I thought I would share my experience of my weekend that I recently had on the Lotus Programme Retreat.
I can honestly say I was really apprehensive before I went. How was I going to spend the weekend with people I didn’t know? What if I cry and I can’t stop? (There are boxes of tissues everywhere.) What if it gets too much for me? How am I going to cope without my phone in my hand?
I was shown around the house and to my bedroom which was beautiful and made so welcoming, the view from my bedroom window was simply stunning.
Gradually the 4 other ladies arrived, all with that worried and uncertain look on their faces. I can honestly say it wasn’t long before the 5 of us started talking and never stopped for the whole weekend!
Amanda and Bev were absolutely amazing, nothing felt like too much trouble, which of course you will find out for yourself.
All of the ladies that came in to carry out work shops were the most kind, warm and friendly people, I felt at ease all of the time and there was absolutely no pressure to participate but we all did, actually we supported each other which was lovely. We spent the day with “Lexi” the therapy dog, I’m not a dog person but I could’ve quite easily taken Lexi home with me, she was perfect.
I promise you that you won’t go hungry as Rob the wonderful cook came in daily and made the most amazing home cooked food. We had cakes, biscuits mince pies and a fantastic roast dinner on Sunday evening! There is also a constant flow of tea, coffee, and squash, all very much needed and appreciated throughout the day.
One of the things I enjoyed was the beautiful gardens and grounds surrounding the house, stunning views and just having some peace and quiet that we all crave at times.
I honestly felt safe and comfortable throughout the whole weekend, I actually wish I could’ve stayed longer! My mobile stayed up in my room and only came out on one walk to take photos of the stunning scenery, not having the constant distraction was lovely.
The days are pretty full on and challenging at times, I did cry a lot but that’s okay, being surrounded by others that ‘just know’ and understand is a massive comfort. It’s okay not to share stuff or to talk, honestly there was no pressure from anyone just go with the flow.
I hope that this helps you to feel a little bit more reassured about going on the Lotus programme retreat. I did it for me and was so glad to be given the opportunity to do so. It is just the start of a journey to getting to a better place where you deserve to be.
Best wishes and good luck!
When Amanda and Bev first invited me to come on the Lotus programme I had so many different feelings. I felt like there were people who would benefit more than me and I was less deserving, that I didn’t want to take the time off work or have to tell my friends or family where I was, that I wouldn’t get on with the others on the programme and it would just leave me feeling even more alone than ever, that I would have to talk about my experience with total strangers (even though they assured me I didn’t have to say anything at all if I didn’t want to).
However, I can hand on heart say it’s been one of the best experiences of my life. I’ve gained more from it than I could have ever imagined and met people who I hope I’ll always stay connected with. I’ve never spoken to anyone about my experience and always struggled to know how to. Yet being around people who have experienced something similar and have a total understanding and zero judgement is amazing. Although I didn’t go into any specifics, you don’t have to, they’re able to understand exactly what you’re going through without even trying. Finding out they’ve had the same thoughts, feelings and behaviours as me really made me feel like I’m not alone, that what I’m feeling is okay and it will get better. I’ve never felt more comfortable or connected with a group of people like I have on the Lotus programme.
The workshops were hard and emotional at times, but hugely beneficial and everyone who ran them were incredibly inspiring and supportive! Overall we laughed so much more than we cried! It really is the safest space I’ve ever had and although I was sad to leave, the programme has left me feeling ready for the next steps in my recovery and optimistic (for the first time) that things can and will improve.
But don’t take my word for it, come and see for yourself. You can always leave if you really don’t enjoy it and I hope that you find the experience as amazing as I have.
P.S. Amanda and Bev have been absolutely incredible and I’ll never be able to thank them enough for giving me the opportunity.”
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