Those of you who have been following my blog for the past 6 months have probably seen my blog posts on Anxiety and my experience of Anxiety. I have previously mentioned that it wasn’t so bad that I felt I needed professional help, but that changed after life gave me some lemons and those lemons pushed me off balance.
The reason I want to talk to you about therapy and counselling is because I feel like it’s still such an odd thing to talk about. It shouldn’t be. As I’ve explained to my friends, some of us pay (lol not me) for the gym to get our fitness levels up and encourage healthy bodies, some of us pay ALOT of money for health related foods, so why is it still so odd in society to pay some money to someone who can help us see a different perspective?
Society has gotten really anxious. Like, really anxious. Over the years we’ve developed, and we’ve developed to a point where we hardly even need people in jobs now – the robots are everywhere! (lol I’m referring to supermarkets self-scanners and being slightly dramatic about it…HA) With the developments, the fast paced lives, the full-time work, the modern pressures on us all, we’re anxious. We’ve developed in so many different areas, but we haven’t developed our mental health alongside it. Society has been depressed for years, but we haven’t funnelled money into mental health services to support those who feel the most pressures or who have a medical condition.
Something is starting to move though, it’s starting to move because suicide rates are increasing, and societies consciousness is developing. But we need to keep pushing, and we need to start with conversations about mental health. I feel incredibly passionate about having open discussions about mental health with my children and those around me and the reason I do these blog posts are to reach those people who maybe don’t have someone to talk to about anxiety, or feel shame about having it. It’s not your fault, we got too developed too quickly. Us humans didn’t realise how fast we were moving!
What does a counsellor actually do?
They don’t simply ‘help me see a different perspective’, they provide is a safe, secure and open environment which empowers you to feel able to say how you really feel, not how you think you should feel. Sounds a bit airy fairy right? Yeah, it’s not. It’s bloody amazing. If you get the right counsellor for you that is. That may take a few different trips to a few different counsellors. They’re not a one size fits all but when you find one you like, it’s magical.
I’m not going to go right into what I have been discussing in my sessions; mostly because that’s simply not my style. My style, I hope, is to share my experiences and give tips to you guys if any of you also experience anxiety (which I can imagine you probably do as you’ve already read more of this post than most people). I’m also very honest as a person and if I think something is worthwhile, I’m absolutely going to share that with you.
What have I learnt about my anxiety?
I’ve learnt so much. I’ve started to see my anxiety as my friend that needs a bit of love, affection and positive thinking, to make it fuck right off (excuse my French). To explain it in another way; my anxiety is the other Ann-Marie. It’s the voice that is louder and shouts down happy Ann-Marie, the person that keeps me thinking about 25 years in the future, rather than the amazing things around me right now. It probably sounds a bit odd to talk of myself as two people but honestly that’s what it feels like sometimes. You’re kind of battling against the other person in your head who really wants you to freak out about everything and never be calm again.
How has my anxiety changed since I started therapy?
OMG. I feel like an entirely different person in so many ways. I feel entirely in control of my emotions now, I was starting to feel like anxiety was taking over my mind and I couldn’t focus or concentrate on positives at all. Since I’ve identified where my anxiety comes from, I’m now able to pinpoint its trigger and I can battle back before it gets half as far as it used to. I’m finding my baseline. The baseline is what therapists refer to as your ‘expected normal state’, which is different for everyone and the aim of therapy is to get you at your baseline way more than you’re at your most anxious. It’s about finding your balance again.
It’s not quick, it’s not easy and it doesn’t come without work. But it’s completely worth it.
How do I know if I need therapy?
Here’s a big secret – we all do. We’re all experiencing life and the horrible events that can come with it. We’re all anxious in some capacity, we’re all fighting something.
Maybe you’re starting to feel worse than you ever have mentally? It’s time to look for a counsellor.
Maybe you’re having incredibly negative thoughts and it’s impacting your job or your social life? It’s time to see a counsellor.
Maybe you feel fine but you’re really conscious of your mental health and want to keep it healthy? YOU’RE THE PEOPLE WE NEED MORE OF. Sorry, I got excited. It needs to be something normal that happens, a normal part of conversation.
‘How do you feel?’ is never really answered properly because we feel like a burden or like ‘we’re strong, we’re fine’. NOBODY IS FINE ALL OF THE TIME. I love the emotive CAPS. HA.
I’m going to put some details here of the website that I used to locate a local therapist:
Just pop a therapist that you like the look of or that you think has expertise in an area you feel concerned about an email, just say hi and explain a little about how you feel or what you’re looking for help with – see what you think of their reply. Maybe try one session, if you hate it then you hate it, but you would’ve tried and that’s something to be proud of.
Let me know in the comments if you need any help/advice on other areas of counselling or if you just don’t know where to start! I’ll answer questions completely honestly, always