I was just saying this week how looking back at the times my mental health issues were at their worst and I was out
My first memoir
of control, seems surreal and it’s like watching a fiction film in my mind – a nightmarish story at times. How far I have come… I begin my counselling placement next week and I am really looking forward to it! I am an integrative counsellor, taught CBT, person-centred and
My sequel memoir
I started my first counselling course in September 2012 and I remember it clearly. That formed a part of my sequel memoir ‘39’…
October 2012… I recently enrolled on a college course; ‘AQA Intro to Counselling’ on Mondays … only a couple of hours each week with a few hours’ homework…
I hope it will all go well for me, as it will be a whole lot different to being indoors working from home in hibernation and solitude a lot of the time. I hope to get on well with my classmates, gain some confidence, and learn in a classroom environment towards qualifications and a new line of work eventually, in the years to come…
I was so nervous to start college at first, thinking… will I get on with people? Will I be able to keep up? Will I be able to cope with the role plays? Will I cope with the new academic environment – a place I haven’t been in for many years? But, luckily, I was too excited about starting the course to worry much and, as usual when it comes to worry anyway, it would have all been for nothing as I loved the classes within minutes of being there. …….Continue reading I start my counselling placement next week – finally feeling proud of myself!…
Titus my cat peacefully asleep
I really wanted Titus to be a therapy cat, and I just realised that he kind of is…. To my mum and dad when I take him round there. I get dinner, they get my cat and I for the night. They actually ask for me to bring him. Dad strokes him, teases him and plays with him (usually getting a scratch or two!) and Mum follows him around, cooing over him and strokes him; albeit timidly at times. It struck me that Titus is a kind of therapy cat in those situations. I mean, I have already acknowledged that he is therapy for me and a whole lot of fun with his cheeky ways and imaginative ways of communicating his needs. He fills my life with joy. But, when I take him to my mum and dads, he fills their house with joy as well. No problems; just calm, fun and enjoyment.
Cats are fantastic therapy and owning one and stroking it often, is proven to reduce blood pressure. If you can ‘be in the moment’ listening to their purring, stroking their soft fur, really interacting, you will also be practising
titus and the fish tank
‘mindfulness’ without even realising! (my hamster and tropical fish help me to be mindful as well)
Need I say more!
There are so many cats that need new homes, for many reasons (owner has passed away or they were no longer wanted or cared for, for example) so if you would like a fab cat, please think of getting your new addition to your family at a rescue centre (RSPCA, Cats Protection etc). I do support ‘Adopt don’t shop’. I fostered Titus nearly two years ago and he was the one for me so I couldn’t let him go and adopted him. One of the best decisions I have ever made.
I am about to start my counselling placement any time soon, and I feel ready. I cannot wait to start the journey of …….Continue reading Therapy cats, pets, family, a new chapter and lowering blood pressure!…
I have been exercising positivity in a few different ways lately, to help me with my continuing journey of recovery, so I’d like to share a few more ways to do this. These may sound simple exercises but they work for me. These examples are not all from my own thoughts and feelings, but are more general.
I improve all the time, and it is now hard to believe how mentally tortured I was in the past… …….Continue reading Some simple ways to keep positive……
Flowers I bought myself this week because I am worth it
I was washing the dishes this morning, and got thinking about college and how well I feel I did in my CBT role play yesterday when I got yet another pang of self-doubt about it.
Contradictory thoughts are pretty destructive as they frustrate, confuse and even anger the person having them. On this occasion, I felt none of those, because I immediately remembered that everyone gets some sort of nerves when beginning a new role, a new job, and new life changing event occurs or any big change in their lives.
Then I remembered when I was a recruitment consultant for Manpower UK. I passed all the training with flying colours, was offered a role immediately and flourished in the role of interviewing job seekers and finding them jobs to go into, either permanent or temporary. Before I knew it I had a great little team of warehouse workers, manual workers and forklift drivers and lots of clients who gave me all their jobs to fill on first meeting. I had the gift. But, I still found myself driving the commute to work and occasionally having a surge of self-doubt run through my brain. I’d want to turn the car around and go home. I’d think about my job and try to picture myself in it and I couldn’t. I …….Continue reading Self-doubt – we all know it, but let’s tell it where to go!…
Molly my hamster and I
My eldest brother, whose wife died a few years ago from breast cancer, is getting married again. It has been a whirlwind, as I only found out about her a few weeks ago and he only met her last summer! The wedding is in February and sounds to be nearly as big as his first. This got me thinking and others’ asking me, about my own marriage ideas. Personally, I have never dreamed of the big wedding thing, more thinking of a wedding on a beach somewhere beautiful and hot that is also the honeymoon destination. I don’t even think I’d want guests, since I feel it is a something to be shared between two people first and foremost. But that’s just me…
Having said that, I am now forty one and have never been married so that’s a laugh! I was asked, at the end of a six year relationship, but he was too late – I had already given up on him. Bloody right too, especially since I have found out he cheated on me and multiple times with the woman he married. It was funny, because shortly after we split and my reply to his marriage proposal was “Don’t be so ridiculous!” or something like that, he phoned me and told me he had a new girlfriend and that “her tits are bigger than yours!” Ha ha ha. Such a shallow man.
