Joyce, MoJ, has always loved walking. Last year, she took part in our walking challenge in the hope of helping others in need. Although she has suffered with health problems over the years, she has found happiness through giving back to her community. This is her story in her own words.
Last year, walking became more than just physical activity for me. Step by step, (pun intended) it helped me rebuild my confidence. The simple motion of putting one foot in front of the other had a genuinely positive impact on my life.
It came at a time when I was experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety. Over the previous few months, I had become increasingly nervous and experienced long periods of low moods. Feelings of inadequacy made me tearful and often caused me to retreat from interacting with others. I was eventually diagnosed with anxiety and depression which not only came as a shock, but as a relief. It was good to actually have a diagnoses. Things hadn’t felt right for a couple of months but I didn’t know how to deal with it and I felt unable to talk to anyone about it. I subsequently learned that the most likely cause of the anxiety and depression was perimenopause. This is the stage before menopause but symptoms can be quite extreme for some people, and they were for me.
After feeling so low for such a long time, I wanted to help others who might be going through a tough time, whatever the reasons may be. That’s when I came across The Charity for Civil Servants who supports people like me…and they can only continue to do this, if we in turn, support them.
I decided to walk for the Charity and raise some money. I just thought – I can make a difference walking, it’s so simple. Someone’s going to get some help if I do it... that was my motivation.
By the end of the summer last year, I found that I was sleeping better and my concentration levels had improved. I even dropped two dress sizes. Days are still far from perfect and there are still periods where I don’t know how I’m going to cope. But slowly and surely, I feel like I’m getting back to my old self.
Like me, you can start small. As part of your first step, sign up to STEPtember.
There are points in our life where we all need some help. You can’t always go to family or friends. The Charity can provide that support but they need OUR support to do it. Support the Charity because they support you.