Manchester workshop - March '19

I recently attended the workshop in Manchester and felt I ought to write a few words to say thanks to the organisers and also to try and reassure anyone who was considering attending one of these events.
If like me, you've kept your condition to yourself for many years, it seems to be a huge step just to search the internet to find out whether the condition is recognised. I'm so please that three weeks ago I made that internet search and even more pleased that I bit the bullet and was able to attend a workshop so quickly.
When I left the house on Friday, I was feeling very stressed and unsure about whether I'd made the right decision. Going into the meeting you immediately feel more reassured, just seeing the other delegates and how normal they all are, makes you realise that the condition can and does affect anyone. The course leaders were down to earth and very aware of how people would be feeling; they've all been there themselves. The first evening was chance to find out more about the condition and some shared experiences of people attending.
The following day and a half is taken at the delegates own pace and, although it's hard work, the course leaders are there to reassure and advise you throughout the activities. As the policy is to keep details to a minimum, it's sufficient to say that you work with course leaders and others and everyone is very supportive and understanding. In terms of my AP it was a liberating experience to be with people who all shared the condition, no need to constantly be on your guard and pretending it doesn't exist, not always checking to see who's going to the loo and whether there will be sufficient lull to dare go yourself. The empathy from the others there gives you a lot of reassurance. It's hard work but it's manageable and although I was stressed, at no point was it overwhelming.
By the end of the Sunday sessions I was feeling that I'd made more progress in one weekend than I'd have dared to predict. Hard to believe, but I'd actually enjoyed much of the weekend. I think if it had been longer I might have overcome my AP. As it was, I felt I'd made a huge step forward and for the first time in a very long time, I hadn't felt ashamed of having this condition. I'd recommend to anyone wavering as to whether or not to attend a workshop, to grab the opportunity. Everyone who attended mine felt they'd made good progress over the weekend. Some felt well on the way to getting it under control.

#221 by Attendee

Do you want to practise in Manchester with me?

#227 by M
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