My first session of counselling.

My first session of counselling.

Today I went to my first proper counselling session. It felt odd but it was good. We touched on my upcoming surgery and how it’s causing me anxiety. We spoke about how I felt in my pregnancy and after my birth because that’s what triggered my worry about my upcoming abdominal surgery. We also touched on a few issues about childhood and my ability to block myself off and fall out with others.

At first I felt awkward, I found the woman quite condescending and being there stupid. But then I realised I’m defending myself and this woman is just nice and trying to work our why I’m here and help me. As the session went on it was a lot of me talking and her listening. She asked certain questions and it got me to respond and delve in deeper. She allowed me to feel safe and she seemed to give me time to feel, it felt like she was waiting for me to cry but I didn’t. I think I was to tense being my first time to fully let my guard down. I spent a lot of time looking at the door or at my cup of tea to try and avoid looking at her as it made me feel uncomfortable and like I’d cry.

I felt like I had a safe space to talk, I did not have to hide here as I didn’t know the woman. It made me feel oddly like I could open up. I think because I knew that’s what you do in counselling that it helped me. I’m not going to talk in big deal about what was uncovered today or overthought but I know that this was the first step. The first step to recovery is accepting help and I’ve done that. I’ve also accepted today that I have a lot of issues to work through and that I can feel better if I get it off my chest. Immediately after leaving I felt lighter. Emotionally and physically. I felt a bit more empowered. She helped me to decide to cancel my operation till I’m ready again and to allow myself to deal with that. She’s helped me realise that I’m not a bad person and that I’m not to blame for everything that happened to me.

I’m excited to see how the rest of my journey will go and how it’ll help me learn to control my thought process. I’m looking forward to feeling more in control and taking steps to be happy.

Starting counselling for a traumatic birth.

Starting counselling for a traumatic birth.

Today I went to meet my counsellor and make a plan for therapy. I sat in this light purple wall with a terrible (supposedly relaxing) art in a frame. There were three beige chairs with purple pillows. A heater, a big box of tissues and a clock to time sessions resting on a dark brown coffee table. Across from the white nets which draped down the windows was a fireplace (blocked off) with a bin next to it and a burgundy hardback copy of the holly bible. Apparently I might feel a bit Jesusy suffering from ptsd after childbirth.

The woman was lovely, she seemed familiar and put me at ease. She let me have a minuite in the room myself to relax and then came in shortly later to start paper work. We started with the confidentiality spiel and what would be sent to gp and my details. They stated my notes are not kept with my personal details which I guess is to make people feel more comfortable. They asked if I wanted to have a letter sent to my husband explaining I’m having counselling and it’s a difficult time. I explained he knows I’m here so there’s no point and we talk about it.

She asked why I was referred and what I wanted to achieve. It was pretty much instantly decided I needed counselling so we just filled in the gaps. I said I wanted to be comfortable and not worry about my surgery. To not be triggered by my sons birthday impending causing my depression to spike and I wanted to go to sleep without flash backs and fear. I wanted to feel like if I wanted a future child I’d not spend the whole pregnancy in a state of horror and fear.

We set up 2 dates for in December and January and I decided I would be cancelling my surgery till I am in a better head space. I don’t think I need to have exploratory keyhole surgery if it’s going to make my mental health worse and is causing the flash backs and depressive episodes. They said to leave till after my first session but that doesn’t give me enough time I don’t believe to prepare myself. I definitely don’t think one session and a months gap is going to be able to prepare me.

I’m positive about my recovery but the thought process of my surgery and having to be put to sleep again is terrifying me. I feel completely hopeless and have had at least three panic attacks since leaving the session. Who knows maybe it’ll help, maybe it won’t time will tell. If not apparently there’s always a copy of the bible to read!

Things I do to calm myself down.

Things I do to calm myself down.

We’ve all been stressed, depressed, anxious and worked up at some stage in our life and we will be again. Instead of dwelling in your emotions you need to try to separate yourself from these emotions with some self help tools and objects even if it feels impossible. Sometimes just looking out the window and watching how the rain falls can make us feel better just for that second.


