Showing posts with label counselling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label counselling. Show all posts

11 June 2024

Reflections and Moving On, the Right Way


It was my birthday recently.   It was not a milestone age, but is one that I am not comfortable with.  I don’t like the number.  Or any number after it to be honest.  I always tend to reflect on my life around my birthday, so I shall my reflections with you today.

If you were to ask me how old I actually feel, I would probably say 30.  30 would be the ideal age that I would like to be, given where I am in life and what I have ahead of me.  I feel 30, but with another x amount of years experience.

I would loved to have had all my ducks in row but the time I reached 30; but that was not to happen.  But does that mean that I should regret the age that I am?  Wish to reverse time back?  Thinking more, I have to say no.

I have gone through a lot in my life in terms of mental health, depression, loss and lack of self worth.  My journey therefore has been slower than most, or shall we say some, because everyone goes through something in their life and some more than others.

Everyone’s journey is different.  Everyone deals with things in differing ways.  Some go through a lot, some go through a little.  But the journey of our lives, how we have taken and survived or thrived through that journey is what is important.  It is the story of our lives.

Today, I am ridiculously in love, happy, loved, settled, safe, calm.  This the happiest I have ever been.  By a thousand miles.  I know in my heard that every step on my journey has been leading me to this destination.

So, while I wish that I was 30 again, with the knowledge and life that I have now, I do not regret the extra years that it took to get me to this place.

I had a realisation when I was speaking with my partner the other day about how we wish that we had met sooner in life.  I would not have been ready for him.

Isn’t that strange?  (But also, true).  I met him at the perfect time.  Not when I was 20 - 30 when my mental health and experiences were a mess.  Not in my early 30’s when I was healing and finding myself.  I would not have been ready for this man.  

I do not believe that the discovery of yourself ever really stops. I also believe that healing comes from within and there is much work that you can do on yourself and for yourself.  That work and help for me, has always been writing.  My feelings and thoughts make sense more to me when I write than when I sit and think.

I said earlier that I am ridiculously happy now in my life, and that is true.  I have everything I ever wanted.  I am happy, secure and loved by a man I adore. 

What I came to realise recently is that with that happiness, comes a responsibility.

Whilst I have worked so much on myself, there are still ghosts in my life that haunt me.  Occasionally those memories and feelings surface which can result in sadness or worse, self-sabotage.  During those moments I do not believe that I am worth the happiness I have, or the man that I have, and this can lead to my unconsciously trying to sabotage that happiness.

In those moments I am my own worst enemy and I refuse to comply with hurting myself any more.

My reflections have led me to today, searching for a local counsellor to speak to.  Counselling has never been “my thing”.  I never wanted to talk with strangers.  When I really needed to, such an option was not really a thing, suggested or known about to me.  I know it sounds strange, especially to those who have undertaken counselling; but I was not strong enough before.

Just like I always knew that my perfect partner in life was out there, and I found him, I also knew that I had to be ready for counselling.  Ready to finally, once and for all, face my old demons and win that battle.  From a place of strength.

I know that I will achieve my goal.  How long or little it will take; I do not know.  But I do know that I have overcome so much and have improved my life beyond what I ever thought possible, so I know that I now have the strength to tackle the shadows that linger and burn.

I go on holiday in a few weeks and after that, my dance with my demons will commence. 

I am scared, I admit.  None of this will be easy.  But I am ready.

22 July 2014

A Little Update


I want to do a little update post today.
 
I haven’t been myself for the past four months or so.  It has shown in my daily life, my work; my blog and in my general temperament.  I felt like I was on a downward spiral of sadness that I couldn’t seem to break.  Tears would come from nowhere, all the time and the blues were firmly in residence.
 
I have always used this blog as a means of sorting through my feelings and it has always helped in the past; but my love for blogging disappeared and the writing just didn’t help.  I decided that I wanted to look into counselling, something that I have wanted to do for years but not plucked up the courage to try.
 
The thing is, the very last thing I wanted to do was go to my GP.  Having been told once before “lose weight and you’ll be happier” I knew that I would either get the same response again or alternatively offered anti-depressants which I didn’t want.
 
What I was happy to find out however is that you don’t need to be referred by your GP for counselling.  You don’t need to involve them at all.  I went along to my local Women’s Centre and am now in the middle of my NHS funded eight sessions (I think that this can be extended to twelve if needed).


