James on giving Jigsaw a try…

October 07th 2015

James talks about the first time he went to Jigsaw Galway and how it became a safe place for him to work through this concerns. Jigsaw helped him identify ways to begin to feel better and get back on track. It was just after I turned 17, my mood plummeted one day. I remember the day it happened. I felt like life was pointless. I stopped looking after myself. I couldn't sleep. I wasn't paying attention in school. I just felt absolutely miserable. It started off as an existential crisis and I think just went straight to depression. This went on for a few months… around the same time, my grandfather was dying. It was a very tough few months. So a guidance counsellor at school told me about Jigsaw. I was a bit resistant to acknowledging that something was wrong, but I’m not sure why. I think there was an expectation in my mind that my problems weren't to be taken seriously, or that other people had it worse.  I have two siblings: my sister is always going through some big drama and my brother has special needs. I think, if I put it in that perspective, my problems always seemed less important so I never really tried to make a fuss. It seemed if I went to Jigsaw, I would have been making too much of a fuss. Also, I wasn't really that confident. I had been bullied a lot in school. Even in situations like that, I would never bring stuff up. For example, there were incidents, once or twice, where I'd been beaten at school and I didn't want to bring that up at home. But I figured I'd give Jigsaw a try and went for a few weeks. I remember the people in Jigsaw were very nice. I was surprised how friendly people were and that they offered tea and coffee while I was waiting. I was paired with a Support Worker... the first couple of weeks, I was just trying to feel comfortable there but after a while, we got to the nitty gritty, to the difficult stuff. We basically talked through all the stuff that was bothering me – that was nice, because I didn’t feel like I could that through any other channel. I didn't have really close friendships at the time. It meant I could go home and feel like that there was a load off my mind. I could feel comfortable just going home and doing whatever I wanted. I realized that I became better at school. I was very intent on doing good in my Leaving Cert so that I could get out of school, because obviously, school was not a happy place for me. It meant that if something upset me I knew that I could work through it the next time I went to Jigsaw. It helped having a place for me to just say what was on my mind, what was bothering me and try to figure out something to do about it. I think I realized through coming here that a lot of the stuff that was causing my difficulties, was spending too much time being idle. For some reason or another, I had a lot of free time to myself. I never really had much luck getting work for the summer so I think I was a frustrated workaholic! Once I had gone to college and started making friends, started having stuff to do, it became clearer and clearer that for my own happiness I needed projects, and responsibilities and stuff like that. It's obvious now that if I have too much free time, it does tend to drive me a bit loopy. *name changed to protect anonymity Find out more about Jigsaw Galway and our other Jigsaw services

How you can help...

You can find out more about what we're doing for World Mental Health Day, and the ways in which you can help by visiting headstrong.ie/dignity