22 January 2023


I've not had much therapy in my life. There were years when I was younger when I really would have benefited from it, but was too young to realise that. When I was 17, I got a kick in the arse from a friend, and I went to the appropriate health body for some help. They did give me a therapist, but the combination wasn't good; I didn't have the impression he was saying anything I hadn't already thought of a hundred times, and I didn't trust him. My sister wasn't a qualified therapist back then, but she did have some knowledge on therapy methods, and she said that his were about 100 years out of date.

I left this therapist as he wasn't adding anything to my life and then I muddled on on my own for years. I sort of figured that this sort of unhelpful stuff is what happens if you ask for help. But obviously, nothing had been solved, and I later hit a rather rough patch, and went back. And this time, things were different. This time they offered me both therapy and antidepressants. And the latter really made a world of difference. It quite snowed under any potential effect of the therapy I got with it. That was group therapy; it was enjoyable, but I didn't feel like it made huge difference. And I've never been in therapy since.

I didn't stay on these antidepressants very long. I think I got the hang of everything by myself, after they somehow jumpstarted the engine. And my life got better and better, over decades. So long, actually, that I started to take that trend for granted.

And then, in short succession, the underground men got hostile, lockdown was called, I developed serious RSI with which both the NHS in the University seemed reluctant to help me with, I got threatened with redundancy and I found myself an EU citizen in a Brexit country. That's quite a lot to deal with! And that's when the positive trend halted. And even reversed a bit.

I am still in quite an acceptable shape! But I wanted my positive trend back. And I also think I have a few hangups that might be self-reinforcing, and which complicate my relationships with my fellow humans. And I am nowhere without my fellow humans. So after a period when I thought that any person involved in mental health care really had more urgent things to do, thanks to much more serious effects of lockdown on other people, I decided that the time had come to look after myself. And what helped was that a friend casually mentioned they had a counsellor, and that they were happy with this person. And given that I recognised a few things in this friend, I thought that if this counsellor was good for them, then maybe they also would be for me!

When I looked up the Counselor online, I saw that she was on Christmas holiday, but would be back in early January. And once she was, I sent her a message. And she said she took on new clients. So we had a brief telephone consultation to establish whether if she and I might be a good match. We decided it looked like we were. And I was particularly drawn to the walking therapy sessions she does. 

So one January afternoon I drove to Llanrwst to meet up with this lady. It was a bit challenging as there was a fair amount of snow and ice on the road, but I got there without incident. And we had our introductory session! This was mainly just me telling her why I was there. But I do think we had good rapport. So we made an appointment to do it again!

We will need to meet more often before I will see a difference. But I am confident that it will happen! And I hope that after the decline that started in 2019, 2023 will be the year in which that negative trend is bent back into it original positive direction!

Picture taken during the first session

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