I'm a chartered accountant with my own firm, this is our fifth year. I've always been a very confident person, and although I have a great husband and child, generally I can deal with any difficulties by myself.
Last year I was returning from a social event, when I was sexually assaulted. It was a very frightening situation.
Personally speaking, it became very difficult for me. I found myself with what I thought was an irrational fear of it happening again. As time went on I became fearful of working late at night on my own, wanting to lock myself in the office. I am often uncomfortable just walking to my car. It's now 18 months later and I still suffer bouts of anxiety and depression.
I rang the CABA helpline and said "I need help with this". It was an incredibly difficult phone call to make, but I was determined to find a way through.
I just wanted to talk to somebody about what had happened in confidence. CABA put me in touch with a counsellor and I was really surprised both at how quickly CABA responded and also how they found me someone who was quite local. I'd assumed I'd have to travel to access counselling services, but they found me someone who is very good, based on our local high street.
CABA funded a number of sessions, which made making the decision to give it a go much easier. My counsellor was able to talk me through coping mechanisms and helped me to identify triggers. I have accepted that it is legitimate to be very frightened after an assault, but I also feel much more in control of my fears now.
CABA's help has been life-changing, What happened to me was an unusual situation, but we work in a high-pressure industry and there are plenty of other accountants out there who could use the kind of help that I received from CABA. There are a lot of people experiencing anxiety and depression and I would encourage them to reach out to CABA and access high quality counselling and support, because it can be a complete game-changer.
How CABA can help
CABA supports the wellbeing of past and present ICAEW members, ACA students, ICAEW staff members, and their spouses, partners and children up to the age of 25. For advice, information and support please contact us.