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My Story: Paul

My Story‘ is an ongoing series featuring previous participants of The Quest Workshop.

Paul Ryan attended The Quest Workshop in April 2014…..

What brought you to The Quest Workshop?

When the train hits the buffer it comes to a stop; well my life hit a buffer and I felt there was no way to go forward – just like the train hitting the buffer, with no way forward.

It all started with my best friend dying, and within weeks of his death I lost my job, and learned that my mother did not recognize me when I went to see her, (she passed away on the last day of my workshop). My confidence went down like sinking ship, I felt I did not belong, had no value in life, was unloved, unworthy of anybody and did not love myself. I had two choices –  to go down the road of life long depression and a life of loneliness or find help to recover my confidence and rebuild my social life make new friends and stop procrastination my life and avoiding myself.

What was your experience of The Quest Workshop?

PaulMy experience of the workshop, which I attended in April 2014, was for me to realise the life I had been living for a number of years. A friend thought I had a glamorous life, going to concerts, the opera and art galleries etc. Though there were lots of people attending at these places, it was lonely and I denied this loneliness. This is what the workshop made me realise – what I was avoiding ME, MYSELF – I did not love myself enough. I had to learn to value myself , love myself and learn to enjoy life with others.

Was it what you expected? Tell us how

I did not know what to expect, but I felt it was a way for me to start building my confidence in myself, to have the courage to believe in myself that I was worthy of being loved and valued in life.

When I lost my job, I thought I would never work again in my life ( I found a job just before I attended the work shop), but I needed lots of help and support and courage to change my life to recover my confidence. I think that the workshop was a start to do that, it was only a start and am still working on that change in my life now.

What did you get from the workshop?

I got courage and connection to others. The courage I got was to change my life, to go out and meet other gay men, to make friends. Since completing the workshop I got involved with other gay groups, joined their committee and volunteered at PRIDE 2014 as steward, and the courage to ask someone on a date, which I have not have for an number of years.

What difference has the workshop made to your life now?

I feel I am worthy of being loved, having friendships and being valued by friends. I also have no shame in being gay and no shame of being myself. I am connected more to my family and friends and have gained confidence in myself.

To find out more about The Quest Workshop or to register, click here.

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