I was 45 when I developed epilepsy and had to give up my job. I finally found a job but I struggled with it. I eventually told my wife that I was going to pack the job because if I didn’t I was going to jump off a bridge.
I was literally at the point of thinking I needed to kill myself and was planning how this would work; thinking about avoiding it being close to birthdays, working out how my family could cope financially, my wife meeting someone new, how they would all survive… and even picking out the tree to hang myself from.
So, I packed in my job, and went to the doctors. They sent me to the emergency care team who at first wanted to section me. One week they mentioned that since I liked being outdoors there was this thing called CCI that I might be interested in. I turned up for the first week and just sat and watched everyone digging. And then I had to watch Elsie doing the cooking and getting everything wrong; you don’t cook the bacon before the chicken! So cooking with the group became my thing and got me more involved.
I was mainly involved in the kitchen. I remember meeting the other guys in the kitchen and getting to know them, and telling my psychologist that I’d made an autistic guy smile. And realising that this is what I want to do with my life now, I know exactly where I’m going. So now I have a job!
This has been a life changing experience; it has been a journey from where I was, I should have been sectioned, to where I’ve ended up today, I’m going back to work! CCI have been a huge part of my recovery, I’m running about just now being grateful to everybody.
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