Service User Stories
Coping with stress with the help of Steps.
It might seem strange that someone with a psychology/health professional background would need to use mental health services- but that's what happened to me. Feeling unsupported by close family and that people just didn't understand or get where I was coming from, I found things were getting on top of me. No-one seemed to have time to walk in my shoes. It was my memory problems which proved to be the tipping point. I found myself becoming very forgetful and starting tasks for the second time not remembering I?d already made a start previously. I went to my GP who recognised I was in a stressful situation and suggested that a course of counselling might be helpful, and I readily agreed at the chance to talk to someone outside my family/friend circle.
An 8 week course of counselling proved to be a real lifesaver. After being triaged by a counselling psychologist, he and I decided that counselling was the way to go. I got on well with my counsellor (she did mention that if we didn't I could elect to ask for someone else). The thought of a time limited psychological prop at a very difficult time when no-one else was there was invaluable. Over the 8 weeks I felt that sometimes the insights were surprising- sometimes it was just good to talk- sometimes just the idea that someone else could see where I was coming from was what I really needed.
I now feel better able to stand back from things and make calmer rational decisions. There will always be challenges in life and life is one long adaptation to inevitable change and uncertainty. The situation I'm in hasn't changed but I'm now better able to see this and to manage uncertainty and change as best as I can- and leave the rest. It's all anyone can do.
I have also been doing mindfulness for some time now. It's not a quick fix and sometimes I wonder if it's working. But if you can take even 10 minutes out of a busy day to have some me-time, doesn't that make it worth it?