(2021 - EMDR and chronic pain)
I initially started having EMDR sessions to explore Pain Protocol having experienced a second spinal prolapse a couple of months earlier which had left me in constant pain and unable to walk again. Sessions continued right through needing another emergency spinal surgery, and the months of recovery afterwards.
I had tried EMDR in the past and found it useful for working through childhood trauma and the continuing struggles that presented in adult life. However, I had never had sessions to target pain and connected trauma. Sessions provided a huge insight into how I experience and deal with pain, and it was so valuable to learn about myself in this way and understand what was happening to me when I suffered with my back pain. With guidance and support I was able to work through issues and make sense of so many things.
Although initially unsure of how sessions would work online I was pleased to find that EMDR still worked effectively in this way, with a combination of audio tapping and physical shoulder patting. Having Beverley's support during this time was amazing, and her warmth, knowledge, and attentive approach allowed me to open up and feel comfortable even when addressing the toughest areas of my past. I can't thank her enough for the help she gave me, and I have finished sessions feeling a lot clearer and stronger as a result of seeing her. Thank you!
(2012 - Anorexia)
Grace came to us with anorexia in March 2012 and has been fully recovered for some time now and even joined us as our youth intern back in January 2015! She has since moved on and is doing very well.
Every day I would wake up and wish I hadn't because I knew that until I went to bed the only thing I would be able to think about was food. Despite being so weak and hungry I was terrified to eat. I wasn't able to sleep because I was so thin that my bones would dig into me and I couldn't get warm. But the more control I took over my eating and my weight, the more control I lost over every other aspect of my life, including relationships with friends and family. I knew I had to do something before I had control taken away from me so I chose to do the Recovery Programme at Still the Hunger. I have been coming for ten months now and have started to gain weight and feel more positive. I have learnt how to differentiate between rational and irrational thoughts surrounding food and understand what caused my illness, and as I've worked on resolving these issues I've begun to get my life back. Starving was not resolving anything but making everything so much worse. Now when I wake up in the morning, instead of being overwhelmed by negative thoughts I thank God for my life and my freedom.
(April 2019 - BDD and EMDR)
I have suffered from BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder) for approx 17 years. I came to Still the Hunger in despair as I really wasn't enjoying life and couldn't see a future for me really. I felt I was just existing and that's it. I started off having individual psychotherapy and then after a while it was suggested that I try EMDR therapy. (Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing - which is helpful for treating people with trauma, PTSD, and other anxiety type problems, including BDD). After coming virtually every week for nearly 6 months, I was shocked by how much I improved - to be able to wake up not feeling dreadful and anxious to look into the mirror. I am so pleased I found Still the Hunger. They helped me to start living my life again and I am so truly grateful.
Most importantly I now have the relationship with my mum that I longed for and never thought would be possible. I had my appraisal the other day and it proved that I'm calmer, focused and in a much better frame of mind. My boss couldn't fault me at all! Normally I come across as too negative and emotional.
If anyone has had a trauma in their lives, I would strongly recommend going to Still the Hunger for help! So, thank you so much - you have really helped me to change my life - I feel confident in my little soul and I never feel lonely or empty anymore!
(2013 - depression)
Before I started the support group I was struggling on my own with depression and anxiety. I had been signed off work for 8 weeks as I couldn't leave my home, see friends, or answer the phone. Then a friend introduced me to Still the Hunger and I enrolled. I was extremely nervous, especially worried about speaking in the group sessions, but everyone made me feel so welcome and put me at my ease that I was quickly able to speak about my worries for the first time. In fact the group sessions have been so helpful and hearing other people's experiences has helped me to feel I'm not alone. Through the work of Still the Hunger I am now able to leave the safety of my home and start to resume living a normal life again. I'm telling everyone I know who has mental health problems to get in touch with the team as they have made such a difference to me! My world has been transformed and my hope restored.
(2013 - health anxiety/psychosomatic symptoms)
Before I came to the group I had a general anxiety about life. I had an unhealthy obsession over illness and found it hard to face work. I hadn't realised how my mind had buried painful experiences from my past which now manifested themselves as anxiety. The group was able to help me work through these memories in a gentle way and I discovered how to take control over my own thoughts. I had been the only fella at first and I think it's hard for men to share their feelings. But we are better represented now. I think both Christians and non-Christians, male or female, benefit from the cognitive behaviour therapy on offer here. Still the Hunger has become a safe place for me and like a second family. I got back to work with the group's help, only to retire and come back to Still the Hunger as a volunteer! I lead music on a Friday afternoon and I'm actively involved in the back office. I love it! I understand intimately what's required having been through the process and have a passion to see lives changed. I always wanted to retire early and give something back to society but never knew what I would do. Now the charity that helped me get back on my feet want me to help them. I feel privileged to be here.
(2016 - work related stress)
I want to thank you for the major impact I have experienced in a short time in accessing my feelings and remembering my deep feelings around God's love that somehow got obscured with the emotional overwhelm I had experienced from the accumulation of events. I'm still reflecting on how I lost the plot for a while and how to safeguard against it in future. It is one of the greatest feelings to be able to share what we feel on a spiritual level and it is a welcome and unexpected experience to find a place to be able to do that in the group.
(2015 - self-harm)
When I came to Still the Hunger for the first time five months ago, I had just been suspended from university following time in a psychiatric hospital for self-harm, and I saw myself as evil and disgusting. I did not want to be alive. After years of mental illness, counselling, so-called recovery and relapses, I was tired and saw no hope whatsoever. I felt completely alone, and as for God, well, let’s just say we weren’t really on speaking terms. I started to attend the sessions at Glebe Road and was welcomed with warmth, validation and friendship. I have started to feel emotions again rather than blocking them through self-harming. Despite my anger at God and frequent denial of his existence, the love and patience that God has for me has been expressed through the patience and acceptance I have experienced at Still the Hunger. I have been angry and rude, I have walked out, and I have not turned up on occasion but the group has always welcomed me back with open arms and without condemnation. Most importantly, through my journey at Still the Hunger, my faith in God has started to return and I know, albeit in my head rather than my heart at the moment, that I am loved, cherished and 'fearfully and wonderfully made', and that my identity is not in my past, my academic achievements or my weight. I have hope for the future, even though I don’t know what it holds. Before I arrived at Still the Hunger I felt so alone and like my life was in complete ruins but through challenging my negative thoughts and behaviour, I am now looking towards my return to university in April.
(Since writing this, Holly has completed her degree and is now happily married!)