Before I started counselling I was in a pretty bad way. Every morning when I awoke my first thought was "how am I going to get through today?”. Anxiety and depression were ruling and ruining my life and I was struggling to see any way out. I had my first counselling session with Jessica at the start of January. Walking home that evening, for the first time in a long time, I felt (slightly) positive about the future.
The next day it felt like nothing had changed and I was back to square one. When I told Jessica this at our second session she said if you broke your arm and went to a hospital you wouldn't expect it to be healed after one visit. It was a perfect analogy and one I came back to time and time again, especially when I was finding it difficult to cope and wondering if I should just give up. Thankfully I stuck with it. It wasn't an overnight success, it took the better part of seven months and, in all honesty, I feel I may be battling anxiety and depression in one way or another for the rest of my life. It will come and go but that's ok, I can deal with that. Counselling has given me the skills and ability to be able to deal with that, to be able to recognise the warning signs and to know when to ask for help.
Counselling allowed me to identify, acknowledge and eventually accept my problems and helped me develop skills to deal with them.
I've been quite open (for me!) about receiving counselling and something that struck me was the amount of people who said they had either had counselling or that one of their friends or relatives had had counselling. I find this encouraging but I also realise that I had
hidden how I was feeling for many years and I'm sure there are much more like me. We need to be more open about mental health issues to get rid of the stigma that still surrounds it. Writing this is me trying to help with that, in however small a way.
I honestly believe if I hadn't started counselling back in January I wouldn't be here now. It helped save me. I know it can help others
Written by Peter.
Jessica Leigh CBT client
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Have a lovely day,