On Friday I am due to have my final session with my current counsellor. We’ve been working together for a year now. It will be a bit of a wrench but it is part of the process. I get my counselling from a training facility so I’ve always known that I’m not going to get more than a year with a particular counsellor. It gives a good opportunity to review the year and see where I’m going.
It’s also hard to contemplate starting again, to have to explain why I am seeking counsellor to an assessor and to then start again explaining myself from scratch to a new counsellor. It does however stop me from getting into a rut as I can see how easy it would be to carry on with counselling for years when it feels comfortable. Each year I explain myself slightly differently and I usually hear the difference. One of the issues I raised for two years in a row is the fact that I can’t cry in my sessions, that I don’t/can’t/won’t open up emotionally.
I haven’t managed to cry this year. I’ve come close. I’ve had the occasional tear running down my cheek but I haven’t properly cried although I have fought back the tears.
I’ve struggled with this all year, recognising that although I want, theoretically, to open up, I wasn’t going to do it. It wasn’t about trusting my counsellor or anything to do with him per se, but more that I didn’t feel comfortable making myself so vulnerable in anyone’s presence. Part of what I’ve realised over the last week or so is that I’ve focused on moving forward, on having a plan and trying to look to the future, which also includes trying unsuccessfully to adopt HAES principles. While that is laudable, I haven’t stopped grieving over the past, feeling that I’ve missed out on my childhood and, as I wrote previously, that I’ve dumped my dream career as well. I am still trying to gloss over the pain that these losses cause me.
Although I’ve been aware that I find it difficult talking about my emotions, especially the darker ones, it wasn’t until this year that I really and truly realised how impossible I found talking about my feelings out loud. I was brought up to bury my emotions, to chin up and soldier on and I think one of the things I need to do is to simply stop. Stop trying to move forward and be positive and really think about how I feel about my perceived losses and to acknowledge those feelings. It’s not wallowing in self-pity which is what I feel it is. I haven’t really given myself the permission to be miserable. I have been talking about this with BFF2 who has a similar blockage and trying to explain it has really helped me understand what’s going on in my head as well.
What else have I achieved over the last year?
I have a visit from my mother arranged next month. Last year I would have said not to bother. We haven’t spent time alone together for a couple of years so it will be interesting to see what happens.
Acknowledging that I can’t do HAES on my own and need help (which may be on its way, yay! ) has also been difficult.
Writing this blog, which isn’t quite a year old is also a major achievement. Learning to at least try and express myself publicly, even if anonymously, is a huge step forward that I was almost about to forget to recognise. I am doing it for me rather than the readers out there but to those of you who have been reading me on a regular basis I send my thanks and hugs for your contribution and simply your presence. I am surprisingly not amazed that I’ve kept this going.
I have got better at recognising that I have needs and trying to meet them. Even though life seems a massive struggle at the moment I’m still trying to give myself time and to not worry about work and other trivia.
I’ve also this year lost for the first time a knee patch of psoriasis. Anyone who lives with it knows it goes up and down depending on stress so to actually lose a complete patch is a huge sign.
I am sleeping better, although recently I’ve lost that. Over the year I have experienced regular solid sleep for the first time in years which has been wonderful.
I have come to worry less. I’m not sure I’ve learned it, more that I’ve just got better at letting things go.
So, after having sat down not being able to think of any achievement, I’ve actually made progress. I shall no doubt come back from my session with a different list