Molehills out of Mountains

Day 24 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge. I’m really thrilled about todays post; Ed shares his story of how his experience of counselling has helped him to foster a more healthy relationship with himself. I still have 16 days left of this challenge and about 13 days still unaccounted for, so please please do let me know if you feel you have something you might like to contribute…

Molehills out of Mountains

‘Please fix me!’ My brain shouted inside my head as I nervously started to talk with the man sitting opposite me. My opening question was ‘have you done this much before?’ His answer was yes! I’m glad it was, this man is Justin and he was to become (and still is) my counsellor.  Continue reading

Not “OK”

Firstly, our thoughts must be with all those individuals and families affected by yesterday’s terrible events in Westminster. It has been a truly dark day. 

I had another blog lined up to post today but felt the need say something about the events of yesterday. Today’s will be a brief post. 

The events took place just less than 1/2 mile from my office in Westminster. I was in a team meeting at the time, oblivious to what what was happening. It was only when we checked the answerphone after the meeting that we all became aware. 

At first it was surreal. I called my wife to say I was ok. We all made our way out of the office and started our various journeys home. I got the 17.06 back to Sussex and the safety of my home and family, for which it feels I have never been more grateful. 

It was only during the evening that the reality began to sink in. I didn’t want to watch the news, and spent the rest of the evening feeling numb and subdued. 

That feeling remains with me this morning as I write this on the train heading back into Westminster. I could pretend everything was ok, but somehow, my small part of the world feels very different today. 

Thankfully I wasn’t caught up in the events yesterday; but they have certainly had an impact on me. I felt the need to share that, as I process what it means to work in the heart of a city which has no immunity in this era of terrorism. 

Of course, things will settle down and probably quickly return to “normal”. But for today, I acknowledge that I’m really not OK, and that is OK. 

Anxiety Attack…

Anxiety

Day 22 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge. When anxiety takes hold full force, it can be a terrifying and crippling experience. Today, Jack boldly shares his experience with a period of acute anxiety.

Acute Anxiety Attack

I had got to the place where I accepted that mental health issues affect people, but I wasn’t ready to believe that I would be one of them. Third child in as many years and we were not sleeping well. I was run down and had a virus. It was February 2015 and I was not prepared for what happened next. Continue reading

Mental health first aid

Day 21 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge. Thank you to everyone who has supported this blog so far, it is so important we talk about and share our experiences of mental health and wellbeing. Please do keep sharing…you can contact me via the contact box found on the “About Counselling” page on this website.

I read a fantastic article on mental health first aid so have decided to share it today. I really love the points about genuinely listening and being slow to offer advice; we must not underestimate the power of simply being heard. 

Here’s the link: Mental Health First Aid

Crushed

crusherDay 20 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge; half way through! Today’s is a  story of having to adjust to the world when it turns out people aren’t at all who you thought they were. It is my story.

Continue reading

The Cold Cure for Depression

cold water swimmingDay 19 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge. One of the best things about working in the mental health field is hearing stories of how people have learnt to cope with and manage their mental health. If you have such a story (or any story relating to mental health/wellbeing) I still have plenty of space left to fill!

Here’s a remarkable story from Paul, of significant pain and resilience. **WARNING** the blog briefly references instances of extreme violence. If this is likely to trigger your own PTSD symptoms, then please consider reading this when you feel safe and able to manage this effectively.

The Cold Cure for Depression

If I told you that within 10 minutes I could cure your anxiety and depression I would imagine you’d tell me to go and ‘jump in a lake’ right?

Anxiety and depression can come from many sources, here is my own unique road to pain: Continue reading

Bipolar In The Family

Bipolar-Disorder-mood

Day 18 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge. Yesterday, we heard a courageous story of what it was like to grow up in a household with someone battling alcoholism. Today, Penny has shared her story of growing up in a household with a parent suffering from Bipolar. It’s a frank and highly personal story which truly highlights the impact of living with mental health, and the dire need for the right kind of support.  Continue reading

Living with an addict

alcoholic familyDay 17 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge. Addiction features quite a bit on my blog as it’s something I feel passionately about and forms the best part of my day to day work. Today, Felicity shares her painful story of what it meant to grow up in a home with someone battling alcoholism. This is a truly moving story, and I applaud Felicity for being kind enough and brave enough to share it with us. Continue reading

Shame

women-internet-pornograph-007

Day 16 of my 40 Day Blog Challenge. Here’s a challenging blog about how pornography can really impact on our mental wellbeing. Thank you so much Ginny for sharing this story so courageously.

Shame

The dictionary definition of shame: “the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonourable, improper, ridiculous etc. done by oneself or another”.

Shame is so much more than this dictionary definition.  Continue reading

Pause for thought 


Day 15 of my 40 Day Blog challenge. So I’m two weeks into the challenge, although I should really say we are two weeks in. I have been blown away by the number of people who have already contributed to this blog and what started out as quite a naive idea for Lent, is beginning to take on a life of its own. 
So today I thought I’d pause for thought. We’ve heard a number of stories, most from people I know, and most I wasn’t aware of. 

And that’s the point isn’t it. Most of the time we soldier on, suffer in relative silence and can feel so alone. 

We often hear about the statistic that 1 in 4 of us will suffer some kind of mental health issue. Personally I believe this is more likely the number of people who end up gaining treatment/support for their mental health. The truth is, our mental wellness is very fluid, and even the most resilient of us can suffer poorer spells of mental wellbeing. 

I liken it to having a cold, but mentally. For whatever reason, be it life events, trauma, biology, most of us will experience seasons in our life where we struggle to connect with our sense of self we are so used to. And this can be a really challenging time. 

Some of us will suffer severe and enduring mental health issues such as schizophrenia, personality disorders (an awful way to label an illness), bi-polar etc. I imagine most of us think of these types of illnesses when we talk about mental health. Yet others of us, if not most of us, will go through seasons of varying mental health, and it seems that we still don’t have much of a language to be able to talk about this. 

I am thrilled that through this blog, numbers of people have been able to talk about some difficult issues. Today I’d encourage us to think about our own mental health, to consider those times in our life when we have struggled and also to think about what helped to get you through, how did you get support, what helped things to change?

It is so important that we know the kind of support we need when we are struggling, and it helps us to know this in advance. 

I’m really looking forward to hearing more of your stories, please do get in touch if you’d like to contribute.