Lydia Expands her Social Circle

Lydia O.

Lydia is a newer participant with Pathways to Independence, however, she has gotten a running start on “expanding her social circle,” as she calls it. Lydia has a great full-time job in the St. Louis County government where she serves as the receptionist in the recorder of deeds office, however, she was missing a social connection to others after her recent major life change. “I felt isolated, I did not have any friends and I wasn’t learning new and different things,” Lydia says about how she felt before she joined PTI.

During her first few experiences at PTI Lydia said, “I felt nervous and awkward, but the more I got involved, the more I felt welcome, like I belonged.” Now, she says, “I’m happy and I feel like I’m moving forward with my life.” The PTI staff has developed a safe environment at PTI activities where Lydia feels comfortable accepting suggestions and encouragement to interact with others. “There were times I was on my cell phone. I was encouraged not to do that and interact with the group. The staff is very supportive and understanding.”

Along with participating in PTI’s social activities in the community, Lydia has participated in the Relaxation and Yoga classes offered at PTI taught by program specialist, Beth Gill. Beth is a Certified Yoga Instructor along with being a Certified Therapeutic Recreational Specialist. This combination of training offers unique supports for PTI’s participants. After taking these classes, Lydia says, “I am relaxing more and I’ve learned mindfulness techniques and used them in life outside of the class. I feel like I am calmer and in a good mind set.”

Lydia directly sees the improvement in her life and her outlook since becoming a PTI participant. She is a member of the planning committee for PTI’s Trivia Night Fundraiser. “I am involved in the Trivia Committee because I want to give back to the community that inspires me.” Lydia says that being involved with PTI these past six months has “helped me grow, see a world of opportunities and learn to be more positive.”

Ashley T. and Lyida O.
Lydia (right) with fellow PTI participant, Ashley