It seems somewhat ironic that in my drafts there’s a post on ending counseling. At the time I felt super empowered at the point I had reached and my own decision to part with my monthly sessions.
Sending that goodbye text to her in April felt crazy good (I couldn’t think of a less gimmicky way to phrase the feeling). The realisation I have now is this: it’s empowering to end something that feels finished but it’s also empowering to pick up again when you recognise you need it.
As a society, we have evolved so much and now the notion of getting counseling is normalised. I’m all here for it and I shun the notion that getting therapy means you’re unable to handle your own shit. The benefits of therapy far outweigh any worries I may have had before I slumped into that characteristically plush armchair.
Anxiety isn’t something I deal with in a hyperintense way all the time, it’s more like a migraine. I don’t get them often but when I do I know I need some Anadin, a cooling gel sheet glued to my forehead (the best invention ever), and a long nap.
Being a Taurus I often joke that my emotional intelligence stems from my earthy nature and ability to understand things in a more deep way but really I think it’s just the way I am built. This personal quality as with all things can be a blessing and a curse. Having the ability to rationalise emotions lends itself to recognising when you need more support but equally, it can be majorly annoying if it becomes a more nagging internal monologue.
Feeling overwhelmed and the state of overwhelm is such a spectrum and it’s fine (even positive) to acknowledge when you’re feeling a bit numb to what’s going on around you. In any other context, I’m plagued with feelings of vulnerability when I talk candidly about these issues but on here I don’t fear oversharing. Our human nature has been programmed towards having this stiff upper lip and ability to mask emotions at any given moment to get the job done. Naturally, there’s an importance to having this sort of dynamic- it would be kind of awkward to trauma dump on a store assistant in Asda when they casually ask you how you are at the till.
Counseling for me was the best way to avoid having those ‘deep’ conversations with friends and family. It goes without saying that I’m so grateful for the support I have but having a totally separate person that was isolated from my life helped me navigate and process in a way that was much easier for me to manage.
We deserve to make time for ourselves and to do so authentically without the pressure of checking your phone or feeling like you should be doing something else. The dull hum of Instagram notifications and overthinking of tasks quickly become draining and setting aside technology and work concerns for an hour became a luxury I quickly adapted to and wanted more of.
Embarking on a new round of counseling sessions for me before I leave is something I find liberating. Working through what I did in the month’s previous means I now have space and energy to focus on my more present worries with a far clearer head. It’s an incredible privilege to have this freedom and I don’t have the same view surrounding this kind of support that I had as I considered it in August 2020.
Wherever you’re at with your own head it’s so important to know your options and to appreciate that we all have different and unique ways of processing our emotions. For some, an app like Headspace might help more than a structured hour-long session but equally, others might prefer exercise as a means of therapy and that’s also perfectly fine!
Now I realise choosing what’s right for me means more than trying other solutions in the hope of doing what I think will be a better fix and that’s progress!