Sub-Editor’s note: All views in this article are the author’s and not necessarily TheSprout’s.
If you would like to talk to anyone about similar issues, please contact Meic, the national information, advice and advocacy for 0-25’s in Wales. You can contact Meic by phone (080880 23456), text (84001), instant message (www.meic.cymru) or email (email@example.com) between 8am and midnight.
This session was my very first session with a new counsellor. Despite her being the third counsellor I’ve seen, being nervous was still a definite understatement. I was just as nervous meeting her as I was when I met my boyfriend for the very first time on our first date…
Despite the nervousness and being very ridiculously anxious, it was a very good session to have. It wasn’t like a typical counselling session (or it may have been for her, but it wasn’t like previous sessions that I have had before). For starters, I didn’t actually cry like I thought I was going to.
“I’m not expecting it to be sunshine and rainbows with unicorns”
The session didn’t include any heavy stuff like I had expected it to, the stuff that usually makes me cry… the stuff that I’ll probably delve into in my next and future sessions. You know the stuff surely? Where they ask about what could be causing the difficulties and making you feel so rubbish… the kind of things, like family problems, not feeling loved, relationship issues and work, blah blah blah…
No, we briefly glossed over some issues. When I say glossed, I mean it was a case of “work stresses me out, but I love my job” and “I don’t look to my mother for full support as we’ve never had a truly close relationship – closer now than it ever has been but I still keep her separate from certain topics”. I also got to have a bit of a rant about work and what I usually have to deal with on a daily basis, but then it’s worth it when I have some good calls… Most of it was kind of negative but it was good to have the brief discussion because she understood how work can affect my day-to-day life…
So, the kind of things we got to discuss were what the cause of my moods could be. This included the day-to-day life-work aspect, my monthly cycle as that would have an affect, but also just in myself. We discussed possible causes, such as it may not actually be depression that I suffer, but could be Bipolar Disorder. She explained that it is quite a common illness and it does get overlooked an awful lot by GPs and she explained that there are a few different types and that it is definitely treatable. Conversation did lead into thinking about this and it was nice that she didn’t brush over it and pass it off like most doctors do.
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We discussed anti-depressants and the different types. Sertraline (which is one that I was previously on and ended up trying to kill myself whilst taking) is quite a bad drug and, out of all the clients she has who are currently on this medication, only one of them is finding that it actually works for them – this is not to say that all anti-depressants are going to make me want to kill myself, there are many others that could be trialled and tested to see what works.
[External Link: Antidepressants – NHS Choices website]
Other discussions just went onto how there are different courses available that are free to help with stress and depression and that Mind can help. She also suggested to contact Mind to get on the waiting list for their counselling service as well and, that way, I can gain more information about the courses and possibly take part (which I definitely plan to do as another friend has advised them and is finding the stress one is currently helping her)…
Another important topic that we discussed with work was the support that I have, with regards to my job and sickness and my worry about losing my job. I did express how I’m happier with my manager at this job and how he reassured me that I will not lose my job for what I’m going through and the counsellor agreed with this as well and explained there is a regulation or something in place that means they cannot actually fire me for my genuine un-wellness and chronic illness of asthma. I now also know that I should get a union rep on my side for when I have a HR meeting at work just so that I have another person to fight my corner. We discussed what I can talk to my GP about with regards to work, as well as SSP (Statutory Sick Pay) – it’s just ridiculous how anyone thinks you are able to survive on that, and so I am looking to get back to work as I cannot remain on SSP or I’ll just be skint all the time…
“What I’m looking for is coping methods for when life does get too much for me”
I’m just feeling extremely positive with how my session has gone today… I know it’s going to get a lot harder, but then I’m not expecting it to be sunshine and rainbows with unicorns, that’s not what life is like. I’m not asking for a magic wand to be waved to just cure me of what’s going on in my head as I know that will NEVER happen. What I’m asking for and what I’m looking for is coping methods for when life does get too much for me and for when I need that extra shove and support to know that this will subdue again and it will dim down and that I can keep going.
Right now, I feel more positive about my future and my life than I have done in the last few months… The suicidal thoughts are still there, don’t get me wrong – and I know that evil viscous thought in the back of my head will always be there goading me and provoking me – but, right now, I am the stronger one and I hope to keep it that way. I have a support network that is fast growing and I can see it now. I have access to it and I’m improving it too.
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I have never been shy to tell people that I’m a bit of a nut case, that I self-harm and that I have suicidal tendencies – that being said, I don’t just willy-nilly talk about it either. My mother doesn’t know about this but I do have a very good friend, a doctor, a counsellor, a work colleague, a boyfriend and two managers at work that currently know. That is my current support network and I know it will grow. I have people in place to help catch me when I fall… This is the difference from the last five years. This is something that I have access to and that I am now going to be making the full use of. I want my life back, I want to be able to be the positive, bubbly and happy-go-lucky person that I used to be before my inner demons started to get the better of me. Today is the start of a new beginning, the beginning of a very long story that isn’t going to end anytime soon, but one that will become a happier tale than it previously has been.
Today is the first day where I have the feeling of hope and accomplishment. I say accomplishment because I have finally started to reach out to people who can reach in and stop me from burying myself. I know this isn’t going to last… it never does, but, one day, I’m going to make it last longer than just a couple days, one day I will make it so that I have many times more good days than I do bad… and it all it took was a breakdown in work and a phone call to the Health Shield helpline (which was definitely overdue by several weeks… oops).
Please forgive the messiness of this, I have just written my thoughts as they have come to my head… I daren’t re-read over it too much otherwise the whole thing will probably change multiple times!
Remember, If you would like to talk to anyone about similar issues, please contact Meic, the national information, advice and advocacy for 0-25’s in Wales. You can contact Meic by phone (080880 23456), text (84001), instant message (www.meic.cymru) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) between 8am and midnight.
We’ve put down some of the best helplines, websites and organisations for information and help:
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