Eva’s story: How Jigsaw services helped

Eva’s story: How Jigsaw services helped

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Eva talks about what led her to contact Jigsaw and what the experience of getting one-on-one support from a Jigsaw Clinician was like for her.

Eva’s story

I was going through bit of a rough time. I was thinking that I was going to have to talk to someone about all of the things that were happening for me. So I googled Jigsaw and looked at the website and read the stories as well. I did wonder, is this really going to help me? Is this genuine? I just wasn’t sure what the service is about.

One day my rough times escalated … It was the month before my exams. I was in the library and I was so down that couldn’t focus at all. I was thinking, if this is going to continue, I will mess up my exams. I was constantly thinking about my worries and it wasn’t doing me any good. That’s why I decided to make a move and talk to someone.

Eva on her initial hesitation
Young person
I did wonder, is this really going to help me? Is this genuine? I just wasn’t sure what the service is about.

Relief to talk

I remember when I walked inside Jigsaw for the first time. I thought this is something that could benefit me and this is the right place to be right now. I just wanted to speak to someone and just let it all out because at that stage I hadn’t mentioned anything to anyone. It was such a relief to talk about the feelings and the thoughts I had at the time and to not be judged and not be asked questions I didn’t want to answer.

If you say things to your family, they look at the problem or issue from their point of view. I didn’t feel like my parents would understand what I was going through. They would just ask about what they were interested in; they wouldn’t really want to know my thoughts or position. I knew that people working in Jigsaw wouldn’t judge me. They were going to look at it like an objective by-stander. They were going to look at my perspective and opinion and that really helps.

First session

The first session that I had I was asked, “What’s the issue?”, and I just started crying. It was a really stressful time. The support worker I met at Jigsaw just listened and I just found that extremely, extremely helpful. She calmed me down and told me, “If people have an issue with your problem, then it’s their problem, not yours.” I remember that very vividly. It’s not my problem if other people are not accepting.

Eva on first going to Jigsaw
Young person
The first session that I had I was asked, "What's the issue?", and I just started crying.

Speaking with a Jigsaw clinician

I went into a lot of detail with her so she knew everything that was going on. She guided me through everything. I was going to face the same issue again in the near future. She even set up a strategy for how I could deal with it… “Just try doing this and maybe try to take this approach.” She saw that I was really down, so she was trying to help me out. I really appreciate that. I really felt relieved that I was able to talk about it with someone. Just being able to talk to someone and hearing their opinion on the situation, not just your thoughts constantly in your mind. It was a really great help… I was able to concentrate afterwards.

Seeing improvement

Then it kept getting better. I didn’t tell anyone until I was speaking with my support worker. Then I told my family and it’s all good now. It has turned completely – from not talking about it at all, to now being open with a couple of my friends and all of my family. My support worker was really happy for me.

Concerns from family

At that time my mom just kept asking me, “What’s wrong with you? Why are you keeping to yourself?” I didn’t know how to approach this topic. I just didn’t know how to bring it up! I wasn’t able to open up to her… When you’re hiding one thing, you don’t want to open up about anything because you’re worried you’ll be asked about that aspect of your life and then, you will have to hide it or lie. I was completely avoiding conversation and that was upsetting her.

Then when I opened up to her and to my family, she felt relieved that it wasn’t anything against her. I remember she told me: “You didn’t have to go to someone else, you should have spoken to your family first.” She felt like she failed as a parent. I told her it wasn’t anything against her; it was just that I needed to speak to someone and find the courage to open up to my family. Then she understood and she was really impressed. She definitely feels more at peace now.

Feeling confident

I started to work on myself and feel more confident about the issue. The fact that my family knows and they support me and don’t judge me, that they’re not mad… Makes a whole lot of difference. If something goes wrong with college or friends or something, I always know I have the support of my family. That’s the turning point really.

I’d tell any young person thinking about going to Jigsaw, just go for it. The fact that you think about going to a service means that there is something that is worrying you. Every problem, if it’s bothering you, is an issue. No matter how small or big it is, just go for it and get it out. I think that the biggest reason why people don’t come to Jigsaw is because they doubt the extent of their issue. They might think, well, is my issue really worth wasting their time? Is my issue good enough to be discussed? I remember that’s what I thought.

But thinking about it now – how much this helped me – it makes me happy and sad at the same time.

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