End of Year Update

I started this blog in September just before I officially began training to be a Counsellor. Since then so much has happened, all of which I am going to share in my last post of the year!

In regards to my course, I have been absolutely loving it! I’ve sat in lectures about the most interesting topics, had open and honest discussions with like-minded people and have been able to practice my Counselling skills with other students on the course. This practice has paid off as I have now officially been told I am ready to start placement which is hopefully happening at the end of January! As well as this, I have had my ethics approved for my research that will make up my dissertation. My blog has inspired me hugely with my research idea which is essentially: how having a mental illness affects trainee counsellors. I’m actually really excited to start it and find out whether people have had the same experiences as me whilst attempting to raise awareness about what this balancing act is like for us.

After sitting on the NHS waiting list for months, I finally had my first CBT appointment this week! When I woke up on the morning of the appointment, it felt weird to think that I was going to actually start addressing these obsessional thoughts. I’m so used to them being there every waking minute of the day it has almost become the norm for me. To think that there is a life for me where that doesn’t have to be the case is so bizarre! My next appointment isn’t until January now but it’s quite nice to know that after all the festivities of the Christmas holidays are over and when we roll into that horrid month that kicks off a new year, I have these sessions ready to go to help change things for me. Don’t worry, I’m not going to use the classic line “new year, new me”…

As for this blog, it has become a wonderful hobby that I can throw myself into. Although it isn’t a form of escapism for me because obviously, I am thinking about OCD, writing about OCD and reliving how difficult OCD has made my week, it has made me so much more open about it. This has made my life easier in the sense that I’ve felt like I haven’t had to explain myself as much, I can reach out to people and just get it off my chest when I’ve had a particularly bad day and even go as far as finding the humour in it with my nearest and dearest. It’s made me wish that I had started openly talking about my mental illness a long time ago.

I have also had one of my blog posts published on Time to Change’s website this week which is an amazing achievement! I am so proud of myself for doing this and I am so happy that it has sparked conversation amongst others. I have even openly shared it on social media which took a lot of courage to do. I’m really hoping that it has helped someone in a similar situation or maybe even just helped someone to broaden their understanding of what living with OCD is actually like.

I know New Year’s resolutions are shit and we tend to break them pretty much in the first few days but I suggest that instead of promising ourselves (again) that we won’t eat as much cake or that we’ll start running, this year we make a different kind of resolution. If you are reading this and also suffer from a mental illness, I propose that we make a promise to be kinder to and more accepting of ourselves. Perhaps open up when we are having the most rubbish day instead of bottling it up. Talk more openly and share our experiences. And if you’re not the one suffering with an agonising mental illness, try our very best to support others who are. Make them a cup of tea, watch a film with them side by side on the sofa, listen to what they might be saying or tune in to what they might not be. This could be the first step in helping someone feel safe enough to speak out and seek the help they so deserve.

Thankyou to everyone who has been reading my posts and supporting me. I hope you all have a fabulous Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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