“So how are things going since we last spoke?”
This is becoming a very familiar question these days and this is how my lovely new counsellor begins each session as to check in at the beginning of our weekly meetings.
As you can probably tell, my Pain Clinic counselling has begun and I’m in the middle of my 6-8 NHS allowed sessions. My therapist is a very polite, very knowledgeable and a very young young lady and whilst to begin with I thought it wasn’t going to be anything more than a few twee clichés, she is actually really good at getting me to ‘unwind‘ myself.
Why am I there?
The counselling was arranged through the Pain Clinic to help me get my head around becoming permanently disabled and to help me find strategies to help deal with my constant chronic pain.
One of the things we have been working on is being more honest about how I’m feeling and asking for help when I need it instead of being my usual Lynley self, saying that “I’m fine/not too bad/well, you know, about the same” or any of the other stock answers I keep in reserve rather that saying how I actually feel.
It’s so difficult to unwind and explore the person that you are and why you do/say these things; why it is that I find asking for help so difficult, why I can’t seem to open up and say how I’m actually feeling and why I’d rather struggle on than ask for some assistance.
Those of you that know me well will know that I’m an ‘in charge‘ kind of person (some may even stretch so far as to say ‘control freak‘!) so metaphorically ‘unbuttoning‘ myself is proving difficult but with the help of my therapist, this is slowly starting. In the last few sessions, we’ve dealt with my inability to share my feelings and thoughts through to the guilt I feel over becoming disabled and in my eyes ‘letting everyone down‘ and how I feel like a failure for not being able to heal myself (god, even to me that sounds crazy but these feelings are all there)
All of the sessions have included me doing a huge amount of crying but I think that’s probably a good thing as I’m well known for holding things in, plus it’s been a very emotional time what with the anniversary of my mother’s death and yet another pain spike so I suppose it’s inevitable.
It’s a real up and down process; one moment I’m a sobbing mess but then the next I’m laughing and heaving a big sigh of relief after working something through and finding that sharing my thoughts and fears isn’t so dreadful after all.
The journey is ongoing, it’s a process that is very difficult but in some weird way is enjoyable, cleansing even. It certainly helping the way in which I talk to myself, my ‘inner voice‘ which can be very loud indeed on occasion and also the way I communicate my thoughts and feelings to others. I know the the ever loving P appreciates this change, it’s much easier for him to work out what is wrong now that I have the words to say what the issue is instead of my usual upset and frustration.
So is it helping?
Yes, I would say that it is helping, there is more to do most definitely but hopefully as it continues, it will continue to help and that is a very hopeful place to be.