I’m not saying colouring in is going to cure your depression because it most definitely hasn’t cured mine but distraction can help even for a little bit. So what do I do to distract myself so I can relax just a tad?


I read. Reading is really great for your mental health. It’s somewhat changed my life, when I’m stressed I’ll start a new book and read till I feel a bit better. My imagination is put elsewhere and I don’t sit there over thinking as I am distracted. I find the kindle a brilliant tool for this as you can buy a book immediately and read it so you don’t have to choose a book you have and you don’t have to wait you can just do it now!


I use my fidget cube. It has different textures and things to do like a switch, buttons and dials. I play with it in my pocket when I’m out and feeling particularly anxious or if I’m watching tv on the sofa and feeling I can’t calm down. The switch on it has really helped my ocd I don’t flip the house switches as much just the one on my cube.


I journal. I have several self help books which involve me talking about my day, what went wrong and can go better. It enables positive thoughts and makes me think. I find the smallest things to be proud of myself for or went right today and try to be “mindful”.


I colour. Colouring is very therapeutic and occupying the mind is too. I’m not talking colouring a basic baby colouring book dog but intricate designs that take time. I have several and my favourite two are my cath kidston colouring book and my swear word one which I do when I’m feeling angry about something. Yes it’s crude but instead of swearing I colour it in and Elijah can’t read yet so I see no issue.

I look back at photos. I look at photos of happier times and remind myself life can be good and I will smile again.


I burn candles. I burn candles and use in sense/essential oils to relax myself. The smells and soft flows can relax me and not feel so over stimulated by everything going on around me.


I watch a film or series. I distract myself watching something new or old and try to commit all my focus into this. It doesn’t always work but sometimes if I don’t feel up for much this little activity is enough to keep me calm.


I practice self care. I’ll have a nice candle lit bubble bath or hot shower. I’ll use my best products, exfoliate and then I’ll moisturise so I’m slippery enough to belong in the ocean. I’ll wear fresh pjs and change the bedding. I’ll spend time doing my hair and if I’m going out I’ll do my make up.


I’ll do housework. Although I mostly hate housework when I’m feeling particularly over whelmed I reach for a cloth and clean. Having everything clean and tidy makes me feel good so I’ll get to scrubbing the house to take out my emotions. I’ve been known to have a cry washing up at times and feel miles better after.


I cook and bake. I love making yummy treats so when I can I like to bake or cook something new which gives me a bit of a boost when it tastes somewhat decent.


I go for a walk. I take myself or my son with me if nobody’s home to watch him and walk through nature. I take in the worlds beautiful views and smell the natural air and it almost always makes me feel more open minded and clear. It helps me make decisions in stressful situations and I work our anger I have built up sometimes.


I buy stuff. I indulge in buying a new ornament or new top or toy for my kid. I love buying new bits and a treat always makes me feel better.
I go out and see friends or family. Something about being around others at times just makes you feel okay again.


I have a hot drink. Warning myself up makes me feel warm and cuddly and it can help me relax into myself and let my walls down.

I sit in the dark and relax. I try to rationalise my thoughts and relax into myself . No stimuli works for me.

I turn my phone off and avoid the news. I avoid negativity, and there’s plenty of that at our finger tips I can feel so much better when I don’t use my personal social media or read news articles on politics or horrible disasters that have happened.


I go out for the day. Staying in can make you feel lonely and horrid so going out for a adventure can make you feel so much better.


I listen to music. Either loud when I’m angry or relaxing music when I’m sad to listen to the music and calm myself down.


I use White noise. It not only helps me sleep I also use it to make myself feel safe when I’m over stimulated or out and nervous about something like an appointment. I also like to watch the rain and they’d why I like thunderstorm sounds the most.


I talk to someone. When I feel particularly bad I speak to someone about it and I feel a load is taken of my chest and sometimes we need help.

it’s all about finding things you like to do that occupy your mind. For example my husband likes playing video games or editing photos he’s taken. He’ll sit there for hours but he always feels better afterwards. Sometimes things get hard and that’s okay. Sometimes you need to be selfish and do things for you and that’s okay too. Just remember that you matter too and you can get through this. Distraction is a short term fix and if your are suffering talk to someone or your gp. As always my inbox is always open.