This is a new life for me, one in which I have people to talk to and be close to. This has been since August 2014 when I joined NOUSPR self help group led by Celine.
Before Celine visited me, I was often gripped by a strong fear. I had headaches that would not leave me and I felt ill. It started in 2007, I did not understand it, I was very happy with my husband and 4 children, but the fear came and would not leave me. I went from the clinic to the hospital and talked to many Doctors. I had tablets that made me feel worse. Eventually the doctor said that maybe it was not a physical illness but a mental illness, and I started taking new tablets.
Still I could not understand how this could be; we were lucky in the genocide and only needed to mourn for one lost child. We overcame that. My family accepted that I was ill, they did not resent it. They were kind, and one child left off schooling to care for me. Still I was ill with fear and dread and had no one to talk to.
Eventually my husband died, Celine came to me and said the illness starts in the mind. She said I should come to be with the others and that talking and making handicrafts would make me feel better. She was right. As soon as I started to talk and be with the other people in my group I felt better. I could do something beautiful with my hands and the group would benefit.
I was happy to come out and be with them all, we talked and talked and I began to remember the friends and family that were gone. I realised that my own family up country had mostly died in the genocide and that I had felt so alone without realizing or accepting it.
So, this is a new life with few headaches and much to be happy about.