When I started private counselling for my anxiety, I was in the midst of one of the worst periods my mental health has ever seen. I barely left the house. My thoughts were so irrational. The thought of going anywhere left me in a state of dread and that first therapy appointment? My gosh, I thought I was going to die. But starting private therapy was invaluable for me; my counsellor and I got along really well, I trusted her and felt I could fully open up to her. She really did help me in so many ways and I often wonder where I would be today had I not gone to see her in that time when I was so desperate for anything to help numb these unbearable feelings of constant dread, anxiety and fear over everything and nothing all at once.
At approximately 24 and a half years old, I received the letter in the post that I had been dreading, ever since I knew what a smear test was. The fact that the letter used words like “invited” didn’t make it any more cutesy or appealing. The fact of the matter was, I was at the age where a doctor needed me to spread my legs on a table and look into my fanny. There’s no beating around the bush (pun intended) and no sugar coating it really. It was time for my very first smear test.
I know this sound like a really childish thing to say but since being active on Twitter and open about my mental illness, I’ve seen people talk about things like this more and more. It’s not an embarrassing thing to worry about nor is it uncommon. When I was first diagnosed with anxiety, during my worst period, I was terrified of being in the house by myself. Absolutely, completely and utterly terrified. I couldn’t function and would literally spend the day counting down the minutes until someone was going to be home. It can be a real debilitating problem and it’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed about.
Gooood morning folks! Now, if you follow me or my blog you’ll know I am super open about my mental health problems and I’m a huge advocate for mental health awareness, ending the stigma and educating people on the symptoms and options for mental health problems. I don’t think you can ever talk about mental health too much, there’s always someone willing to learn or who needs to learn. I found The Mental Health tag on Anxiously, Me blog and instantly wanted to do it myself. Please go and check out Anxiously Me’s post here as well.
In order to get to the main chunk of this post, we’re going to have to embark on a little story time. So grab a cuppa, a bar of choccie, a pizza, a roast dinner – whatever your vice is and join me in story time with Jenny on why you shouldn’t feel bad for expressing your emotions on social media.
The world has been taken by storm with the new season, “13 Reasons Why” which was released on Netflix earlier this month. Based on the book by Jay Asher, 13 Reasons Why is about Hannah, who has committed suicide and has left behind tape recordings for her old friend, Clay, with the 13 reasons why she did it. In these tapes, she opens up to Clay about what was going on in her life, the people that have wronged her and the events which ultimately led up to her taking her own life. But it’s not all as it seems as these tapes have a far more profound effect on not just Clay but a whole group of kids from their school. Sounds good right? Sounds gripping and shocking? It is. It’s also the most important show I’ve ever watched in my life.
I recently wrote a post on why I love therapy. But I’ve not always loved it. My first private therapy session was agony. I was super ill that day, I had a rotten cold, I’d been asleep practically all day and I woke up around 2 hours before I was due to leave and I felt really dizzy. I also couldn’t eat anything because I was so nervous and it was in the middle of summer and was boiling hot. So all around, a perfect cocktail for your very first therapy session with a brand new therapist. I have never felt nerves like that before, I literally couldn’t function. But coming out of that session an hour later, I felt like an entirely new person. Nervous? Me? Not a chance.
The longer I’ve been on social media, the more I’ve seen people open up and be honest about mental health. And that’s fantastic. And I’ve also seen people be more open about therapy and counselling for mental health conditions. I’ve had counselling and therapy and I’m a huge advocate for it too and it really pains me to hear that people don’t use it, for a variety of reasons, when they could potentially benefit so much. Obviously I’m not a professional but I want to talk about my personal relationship with therapy and why you absolutely shouldn’t be put off by it.
It’s a nice afternoon; you’re sitting on your bed, in your comfiest clothes and your fluffiest socks, doing some blogging or some online shopping or watching your favourite YouTubers. The dog is laying at your feet, sleeping peacefully, not making a sound but you can feel the weight of him against your leg and it’s a welcome comfort, knowing he’s there. You’re sipping on possibly the best cup of tea you’ve ever made yourself – way to go! And munching on your favourite snack; an apple pie or a bar of chocolate or maybe, because it’s that time of year, an Easter egg.
I’m taking part in the weekend blitz blog tour for Cassandra Piat’s, ‘Stuck With Me’ today and I’m delighted to share a guest post from Cassandra about anxiety; which as you may know, is a topic close to my heart and something I’m always happy and willing to talk about in the hope it may help someone else. So it’s over to you, Cassandra! And make sure you scroll to the bottom of the post to grab the information about Cassandra’s book. Continue reading