Due to Covid-19, there is a lot of talk on the news about mental health.
This fills my heart with both positive hope and sadness.
We could be more aware about mental health; this can bring insight and help to foster better all-round health. When we are aware of the link to physical wellbeing that our mental health supports, we can use that insight to promote a general feeling of wellbeing, storing resilience, like savings in the bank, for that rainy day.
Unfortunately, you may have survived trauma, but you have not processed that.
Unfortunately, you may have survived loss, and again, you have not processed that either.
What do I mean by processing; well if you are carrying around big heavy bags of your past, your hands are not free to embrace your new experiences. When we put the bags down and take things out to look at, we can decide whether we need to carry heavy items everywhere or whether we can put them on the shelf and leave them at home, lightening the load. Your hands become freer to catch stuff or steady your way. And your bags are lighter.
Covid-19 will be compounding and complicating all this for you.
We do not have the autonomy to do the things that helped. We are restricted and frightened, sometimes cut off and lonely.
I have said I will not give you advice and you may think that that is exactly what I need right now, so maybe it would be helpful to explain what I mean by that.
Counselling is what I do professionally. It is not letting off steam to a best mate.
I listen professionally. I have trained to hear what you say and what you do not. I come into your world and walk around in it with respect, quietly and curiously searching for the essence of you.
I leave behind my experiences, albeit like yours, and look at your “luggage” from your perspective: you packed for your journey. I packed for mine. For me to say; “why didn’t you pack hiking boots?” when you are halfway up the mountain with blisters is unhelpful. You wore flip flops, your feet hurt, let us talk about what led to that decision and what you can learn from it.
I wear flip flops too.
I have climbed mountains in them.
My feet have paid the price.
What I mean is who am I to tell you what you should do.
I will listen but I will not judge, I do not have all the answers, but, when you and I form a professional, working alliance and you feel heard, really heard but not rescued as your friends might do, well, that is where the magic happens.
I want to leave you with a quote that my dear friend reminded me of recently.
‘Comparison is the thief of all joy.’
With love, Anna x