Mark on dealing with disappointment & making hard decisions

October 08th 2015

Mark talks about how Jigsaw helped him through a tough time when he had to make some hard decisions. It was a difficult time for me last September when I moved to France for Erasmus. This was a dream for me – for years and years, I've wanted to live abroad. It's what I came to college to do. It was all I had wanted. Then I went and I wasn't enjoying it and the disappointment of it was kind of overwhelming. I didn't really want to admit that I wasn't enjoying it because then I felt like a failure. I remember talking to my parents and they suggested that maybe I should come home. This was too big a decision for me to take lightly. So I came to Jigsaw and started talking to a support worker and a doctor, to see how it was impacting my mental health. I came to Jigsaw at the start of January while I was still unsure whether or not to quit the Erasmus year. I was under incredible stress to make a decision that had the baggage of fear of failure attached. Jigsaw helped in the decision-making. I made the list of pros and cons and I think it helped put that in perspective. Jigsaw also helped me to come to terms with the decision I made because it was very difficult and I was second guessing myself all the time. I came back to Ireland in March so I had more or less a semester off then, and I had no luck finding work, so I needed to find stuff to do. I was still coming to terms with the decision I'd made. Coming to Jigsaw helped to calm my mind a bit because there was a lot of stuff to deal with on my return to Ireland. I felt as if I wasn't being judged, that I could talk about what was concerning me without the fear that I would be ignored or have my trust broken. There have been noticeable changes that I think I can credit partly to Jigsaw. I became a bit brighter. More comfortable in myself. My parents had even noticed that when I came back for Christmas I looked gaunt and pale but when I came back to Ireland properly, I started looking healthier. If I were to give someone advice about coming in to Jigsaw, I’d say don’t to be afraid of judgement because you're meeting an absolute stranger who doesn't know you, and if it doesn't work out you don't have to come back. At least give it a chance until you’re comfortable enough to let it out. They won't say it to anybody. Don't be afraid and don't let the stuff that matters ball up inside you.  Even if you don't think it's that serious, just say it out loud anyway and see what happens. *name changed to protect anonymity Find out more about Jigsaw Galway and our other Jigsaw services.


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