Eden is originally from the Philippines and has lived in Scotland for over 20 years. Eden now runs a successful local business in the Highlands.

About four years ago I met a friend who was using the Gatehouse Resource Centre who encouraged me to come along. I was suffering from depression at the time having just lost my husband who had died around the time we first met.

At first I was scared, I didn’t know what to say or do when I got to the Centre but I did say I would try to come again the following week. My main problem was that I had a phobia about people.

I felt people might laugh at me because my English wasn’t very good and that they might think I’m stupid, so I just never spoke.

I kept saying to myself if I keep going to the Gatehouse maybe I could find some friends so that my problem would go away.

Slowly slowly I did find a friend and they were listening to me and they didn’t really mind if I wasn’t able to speak well.

By going to the Gatehouse I found that I was not alone because everyone had a problem, I felt safe. I realised that by going to the Gatehouse my confidence would slowly grow.

I wanted to start a B&B but was scared to answer the telephone or speak to people at the door; one step at a time, still pushing myself to go to the Gatehouse and I found courage to do it. Then I started my business.

I do art at the Gatehouse and my pictures will be shown at mental health week in Eden Court Inverness.

Now I feel better, although I still get the odd day when I feel sad and lonely but now I try to get over it.
The Gatehouse gave me the start to become confident and now I inter-act with everyone and I get involved in all the activities and events.