Thursday 8 December 2011
For the last few weeks I have been seeing a counsellor through the well-being scheme that we have at work. I get six sessions so it's short-term solution focused work, as opposed to the long-term open ended counselling format that I am used to. In these sessions we are working on my anxiety, and I'm starting to feel like it's doing me some good.
I think I've always been an anxious person. As a child, even though I was intelligent and independent, I was a worrier, and I have wrestled with my anxiety on and off ever since. Some times I'm able to keep a lid on it - but at other times when it leads to panic attacks and loss of confidence it can be quite debilitating and difficult to cope with. The traumas that the Boy and I have faced this year have hit me hard in this way and I have found my anxiety levels rising. I thought that this was just par for the course and something that I had to endure, accept and try and and take in my stride - but in recent weeks I've realised there are techniques I can use to help me take back some control and not be overcome.
The counsellor has helped me understand the way that my mind works, and how my thoughts, feelings and emotions are all inextricable linked. But he's also helped teach me ways to interrupt unhelpful thoughts before they subsume me, to take time out before feelings and emotions escalate and lead my anxiety to become quite paralysing, and how to programme myself a little differently.
It feels like a real lightbulb moment, and that I'm not struggling in the darkness any more. It sounds so simple - but for a while there I had lost control of myself and I didn't know how to get out of the hole of anxiety I had fallen into. It's like someone has given me a torch so I can see the way out and a ladder so I can begin the climb upwards, and I already feel a lot less weighed down and much more optimistic. This is a real work in progress, but hopefully with time and effort I can tame my nervous twitch.