Titus and mum and dads gifts
What with that, and growing up within my mum and dads marriage, it’s enough to put me off, but I did still want to marry one person – it just hasn’t worked out. Then, Christmas Eve, when my presents were laid out by said person, I asked, excitedly (yup I’m like a child with present) “Which is the biggest one?” and was told it was the smallest present which looked like a tiny box. My mind got thinking and one of those thoughts was an engagement ring…. Anyhow, it only took a day before I was unwrapping it to find a BT modem box inside. I thought it was a wifi thing, then inside was just a piece of A4 paper with a picture of a bed and a message wishing me to be comfy in my new bed. Ha ha. I introduced him to the art of wrapping things so that the person would be swayed as to what is inside, so I asked for it. I do LOVE my new bed though as, at my age, it was good not to be sleeping in a single bed any more
And so recently, when asked about marriage and babies by my nephew and friends, I just said “It’s too late now”. I am then told of all the people they know who are my age or more and having babies, which is very sweet.
My cat and my hamster are my babies. Sad eh? But true. And that is how I get to nurture… and is why I am planning to foster cats and kittens again. It is most likely why I am training to be a counsellor too – to help people and animals, who could ask for more? I WILL be the ‘crazy cat lady’ I could lay money on it LOL
It has been nearly five weeks since we have been in college and I found this break stressful and confusing. I was building my confidence during the term from September to December and then there was nothing. I did organise to do some skills practise outside of college hours with someone, as we do not get enough practise during two and half hours per week, but they changed their mind in the end, so I will try to organise it with someone else. Got to take positive steps.
My group analysis psychotherapy ends in mid-March and this is causing me some stress as I have been in the group for sixteen months now and find it extremely helpful and inspiring. I can take all my troubles there and either talk about them or not. I can gain others’ opinions and wisdom and can see things more clearly when they are analysed by others as well as listening to them and offering them support and wisdom. Sometimes their analysis can be hard to bear if they are saying what I already know and want to avoid, or when they make it obvious something is more …….Continue reading January musings, marriage, babies, cats, therapy, being positive and more…
Titus and I having a cuddle
I always get a diary (or three usually LOL) for Christmas, and I love to flick through those clean pages, thinking about filling them up with the written word during the following year; a new year. And I do write a list of things I want to change or achieve during that following year in one of the back pages. Since I have stopped writing my daily obsessive lists of these things and more all through the year now (making my life much more relaxing) this end of year ritual brings me optimism.
First of all I look at the list in my current year’s diary and tick off anything that I have achieved. I then ponder on the ones I didn’t, and add them to my new diary for the following year. I may also add some I did achieve, if they are ongoing things I should keep an eye on, such as drinking less, exercise etc.
It may sound cliché and boring, but it does work for me.
This year I was able to tick off:
- Have a clear out and sell anything I no longer need or want. And boy did I, utilising ebay, Gumtree and the local newspaper, I think I made about £550 from jewellery, clothes and furniture. (great when my car failed it’s test and needed four new tyres as a starting point!) I am now feeling redundant of my ‘ebay fix’ LOL I do love the auctions and packaging stuff up to send off to my buyers.
- Write a work of fiction and publish it (yep, and then some as I published four works of fiction in 2014)
- Drink less – this didn’t start off well and there were some blips but towards the end of the year something clicked and I just didn’t want to drink so much alcohol)
- Stick to my group analysis – yep, and it had worked wonders on my mental health and personal relationships.
- Stick to college – yep, I have now started my third year of counselling studies at level 4 diploma (and found a placement working with homeless people to boot)
- Be more responsible about things – yep.
- Combine my six websites into less – yep.
…….Continue reading Happy New Year, resolutions for 2015, why I personally make them and a catch up…
One of my inspirations. My cat, Titus, engrossed in one of my fish tanks.
My tattoos of love and strength keep me going too
OK I cannot guarantee it, but I have the go ahead to set myself up as a new counsellor helping those associated with homelessness.
As a student, requiring my first placement, I could have gone down the usual route of looking for a placement somewhere that already offers placements, but no, not me… I have never been one to follow the crowd, I have always enjoyed setting new things up, organising and offering the best service I can. And now, I have the opportunity to do what I really want, and that is to help people who need it.
I have started my third year of my counselling courses am now studying level 4, and something has happened this year. I have always appeared confident to others, always been able to work well in the group settings, study hard, and do great role plays, but this year, I FEEL all those things instead of just doing them and feeling like I cannot inside. I can put this down to my college work, my fantastic fellow students, my group analysis in which I am a patient (very tough but very therapeutic) and my determined self-help efforts of writing, keeping journals, and self-analysis. There’s also my fabulous cat, Titus, Molly my hamster and all my wonderful fish, plants and flowers, that have kept me going with fun and creation, Chris who has supported me, and my mum and dad (who invite me to dinnner regularly). I am a capable individual …….Continue reading I think I have a placement as a student counsellor! Helping those associated with homelessness…