Hello! How are we all?
It’s been so long since I’ve sat down to write here that it felt remarkably strange, entering my user name to log-in to this unforgotten place.
I hope the title above these words doesn’t alarm anyone as I have mostly positive points to share.
So, I’ve officially entered in to my second attempt at one-to-one counselling!
It’s been a couple of years since I walked away from my last situation and I’ve always had thoughts about getting back in to it with a new counsellor… But for where there are thoughts, you are always going to find excuses within an anxious mind. I’ve used them all (to myself, of course), whether it’s about ‘not being the right time‘ or believing that I’m ‘good enough to cope‘ at a certain moment… Money and costs, however, have always been a serious concern.
But then, I was almost excited to come across a charity-run counselling service that operates from the donations individuals are willing and prepared to make. I’d been on the waiting list for a good month or so and I can officially say that I’m in and signed up for a six-week series of one-hour sessions (before the first review session).
Attending the place [I’m failing to think of a better word, here], I wasn’t even half as nervous or anxious as I would’ve expected myself to be. If this was three-years ago then, yes, there’s a strong chance I’d have severely struggled. It helps when they’re expecting you, the signage is quite clear and you’re welcomed in with genuine kindness (after all, it’s not as if you’re walking in to an office block with a tired, bored and over-worked receptionist who’s only really interested in catching up with that notification she’s received on her Facebook app).
I’m still asking myself a lot of questions, which is one of several reasons I’ve decided to give this a go. It’s genuinely affordable this time. There is a fear that it still may not be the right path for me and that, as with the last time, I reach a point at which I cannot go on. But I try to remind myself that I’m not there yet and may not be for some time to come.
Generally, I’m content with a lot of my life, based on previous improvements I’ve made through CBT and my former counselling among other things. But there are still a couple of key areas where I’m significantly unhappy and dissatisfied.
Firstly, it’s in my job. I have no career. I’m aware of some of my abilities but I have always lacked the direction to follow a passion in to something I could enjoy on a daily basis. A few weeks ago, in a sudden state of contentment, I arrived home one evening to compile a series of lists (Good Vs. Bad) – on one page, the negatives of my current position far outweighed the ten or so positives I was able to muster. The rest of my life (Things I Have) were far more balanced.
Perhaps most frightening of all is that, after several years in this company and more than a decade doing the kind of jobs I never foresaw myself doing while at school; I’ve developed a belief that this might be all I’m good for and that I’ll only work until retirement in similarly remedial positions. I have no pride, socially, in what I do. I’m frequently asked what work I do and, honestly, it’s becoming so hard to admit to that I feel it would be easier to say that I was on long-term unemployment!
My social skills are the other area I really feel a need to improve upon. Only days ago, I had a hugely unexpected falling out with someone because I simply don’t offer enough in social situations. By opening up about my anxieties, to explain that I do not dislike this person and that I am not being rude with intention, we’ve been able to restore a peace. But I also received another warning sign, earlier in the year, when a close friend shared similar sentiments (in a much more considered manner) and a fear about losing the people I care about is somewhere at the back of my mind.
I’ve always struggled with conversations and I still maintain that I do not understand how they work. I’m often in situations in my life now where I’m briefly meeting various new people [no, it’s not at all like Speed Dating!!] and although I ask questions and offer responses, the flames still seem to burn out all too quickly.
I look at other people and wonder… How do they do it? What am I doing wrong?
If I can work to overcome those two issues then I do believe that I can improve or increase the amount of happiness within my life. I don’t believe it would be fair to simply say “I’m unhappy with my life“. We have to dig deeper, to the root of the problems.
I’ve already written more than I had expected by this point but I’d like to share something else I’ve started doing, since my preliminary counselling session, and that’s the simple trick of note-taking.
Thoughts enter and leave our minds throughout an average day. In the past, I’ve been advised to try this trick but now, I’m actually doing it.
Already, I’ve learned that I’m afraid to show emotion towards and around others. This relates to ‘emotionlessly‘ saying goodbye to a friend who’s about to travel the world, only to let the tears fall as soon as I was out of sight. Equally, I’ve learned to start listening to my Inner Critic for the first time and how it chirps away each time I notice myself smiling or feeling angered by something – how I “shouldn’t” be smiling in a counselling session, or else they’ll believe I’m not in need of help; how I “shouldn’t” look sad around other people, who would rather seem me smile.
It’s still hard for me to accept praise without believing it to be patronising in some way.
These are just a few of my thoughts from the past few days. I do miss writing here, in a positive manner or personal development and I hope to be able to share some more with you soon. 🙂
Thanks for reading and hope you’re all well!