First Week Without

For the past two months I've been having counselling. I'm from the UK and we get 8 1hour sessions with the choice to return in 6 months. I wanted to share the fact that I've finished my course and found it very helpful after trying medication and not really getting anywhere with it.

I was worried before I started because I felt that 8 sessions didn't feel like enough time. Maybe because I had a limited time I felt determined to get to a place where I didn't need it anymore. Tomorrow is the first week without. My last session was a bit tearful because I felt so proud of myself for getting to where I am, although my last two weeks were more about reassurance that I WAS on track rather than trying to find solutions. Around my 2nd or 3rd session I had decided I wanted to come off my meds, they seemed to prevent me from experiencing emotion which I knew I needed to do if I was ever going to feel better.

I also knew that I would need to address things all the time rather than just doing it at my sessions. I didn't do a lot of crying with my counsellor because I did all the hard work at home. I used the hour every week to talk through the issues, bring them to the surface, make them real again instead of pretending they weren't there or didn't happen. I wanted to be brutally honest with myself, good bad and ugly. My counsellor was great, she was only a trainee but she was very good and quite close to my own age so I didn't feel patronised. It always felt like a discussion, I never felt preached to. She was there to pick up on things I'd missed or suggest a different opinion and I felt like I did all of the work which is how it should be. Then when I got home I would slowly process it throughout the week and instead of beating myself up for feeling low or dwelling on things from the past I would just get in my PJ's, get under a duvet and read a book and feel like crap because my body was telling me I needed to feel like crap at that moment.

When the emotions came I welcomed them good and bad. I had decided I wanted to FEEL. I had an anniversary last month, 2 years since my baby daughter died and I didn't fight the grief. It was so good to feel that hurt and grief, it was real. It was so relieving I had bouts of giggles in between bouts of intense sobbing. That whole week leading up to it and the couple of days after I was low but I went with it, I had a reason to feel low so it was ok, I didn't have to fight it like I was before and I clung on to the knowledge (and hope) that it would be over soon and I wouldn't feel like that forever. I have a son now and I've found it so hard to be a mother because I've been suffering depression. Having children just gives you so many more sticks to beat yourself with. Feeling guilty all the time for not being able to smile enthusiastically or not having the strength to play, lets just keep adding to that pile of depression. Now my view is, it's ok for my son to see me when I'm low because then he can see that I get out of it and it's ok to feel low sometimes and it happens to everyone even mummy.

A lot of people including myself describe depression as being weighed down, it's not just mentally it's physically. Anyone out there who's really been through depression you know the feeling. I used to sit on the floor (naked) because I just didn't have an ounce of strength left in me to move a muscle, my husband would either leave me where I was or would have to lift me onto bed to sleep it off, my body had given up. We wouldn't physically carry something heavy around ALL the time, we would stop and take a rest when our bodies told us we needed to. Sometimes you just need to stop and recuperate.

That's not the only solution obviously, but it's a step in the right direction. I felt that doing little things like that helped me to start taking care of myself mentally. We all need looking after at some point but first we have to realise we're worth that affection and be compassionate towards ourselves. It's easy to say these things but doing it is hard, it's really ******* hard when you've spent most of your life believing you're not worth anything for whatever reason, to change my opinion of myself is the hardest thing I've ever done and I'm still doing it now. I'm not 100% and maybe I never will be but I'm well on my way. I know that if I ever fall into depression again I can get out of it because I've done it before. I still have bad days and need to go off and do a bit of wallowing in self pity but those days are getting fewer and further between and I feel strong enough to do it myself now. I suppose it's like learning to ride a bike, once that adult lets go of the seat, you wobble a bit and maybe fall off a couple more times but if you keep getting back on and trying again one day you'll get the hang of it and you can do it on your own. Ok I'll stop using clich├ęs and metaphors now.

Wanting to get better and asking for help is the first step, you do all the work but most of the time you need that helping hand to guide you in the right direction wherever it comes from, in my opinion having that goal of eventually going it alone was a big push, I don't think I would be talking like this if I had unlimited access to therapy. Saying that, having an hour or two every couple of months where I'm free to ***** and moan about anyone or anything to someone I don't know would be great even if I don't feel depressed :-) Best wishes to everyone who reads this, I hope I've helped anyone struggling, I know reading stories on here really helps me so here's mine.
JCowles JCowles
22-25, F
1 Response May 11, 2012

You write beautifully. I feel that i know you from how well you write. I'm so sorry for the loss of your daughter. How old was she and how did she pass away? How old is your son now? how old are you? I'm almost 45 and have 2 kids. I had a miscarriage and every time may 18 comes up, which was when i had to have a D/C I feel sad. My kids are now almost 14 and almost 12 1/2. They live with their father, because I have severe health issues that prevent me from taking care of them. I was in a bad marriage, but thankfully I'm now engaged to man that treats me so well. please message me ok. God bless. Hug hug