If you are looking for a non judgemental environment that can offer the services that you need, I highly recommend that you check out your local alternatives.
 
My session last week was a real break through moment for me but it isn’t until today that I have noticed any change in how I have been feeling.  Today though, the happiness has returned.  I feel invigorated and excited to see what is ahead of me.  The smile that has been missing so much lately is back and I don’t need to put up a happy fa├žade.
 
I had forgotten just how happy that I was prior to my downward period and to feel like that again makes me want to dance around the room to Pharell Williams' "Happy".
 
So top tips of the day:
 
  • You don’t need to go to your GP for help, there are other ways.
  • Skeletons in your closet take up too much room and need letting out.
  • There is always light at the end of the tunnel, even if some days it is just a tiny dot, it is always there.

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14 January 2014

Words Aloud

My best friend is training to be a counsellor (probably after having so much practice with me haha).  Over the New Year period she had to write an essay about how she had changed since starting the course.  Since we have both been on a massive journey this past year I decided to do it too.

The idea was that you write down how you remember that you used to be and how you think you have changed.  But then you have to read out your essay out loud to the group, and they then analyse what you have said.

We agree to both read our essays to each other.  I have known my best friend for nearly twenty years so she knows every nook and cranny of the way my mind works and the person that I am, so I have no qualms in reading mine aloud.

What reading my essay turned out to be was something I hadn’t anticipated. 

Writing down how you feel can be incredibly cathartic and I have experienced that many times during the course of writing this blog.  But actually speaking the words out loud seems to release the words and bring them off the page and into reality. 

It makes sense really, you think all the time and you may come to conclusions in your head, decisions are made and you may write those thoughts down, but they are rarely in spoken form.  Those thoughts become tangible the moment that they pass your lips.

I could hear the rise and fall of confidence in my voice.  The passion that I felt about some issues practically sung out of me.  You could hear the conviction and strength behind the words I spoke, but then with other matters I wasn’t so sure about, the voice softened and became quieter.  Things that I thought that I had gotten over completely produced tears that I didn’t expect to come.

After finishing there was such a feeling of release and like absolution of sins, the thoughts and feelings that had been trapped in my head and on paper had been liberated.  I felt free of them.

When I got home from my holiday, the thing that had made me cry, I immediately ejected from my life.  The dead wood has been cleared and I’m ready and excited to see what lies ahead of me.

Try it.  Find something that you have written, something where you are talking about how you feel, something powerful.  Say the words out loud, let them take their own flow and don’t stop.  If you have someone you trust enough to say them to, do that.

It was amazing for me; hope that it is the same for you.    Now I'm aware that this post was a little "deep hippy trippy" so in case you didn't want to read all that, here's a singing weasel.  Enjoy.
 

20 August 2012

The Right Time & Place

My friend has recently started a counselling course.  I have always thought that this would be the perfect job for her, as she has been counselling us all for years!

We were talking on Saturday night about the self therapy stuff that I've been doing and writing about, when it suddenly dawned on me.  This blog is public.  People (occasionally) read it.  Alongside my usual rants and ravings have been some really personal posts.

I'd never really thought about putting my life "out there" before until my friend pointed it out.  But then, if only strangers read it, what does it really matter?  Writing on here has really helped me in my progression.  I know myself well enough that if I were to simply keep a diary of my thoughts, I would eventually get rid of it and all the progress would be destroyed along with it. 

Here though, it's public.  People can read it.  When you realise that someone else is going to read what you are saying you take more time over time.  With that, you end up thinking far longer about the subject you are talking about.  In this case, me.

There is no right and wrong for processes that help you.  Whether it is picking the way you want to stop smoking to realising that you are depressed and finding the right help.  For me, that help turned out to be joining Twitter and starting a blog.

After telling my friend about the blog, we then proceeded to have an accidental counselling session.  I'm not sure how it started, but an hour and half's worth of me talking later, we suddenly looked at each other and wondered how that had just happened.  I had just told her more in that time about my "issues" then I have in the past 18 years of knowing her. 

After that conversation two things were obvious.  She was born to be a counsellor, and I was a giant step nearer to being ok.  I am so close to being the person I have always known I was meant to be, I can smell it.  Confidence in myself and self acceptance is not hiding around the corner now, it's just through a doorway.  All I have to do is open the door and step through.

The right time and place for me turned out to be 3.00am with a pizza.  Presumably for more organised people that would be 10.00am with a coffee.  But hey ;)