I was just chatting to Tommy Marren on Mid West Radio about the Social Coffee Mornings in The Blind Tiger, Sligo. I explained about why the coffee mornings came about due to my mental health issues and I told Tommy all about the Havin’aLaugh Charity and how it helped me so much.
Last year I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, looking back the anxiety was always there but last year it manifested itself in the form of panic attacks. The depression hit me out of the blue (although in hindsight it could well have been connected to my low B12 levels – so get your B12 checked).
I’ve written a lot about how I was feeling and I’m not ashamed to talk about mental health. If I had a broken leg I’d talk about it so no difference for me talking about the depression and anxiety. One of my readers told me about the Havin’aLaugh charity – they give vouchers for life enhancing experiences to people in mental health therapy. Back in my darkest days I didn’t really have a lot of energy but I thought I might like a seaweed bath. Havin’aLaugh sent me a voucher and off I went. My camera, which had sat on a shelf for months, came with me and as I walked along the beach a glimpse of the ‘old me’ came back as I started taking photos again.
One of the main things that I found was that I felt very isolated, I had 900 friends on Facebook but no one to go and have a coffee with – so the idea of the Social Coffee mornings was born. It was important for me to give something back to the charity that helped me so much. The first coffee morning was a fundraiser and raised over €1000 which I was thrilled about. The coffee mornings now are just people turning up for a chat and to ‘have a laugh’ – you buy whatever you want to eat and drink and if you want to throw a few bob in the charity bucket that would be great.
If any readers would like to come along to the coffee mornings the next ones are on Monday 9th April, 14th May, 11th June in The Blind Tiger, Sligo from 10am – 12 noon. All are very welcome.