Aisha’s story

In the week she started uni, Aisha (21) discovered she was pregnant. She was confused, angry and depressed but found support on

“I moved into uni halls in September and a week later I found out I was pregnant. It couldn’t have happened at a worse time in my life and it wasn’t the result of not being careful. I had an abortion a few weeks later. Although I knew it was the best thing for me and my boyfriend at the time, the experience left me mixed up, angry and depressed.

“I had never felt so low or hated myself more. I posted my problem on TheSite’s discussion boards and these people made me feel less alone.”

A couple of weeks after that, one of my flatmates called me into his room and asked me to browse a website and comment on it as part of his coursework. I remember looking through it and thinking I wish I had found the advice sections a few weeks prior to that. The factsheets were so informative without overdoing it or being patronising. Eventually he kicked me off his computer and I went back to my own room and carried on reading.

A few days after that I was bored, so decided to go back and have another nosey around. That was when I found the message boards. I didn’t join up, but enjoyed reading other people’s posts and seeing other people get help. It helped to know there were other people out there who felt as alone as me sometimes. I particularly read the depression and self harm thread regularly as I could really identify with how they felt.

I joined the message boards in January after getting some particularly bad relationship news. I had never felt so low or hated myself more. I posted my problem and was pleased to get advice and comments from people I had come to regard as wise and knowledgeable. These people made me feel less alone and their advice was helpful, without being judgemental, even though it wasn’t always what I wanted to hear. It was this honesty I appreciated; something you can’t always get from people who know you properly. And the fact people bothered to reply helped me feel better too.

Now if I have any problem I don’t know the answer to, my first stop is the advice sections, and I can usually find an answer there on anything. If not, I can askTheSite or post on the message boards. I know people there will be honest with me and I’ve met some great people who I would consider to be good friends that I keep in touch with through phone or email. I like helping other people too, and the boards give me the chance to do that, as well as giving me a sense of being part of a community.

I came to for help and I’ve yet to find anywhere that is even half as helpful. I can’t begin to express what a valuable service it is and like I say, I only wish I’d found it earlier. I know I’m not the only one who thinks it. There are people who have such a range of experiences and are happy to talk to you and offer advice. Certain posters are a credit to boards, and sometimes it’s a good laugh too as well as being helpful.

It shouldn’t be underestimated how valuable services like are to young people. Thank you would never cover it.”


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