Before working with Kay I was feeling very trapped, isolated, lost. Although my life was good (I had a job, a roof over my head, family and friends) I found myself, for some reasons, overwhelmed and extremely lonely. I felt worthless and I did not want to talk about my problems to anyone as I thought nobody would understand me. I didn’t want to bother my family or friends with my issues so the problem got worse and worse.
I had never done counselling before so I was quite nervous on the first session. I was expecting to be treated like an “ill” person, however I was made aware from the beginning that feelings are transitory and that if I changed my way of thinking, my life would change too and for the better. During the sessions, I felt free to fully express myself and my inner feelings without being judged – which is something you don’t always get from family or friends. (June 2018)
My situation was very bad. I was pretty much helpless and had no one to talk to or turn to. I felt like no one understood what I was going through. I was suffering greatly both physically mentally and emotionally. Everyone who tried to support me was also very much emotionally involved with me so they were also frustrated due to my suffering. There were also certain things that I felt I couldn’t share with loved ones about how I was feeling. I felt I needed to talk to someone who would be able to empathise with how physical suffering on a day to day basis can make you feel and just be able to share it with someone who understood.
It was a relief when I first started having counselling because I could just be myself without having to be brave about it. I knew I needed some counselling. I knew I needed to speak to someone who wouldn’t judge and would remain impartial.
The process was very calm and the work I did at home in relation to mindfulness and relaxation really helped me. I still use some of those strategies today and try to just live in the present, I no longer future think and just live for now. I don’t dwell on the ‘what ifs’ anymore like I used to. I am a lot more grounded since the counselling and live for now and try to enjoy each day for what it brings. I try to allow the future to take care of itself. The process was led by me, in the main, based on how I felt at the start of every session as emotions and suffering changed from week to week. (April 2018)
What was your situation like before we started working together?
Having tried speaking to two other counsellors prior to Kay, I was aware that I needed to speak to someone but had failed, on these two separate occasions, to find someone that I felt comfortable with. My anxiety had reached a level that made everyday life impossible. A cloud of, in my mind, inevitable impending doom dominated every aspect of my life – it had become impossible to ignore. I truly felt like I had nowhere else to turn and that no one could possibly understand what I was going through. With thoughts about ending things myself entering my head, I was of the impression that the world (family and friends) would be better off without me; that I was the problem in the equation so removing myself from it and the world was right. Worryingly now, it actually felt right at the time. It was most definitely the darkest and worst time of my life. Anxiety is truly debilitating – at the time you simply cannot understand why you’re way of thinking is irrational no matter what anyone may tell you to the contrary. Mental health is, especially amongst men, seen as a taboo that we should not talk about. What rubbish! Mental health is important to everyone and, having been through what I have, I think everyone could benefit from a chat every once in a while with a qualified counsellor. Mental health is not the issue, talking about it is!
What reservations (if any) did you have about working with me before we started?
The major reservation that I had was that my experience would be similar to the other two counsellors that I had seen – an inability to connect, emphasise or understand. In addition, prior to coming to see Kay, I was most certainly of the opinion that nothing could be done to help. It was actually my family that made the initial appointment. I was probably apathetic, at best. The thought of explaining my issues to someone was also never far from my mind – what if they judge?!?
What was the process of working with me like?
Relaxed. I was made to feel at ease immediately. Throughout the process, Kay has helped me without me realising it. Only after the odd session when she would recap on things would I see the steps that I was actually taking. Kay not only empathised, but was able to make me see my path away from a life controlled by my anxiety.
What is the one best result you have got from working with me?
Simply put, I am here writing this email! I am sat enjoying my lunch break in the sun free (not fully) of the anxiety that very nearly caused everything to come crashing down. While I am still an anxious person, I am able to cope with things in a more rational and controlled manner – all attributes that Kay has been able to gift to me. Writing this email has actually given me the time to actually truly access the journey I’ve been on. Putting pen to paper (text to email in this instance) makes it real! Without Kay, I highly doubt that I would have navigated my way through! (May 2018)