives. In my opinion if more people came here they would no longer need services; they would not need to tread the same paths into and out of services like I used to do – the merry go round.
“I feel that at last I am becoming the real, authentic me. This is something I always wanted and now, at the grand age of 64, I have!”