There’s been a lot of changes happening recently. One of the biggest ones is that I’ve started my weekly counselling with RSVP. Ever since getting my first appointment through, my mood dropped. I’d been waiting for an appointment for 8 months so I knew it was coming but it still hit me when the appointment letter actually came through. It was something that I’d pushed to the back of my mind and tried my best to forget about and now I knew I’d have to bring up and talk about everything I was trying so hard to forget. Having said that, I also knew it was for the best and that, as with a lot of things, I was going to feel worse before I felt better.
I’ve had quite a few sessions now and I’ve taken a lot of good things away with me. When I first started, we went through what my goals are and what I’d like to get from the sessions.
My main goal was to simply feel normal. There is no in between with me. I’m either in the best mood and feel I could take on anything and achieve anything or I’m the complete opposite and can’t imagine even leaving my bedroom. So what I really want is to feel somewhere in the middle…content.
I quickly realised that there were some goals that I never even talked about because I just didn’t think they’d be achievable but that I’m doing right now. One of these is I wanted to become more independent. Previously I’d never been for a walk on my own. I walk to places when there’s a purpose but I’ve never just been for a solo walk.
Theres a lot of different reasons why:
- The thought of it would fill me with dread and in the end I’d just think, It’s not worth feeling like this so I’d leave it and make an excuse for me not to go
- I thought people would know that I was walking with no purpose and think I was silly
- The usual thoughts would run through my mind of what if I trip up or can’t cross the road or if there’s loads of traffic and I’ll have to walk past all the cars and then obviously the major risks such as being abducted or attacked
I don’t know what happened but one afternoon I’d asked Mom and my sister if they wanted to go for a walk and they both said no and for some reason I was like I’m going on my own then. I literally ran out the front door before I had chance to talk myself out of it. I think this is the trick that has helped me. It was the first time I’d used it and it worked.
I was out for an hour and while I was walking I was asking myself what was I actually scared of? There was absolutely nothing wrong with it. No one had any idea that I was just walking for the sake of walking. For all anyone knew, I could’ve been going to the train station or walking to or from work etc. No one was non the wiser and to be honest why would anyone care? I now see that there was noting to worry about and now I try and go at least once a day. I’ve even started going in my lunch break which is something I never thought would happen and it’s made such a difference.
Anytime I feel stressed or you know them times you just need to get out the house, I just go for my walk. And the great thing is I don’t need to wait around for anyone else to decide if they want to join me because if they do want to then that’s fine but if they don’t I now know I can do it on my own. After all not everyone is going to want to do exactly the same thing at exactly the same time as you.
Also whenever I’m on my own, my thoughts run away with me and I end up feeling worse so I just assumed the same would happen when I was walking on my own. I never understood it when people said they go walking to clear their minds or to gain clarity but that’s exactly what happened to me. I didn’t think it was possible but I actually got home feeling a lot better and I’d gone through the worries in my mind and pretty much got rid of them.
And I know it might sound silly to some people but this is a massive achievement for me and it’s given me that independence and freedom that I didn’t even know I needed.