Never underestimate the power of a good chat.
I have been seeing ‘our Steve’ my counsellor since last November and on September the 14th it should be our final session. As I spoke to him yesterday about how far I’ve come since those manic days I remembered the day I rang them to arrange some help.
I had been signed off work for 2 weeks already at this point and had just been back to the doctors and she’d given me another 2 weeks as I still wasn’t anywhere near being any better. For some reason I sat in the car when I got home and I cried. I cried so much it hurt. I didn’t know why I was crying. I just was.
I sent my boyfriend a text telling him what was happening and he rang me straight away. Bless him he must have been shitting himself but he was so calm considering he was at work and couldn’t really help other than listen to my manic ramble.
I remember feeling scared. Genuinely concerned for myself because I didn’t know what was wrong. Looking back I think it had something to do with having to accept more help from the doctor other than a few more weeks off – she’d mentioned medication and counselling in the appointment and given me some leaflets. But at the time the fear was real. So real it was stopping me from even leaving the car and going in my house. I was scared because I just wanted all the feelings to stop. They hurt too much. It was like white noise in my brain and I couldn’t make any of it out.
I remember my boyfriend asking me why I was scared. I said I didn’t know what would happen. He asked if I thought i might hurt myself and I told him I was worried I would. He begged me to ring the number on the leaflet the doctor had given me.
It’s worth mentioning here that I have self harmed in the past. I didn’t see it as that at the time as I wasn’t cutting myself. I chose something a bit more extreme – I used to hit myself on the side of my head. Or bang my head against things to hurt it. No one other than my boyfriend had ever seen me do this – it’s not something you shout about. He understood when it happened i was at my lowest.
When I eventually calmed down enough to leave the car I rang the IAPT service run by Bradford NHS. I spoke at length to a man I’d never met before and told him things I’d not even told my boyfriend and by the end of that conversation I knew that the doctor was right. To work through these issues of PTSD and social anxiety I needed to do more.
I needed to help myself.
And as awful as that day was i always think of it positively because it was the start of my recovery. That day was my rock bottom and the only way for me to go from there was up.
And I did.
Don’t be afraid to talk. It’s something so simple but it’s amazing.