COVID Heroes: Christine's Story
Updated: Dec 30, 2020
Christine, aged 67, is one of the many people that we help here at Ness M Foundation.
Three years ago, Christine’s brother-in-law was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and during this time she helped provide him with care. However, the pressure of caring for him lead to the deterioration of her own mental health, which eventually accumulated to a mental breakdown. This had a severe impact on Christine’s life, and she soon found herself not having the confidence to leave her own house, leaving her with the feeling of isolation.
Before coming to NMF Christine received eight weeks of private therapy, which she found very helpful. She slowly found her life resuming with a sense of normality and routine, until she became ill with a viral infection, which made her housebound in December 2019. By the time that she had recovered from her illness, the country had entered lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic – forcing Christine to shield again. Christine describes the incredible loneliness that she has been forced to endure, brought on from isolating for nearly nine months. She explains that ‘it can be very lonely when you have mental health issues. People tell me “I’m here if you want me” or “if you need anything, please let me know”, but then when you reach out they will say "can you come and collect what you need?” but they forget that I’m terrified of going outside’.
Now, not only feeling anxious about being in public spaces, but also the fear of contracting the virus, Christine decided to seek help from us in March 2020, when she was concerned about buying essential groceries for herself, and a terminally ill neighbour that she cares for. NMF have supported both Christine in the sense that they have collected her weekly shopping, but they’ve also alleviated her of any worries or stress she may have been feeling, by providing support for her neighbour too. Christine describes the help from NMF as being her ‘lifeline’. Reflecting on the way the support has helped her, she explains that ‘if you want a loaf of bread, you’ll pop to the shop to get it - but I have to psyche myself up, take some medication, and brace myself to go to the shop’.
Christine is eager to get back into a routine, and reclaim some of her independence post-lockdown, but she is aware that there will be obstacles to overcome. ‘It feels like I’ve got to start again, but with having a charity like NMF where they can bring things to my door, it has been a mini freedom’. However, she still has a positive outlook to the future, even though there are still feelings of doubt and worry in her mind. Thinking about her outlook to the future, she explains that: ‘My ultimate aim is to become independent again, and look after myself totally’. Christine feels very empowered to be able to speak about her experiences, and hopes that others that feel that they are in a similar position can find the confidence to reach out and ask for support. At Ness M Foundation we encourage you to contact us to find out more about the free services that we could offer you!