Mental Wellbeing

Guest Feature: Jenny’s Mental Health Story

jenny's mental health story

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I recently met Jenny in a Facebook group for which I’m an admin – Sober Fit Tribe a free support group for anyone trying to change their relationship with alcohol.

As you may already know, I took a 90-day break from booze back in December 2017 which has since become a lifestyle choice.  I met Karl who runs Sober Fit Tribe at the friendly meet-ups they run and recently became an admin for the group.  I’m running a fortnightly ‘blog spot’ on the Facebook group and Jenny contacted me hoping to be featured.

Jenny is newly sober and an aspiring blogger. (I need to get round to writing some blog posts on how to blog to help her out!)  She loves writing so in the absence of her own blog until she gets started, I decided to feature a piece she has written about anxiety and depression.

Over to Jenny 🙂

Jenny’s Story

A lot of the time the ‘black cloud’ as I call it descends and I truly believe that I’m not worth anything to anyone.

I struggle to get out of bed, look after my kids or look after myself…Sometimes I even struggle to take a breath.

When I do make it out of the house on a rare occasion my heart races. My palms are sweaty and I can’t catch my breath. I get confused easily and believe that everyone is looking at me like I’m a loser.

I’d heard that exercise can help mental health. I was being told that drinking copious amounts of vodka (my preferred tipple) wasn’t going to make anything better.

For a long time, this was utter rubbish to me. Some sort of conspiracy from the well-doers trying to make me fit into their ideals of a perfect life.

I was in control. It was my life…I didn’t want to change, couldn’t change. I wouldn’t even know where to start…however…I’d wake most days with a hangover.

Every time, I felt the same as I did before the binge session.  I’d stopped bothering to even walk unless I had to, let alone partake in any other form of exercise.

Guilt kicked in.

It was a circle of self-loathing, guilt, sadness, hate and suicidal tendencies. I kept reading about other peoples’ journeys to sobriety. Heard how fantastic people felt after exercise.

Subconsciously it was going in.

I fought it for a while. It felt safer to stay where I was. A dark place was better than change. I made the change slowly. I made myself get up.  Get changed.  Small baby steps.

I was still drinking too much but I started making myself partake in daily routines. Made the effort to walk more.  Up and down the stairs. Round the garden..even the odd jog around the house!

There were days when I couldn’t. There will be days I can’t…setbacks. But setbacks make me stronger for the next day now.


When I had to go to the hospital to see my mum recently I had an anxiety attack on the tram home due to it being packed.  I got off and spontaneously decided to walk.  I just kept walking. Just to see how far I could go. Over an hour later I found myself at home. I couldn’t quite believe I’d done it. I had walked in the rain/sleet and I’d never felt better!

woman walking with umbrella

Photo by Kevin Erdvig on Unsplash

For the first time in as long as I could remember I felt proud of myself.  I was buzzing.🙂  I’ve held onto that feeling tightly and every day since I’ve walked outside for an hour or more. In fact, I look forward to it now.

I used to drink every night.

I haven’t drunk in 6 days.  Not long to most but an achievement for me. I’m not perfect. I might have bad days…the difference is I will try and change that for the next day. I refuse to give up. Give in.

I’m not a do-gooder. I’m only here to say exercise does work. Drink really doesn’t solve your problems. We all have bad days to some extent. BUT…we CAN do it 🙂 you just have to want it enough.

About Jenny

Jenny is 40 and has lived in Nottingham in the UK since 1999. She’s from down south originally, mostly Dover and the surrounding areas of Kent.   Jenny is mum to 3 children. A 23-year-old girl, a 14-year-old lad and an 11-year-old lad.

jenny's kids

She also has a granddaughter aged 3 months who has brightened up her life in a way she never knew 🙂  Jenny has been with her husband for 15 years and married for 11.

jenny and her hubby

She is currently unemployed as the company she worked for sacked her as they couldn’t support her through her anxiety and depression.

Jenny enjoys writing articles, reviews and also write stories to keep her mind active.

I wish Jenny luck and am looking forward to supporting her in Sober Fit Tribe.  I also look forward to reading her blog in the not too distant future!

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  1. Abby Heird

    Amazing story! Thanks for sharing with us Jenny! And Alison for posting it!! Sometimes walking and achieving something you didn’t think you could is the best feeling in the whole world. I am very happy for you! And I am sorry that your job fired you. That is crap. But it’s the reason we have to keep talking about Mental Health. So thank you for sharing!

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