When I first went to counselling, I went in a place of despair. I felt overcome with depression, shame, anxiety, anger, resentment, pain and fear. I felt worthless to the point where I couldn’t eat or drink without thinking I was wasting resources on this planet that could be used by someone so much more deserving than me. I didn’t feel guilt for wanting to leave this world, in my head I thought leaving this world would only be a good thing, that the few people close to me would be in shock at first but with time would feel relieved. I would no longer be a burden. Now this thought process wasn’t just a fleeting emotion or something I hadn’t had the chance to think about in depth before. The year before I lost Mum in the same way, people around had plenty of opinions about how she chose to go. “Are you not angry with her?”, “I’m sorry but suicide is selfish”. With all the anger that I had, I can’t say I felt anger towards what she did, I could understand it, too much so. I was so tired of the battle of trying to find a way out of this black hole, out of feeling so empty, out of feeling so toxic . The longer I held on, the more likely it was that I was going to drag others down with me.
Then counselling began.
I can’t say it was easy, opening up to a complete stranger was very strange and very embarrassing. Counsellours are also just people so it did take me several times before I found one that I could feel a little bit less awkward with. I can remember sitting in my first session and her asking me “so how are you?”. I replied “I’m alright” in that typical British way to this question which never really merits an honest answer. By the end of the session I couldn’t stop crying which is not a usual thing for me (maybe at films) but not at my own life issues and especially not in front of others. So this alone was quite a revelation and quite a satisfying moment to let some of these raw emotions out. Counselling gave me the chance to share my deepest, darkest thoughts without judgement, it gave me the chance to reflect on myself and my life, my counsellour would always find the positive in what I was saying, she would be kind and see the good in me and give me constructive ideas on what to do when moving forward.
This 18 month unconventional relationship with my counsellour recently came to an end which has been terrifying but has allowed me to continue building my own strength and confidence in facing life’s and my own mind’s challenges. The hour a week I spent in that room with that person is time that I will never forget and always treasure because I am rather certain I wouldn’t be here today without it.
I guess the reason I chose to write this today is to spread the message that if you feel like you need help don’t be scared to reach out for it. It doesn’t make you weak asking for it, in fact it takes a lot of courage to ask for it and if it means you can change your life for the better then it’s worth swallowing your pride. At the end of the day, the happier we all are, the better we can be as a person.