Mohammed's story

Mohammed first came to Thistle’s gym in 2021 and found the impact on his life was much greater than he expected.

“Before I came to Thistle, I had lots of problems. It didn’t matter if it was in my work life or my personal life, life was full of problems.

“I’d had anxiety for 20 years and that developed into physical issues, like bad posture from keeping my head down all the time and alopecia. It was as though my body was giving up on me. I had agoraphobia which made it really hard to get out and about, and I felt like I was an island, alone. I wasn’t feeling suicidal, but I was quite close to it.

“Eventually, my physio referred me to Thistle for help with my shoulder. I thought Thistle was just going to help me move about a bit; I didn’t realise that it was going to be so supportive.

“At Thistle I found absolute trust. Nobody there ever had a bad word to say about me; it wouldn’t matter how many mistakes I made. Once I turned up at the Centre on the wrong day and the receptionist organised someone to go to the gym with me, even though there wasn’t a session on. The fact that I’d made a mistake wasn’t an issue. At other support services, if I turned up when I wasn’t meant to be there, they didn’t have time for me. Thistle is an exceptional service.

“The problems I came to Thistle to fix were my physical ones, but it helped my anxiety too. I’d been needing support for 20 years, and if I’d found Thistle at the beginning, I wouldn’t have had these difficulties for so long. All I needed was a bit of exercise, to receive a bit of friendliness and have a much more positive outlook on life. People need a bit of kindness, a bit of support, and that’s what Thistle offers.

“Thistle accepts me as I am, gives me support, gives me friendship. If I hadn’t found Thistle my situation now would be unthinkable. I still have a lot of work to do, but I feel more positive; I can get out of my house now and that’s thanks to Thistle.”

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