New to Teen Spirit? What to expect, by a Teen Spirit member

Posted on: 26th October 2011

We asked a member of Teen Spirit to tell us about her very first time at Body & Soul. Here, she tells you how she felt on her first visit to Teen Spirit, and gives you an idea of what you can expect.

“Body & Soul. At first you may not know what to think about it. And at times your curiosity is overtaken by the fear of bumping into someone you know. Curiosity, loneliness or confusion, whatever it was – you decide to go. So the cab is booked, outfit ready, filled with anxiety and some excitement you go.

And so Thursday comes around, the cab’s here and the journey begins. Finally you arrive to a grey building neatly disguised in the surrounding street, and this somewhat lessens the anxiety of that first time visit. The buzzer rings, and you wait nervously wondering what awaits you behind the door. You’re greeted with waving hands and hellos, smiles and hugs. You glance around, looking out for HIV posters, and surprise, surprise, there are none in sight.

You look at the white walls, pebble floor and your eyes travel around the spacious the room and you think this doesn’t resemble a charity. Relieved, you walk through the corridor and enter a lift. You’re taken to do a registration and given a tour of the building.

You’re introduced to a member. You make small talk and begin to relax. Soon dinner is ready …you line up grab a plate. “meat or veg?”, you’re asked, maybe followed by “have we met before, is this your first night?”.

With dinner and dessert in hand you take a seat at a table. Hellos and how are you’s are exchanged. You look around and think we are all sharing the same secret and it’s fine, that world of quietness and loneliness can now end, and best of all those three letters do not have to consume all our time and space shared here.

You might sometimes reach a point where life doesn’t make sense and questions without answers are building confusion and fear. The anticipated rejection is making isolation the next destination, and maybe depression and bleakness is what you see now and you dread the future.

But this is the place where all this can be made into an easier load to carry. The scary demon that seems to have taken over your life can now be tamed and life can get back on track.

If you know a loved one living with this and you don’t know how to help them cope, or how to cope yourself, this is the place where answers are provided. The many faces you see here may grow to be your closest friends; role models are made and found. Here, you meet the bravest, most inspirational people from all walks of life. In this place where I have met what I have believed to be my worst times, Body & Soul has helped me grow and bought out the best in me in my darkest times. These are people that have touched my heart became family and shall forever support me to be the best I can be in life.”

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