Mental Health Monday; Going Places and Doing Stuff

by - Monday, October 03, 2016


Good Evening!
I hope you're having a lovely day.

I’m Jodie from Going Places and Doing Stuff, where I blog about almost anything I can get my hands on. I’ve steered away from anything too personal, but this is something I feel passionate about, so here we go!
“Why do you need to go to counselling? There’s nothing wrong with you?” Out of the few people that are aware of where I disappear off to once a week, most have almost laughed off the reasons they require me to give.

Now don’t get me wrong. While I’m neither diagnosed with depression or feel like I am depressed, there are things that I struggle with. And that’s okay. My mum briefly suggested I tried counselling when I realised I had issues with communication, especially in relationships. Little did she realise at the time that this was my only problem.

As well as not being able to talk about what was wrong, sometimes I would experience something that felt like a voice in the back of my head or a little devil sat on my shoulder without the angel on the other side to balance. This voice would taunt me, tell me untrue things about myself, whether it was about my relationship at the time, the people around me or my job. I’d always feel as if people were finding me annoying or boring and my confidence and self-esteem plummeted.

Not that I let anyone know. Which is probably why people were so surprised. I’d go into London by myself and go about my business, I’d go to job interviews as bold as brass, I’d go on nights out not afraid to flaunt my body. But that's not what self-esteem is to me. Not really. I wanted to believe in myself and believe that other people believed in me too, but I just couldn’t do it.

I was struggling to let myself trust people and the people I did trust, I was gripped by this horrific fear that they would destroy it. I used to be an incredibly open person, I’d speak to my mum about everything, tell my friends if I was upset, up until about two years ago, during my first relationship. We were both young, only 18/19 during the two year course of our relationship, both learning about what it was to be in a long term relationship. Except there was one thing my boyfriend of the time lacked. The ability to communicate. No problem would ever be talked about and he would just shut down. So I bit my tongue and internalised every problem. For two years. Until I began to resent him and I had to end it. To this day we haven’t fully discussed the depths of our problems, we just left it to the wind.

My last boyfriend was the one to change this. He was very open about any problems we had and knew how to talk about them, something I was so un-used to, I struggled with it. So when my mum suggested counselling he thought it was the best idea he’d ever heard. He felt as if my problems were his fault because of what the voice in my head would tell me. He doesn’t love you. He’ll get bored of you. You annoy him. He’s only with you because he feels sorry for you.

This grew and grew until I’d be gripped by this voice for days at a time, wake up crying next to him in the middle of the night and a particularly bad bout of paranoia while we were on holiday. He suggested writing everything down to try and put it into words and see if that would help and it would. For the night, until it came back with a vengeance. This went on for about six months. Until one day I finally gave in and made an appointment with a counsellor.

I’ve never been so scared in my life before my first session, but I left feeling empowered, confident and… normalised. She asked me if I had depression or if I’d felt any urges to hurt myself or had any suicidal thoughts. I hadn’t, I’d never thought about it, which as stupid as it sounds, made me feel like I didn’t deserve to be there. We went through a sort of checklist about different subjects such as family, work, sex, relationships and whether I had problems with any of them. It really got me thinking. Most of them I answered yes to. I did have problems with a lot of them. “It sounds like you’ve been dealing with a lot” she told me. It didn’t feel like it, but when you’ve been burying your feelings as long as I have, I guess it came as a surprise. It kind of validated me, I wasn’t just being over dramatic.

After a couple of months of sessions, I met up with a friend for a drink. She’s been suffering from depression for years and it had been suggested that she tried counselling at her uni, especially since they get it for free. She told me she didn’t see how talking about anything would help, but I told her to just try it.

Counselling has helped me in ways I can’t describe. It’s led me to taking steps to actively improve my life, such as find a new job, allowing myself to have feelings and learn to deal with them properly and helped me to bounce back after my recent breakup with the guy that persuaded to me to try counselling in the first place.

I know it’s not for everyone, but some people sit there struggling with no help because they don’t feel like they have enough problems to get help or they don’t deserve it. But my advice is to take the step before it gets to the point where you desperately need it.

Thank you for reading. You can find Jodie over on Twitter, Instagram and her Blog


I'll see you soon

Kimberley Jessica

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