Counselling with You Call We Listen We Care,
was life changing for me.
When it comes to describing my counselling experience, and telling people how it went for me, I always say the same thing:
I don’t even know where to start in order to thank somebody who has given me my life back.
Before counselling, my anxiety ruled my everyday life, and it felt like it had me in a vice-like grip that wasn’t going to loosen anytime soon. My anxiety was centred around my health, meaning that if I got sick, my mind would spiral out of control and throw up images of a common cold becoming a life threatening illness.
In order to convey to you just how bad it got, I’ll give you some insight into my thought pattern before counselling.
If, for example, I woke up with a sore throat, I would become obsessed with a self-diagnosis. Now, I am a rational person – I worked in the health industry for many years and I have a strong degree of medical knowledge. I know that a sore throat does not equate to an illness that is going to take me away from this world, yet, when I got myself into that train of thought, I felt like I just couldn’t break out of it.
My self-diagnosis journey would start with noting my symptoms down, and then constantly looking at my throat and pushing and prodding at my glands. Once I’d done this, I’d do what many do and head over to Google – probably one of the most dangerous things for somebody with health anxiety to do.
If you want to scare yourself witless, enter a concoction of symptoms into the Google search bar and watch what you get back – it’s enough to turn the most laid back person into an avid worrier.
After my appointment with the highly-commended doctors over on the internet, I’d decide that I had something as serious as cancer, and start picturing the future for everybody else, without me in it. That’s right, I’d have myself dead and buried within 30 seconds flat, all over something as trivial as a virus that would clear up in a few days, rendering my hours of panic and anxiety completely pointless and fruitless.
However, you try telling somebody mid-anxiety attack that they are being silly, or what they are thinking is meaningless. - it’s like telling the day not to turn into night. I knew I needed some form of retraining for my brain, and with a son on the way, I needed it fast before I turned into a neurotic mother that had him in the walk in centre because I thought his milk spots were some form of tropical disease.
I don’t say this lightly when I tell you that my counselling turned my life around; it’s not a quick fix option, it takes time and work and a hell of a lot of effort – but it works if you are committed to helping yourself with somebody else’s assistance.
You Call We Listen We Care, did exactly what they said they would and I was never judged, never made to feel silly and never once told that they can’t help. They made me feel fixable for the first time in years; only they reassured me that I wasn’t broken, I just needed a little bit of help.
Counselling taught me new ways of thinking and how to get my health anxiety under control before it ran away with my mind – I learnt how to fight those overwhelming what ifs before they even entered my mind, and it felt amazing.
My counsellor was kind, considerate and listened to absolutely every single worry I had; I was never judged and I felt at ease telling them everything that popped into my head that fuelled my anxiety. However, the best thing for me was that they were firm – they didn’t give me the constant reassurance that I was always looking for – instead, they taught me that I didn’t need it.
I’d be lying completely if I said that my anxiety doesn’t make an appearance every now and again – it does, only now it doesn’t control me and I have all of the tools and skills that I need in order to stop it in its tracks. It doesn’t get the airtime anymore, and it’s liberating to know that I retrained my brain to alleviate that power it once had over me.
My counselling with You Call We Listen We Care, made me realise that my anxiety is only a part of me – it’s not all of me, and it certainly doesn’t hinder me anymore.