Thursday 19 January 2012
Earlier today I had my last appointment with the counsellor who I have been seeing about my anxiety issues. I don't like endings or saying goodbye so I normally dread these kind of occasions, but I was looking forward to the session because I feel in our short time together (our first session was on 1st December) I have made a great deal of progress - with his help.
When I started the sessions I felt anxious nearly all of the time. The heavy losses of 2011 had left me frightened and fragile, and I felt a nagging sense of impending doom and that another terrible thing was going to happen. I was worried something dreadful would happen to the Boy, I found it difficult to switch off and my sleep was haunted by gharish nightmares. In my session today we looked at a form I had filled in during my first session on my sense of well-being - looking at your sense of self, your relationships, your work and your lifestyle. It surprised me to see I had scored well below 50 per cent, but casting my mind back to then, that sounds like a fair assessment of my mood.
I didn't think my feelings would change - I wasn't aware that I could get back to the Elly Beans I had been before last year had taken its toll. In honesty, I thought that was it for me. That the shift to a more cautious, nervous and vulnerable person was a permanent one. Fortunately I was very wrong. Sometimes in life, exactly the right kind of experience comes along just when you need it, to help you along when you are struggling and to restore your faith in yourself and the human condition. And this is what happened for me. The counsellor I was referred to quickly grasped where my problems lay, and helped me work through what was causing me such distress and negative thoughts.
We had six sessions together over the last seven weeks - so not a great deal of time in the grand scheme of things - and I am amazed at what we have achieved. I feel completely different and now my scores on my well-being are much higher, around 90 per cent. I feel like I'm back in my own skin, that life has much to offer once again and I am no longer tormented by nightmares or visions of doom. The nerves have gone, the ship is steadied, and more often that not I feel genuinely good. There are of course some difficult moments and bad days, but the difference now is that everything is in perspective and this is normal - whatever that means! My brain in functioning in a balanced way again, and - touch wood - it seems the distorted and paranoid thoughts that so plagued me are a thing of the past. I feel confident that if my thoughts slide and become irregular again, I now have the resources within myself to stop the process and get back on track before it's too late.
It's a good feeling. I am happy in the here and now and I feel so strongly how blessed I am. I am able to stop in the moment and enjoy life again, and look around at the beautiful elements that surround me. Even though it's raining today, I feel light, warm and safe. I'm comfortable in my own skin again, and I'm reminded and aware that life has much joy to offer, as well as much pain.