Sooooo.. I've gone back to therapy.
I believe I told you guys in January this year that I had started again and during a session a few weeks ago, a post idea came to me (random). I've never really seen any posts on therapy or counselling. There are many posts and conversations on mental health such as depression, anxiety and disordered eating, but I feel like getting help and going through therapy, isn't really talked about.
I thought I'd talk a bit about my experiences today.
I first went to therapy back in 2012 which seems like decades ago. Primarily I went to my doctor with eating issues, depression and generally feeling like I didn't want to live anymore. I was then referred to a team called 'Healthy Minds' who were there to make a decision about what help I would benefit from most. This process took 2 months but it was decided that seeing a psychiatrist would be best. I then started fortnightly sessions in late Feb, sometimes alone, sometimes in a group, at a mental health unit not too far from where I lived. Im not sure why (probably because I was so mentally f****ed up), but I don't remember much from my sessions. I didn't enjoy them. I didn't really feel like they were working and I didn't participate much during the group chats. I eventually stopped turning up to my sessions & in the summer, I was discharged.
During therapy and for the years after, I decided that I needed to embark on a journey of understanding my issues myself. My psychiatrist diagnosed with me various different problems and I guess because of that, I realised that I wasn't crazy and that I could work on improving my health. I read books, I stopped watching TV and going online, I exercised, I ate well, I spoke about my feelings and I ended a toxic relationship. I put myself first and after a while (I don't really remember the catalyst moment) I began to feel better. A lot of my issues stemmed from 'I don't feel good enough' and when I realised my worth and I started to love myself, life became easier.
Fast forward to January 2016 and I've sort of relapsed. I won't go into details as to why, but lets just say I've been healthier and happier both mentally & physically. I felt a bit wobbly back in October and its spiralled ever since. Some days are better than others. Some days I feel everything, other days I don't feel anything at all.
During 2015 a lot changed. I left my care job to become a full-time blogger. I moved from my hometown to South West London. I suddenly became ridiculously busy and in demand that I forgot how to take care of myself. Work came before everything and after a 12 hour photoshoot the last thing I wanted to do was cook, so I'd order a pizza. I never had time to myself. I never made time for myself. I guess I lost who I worked so hard to become and now I'm here.
Around 8 months ago my new GP referred me to my local wellbeing service to attend a group workshop, to decide what help I felt like I needed. This intrigued me and made me feel like I was being taken seriously and that I would have a say in how I would move forward. There were lots of options depending on what issues you had, it was actually a little overwhelming. I booked myself onto a few courses such as 'stress management' and 'mindful exercise' but with my insane schedule, they just didn't happen. Then in November I received a letter through the door saying I could start weekly therapy sessions and they are still on going now. Originally it was 12 sessions, but my therapist has recently upped them to 26. Im working on the following issues;
Im making progress, although I find the sessions painful and emotionally draining, I'm determined to keep going and not give up. We speak about everything, but my childhood memories are the most hard.
A possible diagnosis
An understanding of what you're feeling and why
Coping mechanisms to help manage your feelings/problems/issues
Someone to talk to
Someone who listens to you (they are paid to listen, remember that)
Not feeling guilty for crying
Being able to see things differently
Finally seeing the light at the end of a very dark tunnel
Constantly feeling like shit (Im emotional all the time because of how vulnerable I feel)
Friends and family not really 'getting it'
You not really 'getting it'
Feeling like you're not making progress
Feeling like you're slightly crazy (me, before every sessions, sometimes after lol)
Your therapist saying something that makes you want to punch her in the face
Feeling guilty for crying
Obviously this post is only about my experiences, opinions and thoughts but I hope it helps some of you. Therapy a few years ago didn't work for me, but now it does. I think we have to be proactive in getting help ourselves and being able to identify when something is and isn't working, which isn't always easy when we are mentally unstable.