Pick Me Up Playlist Challenge

Pick Me Up Playlist Challenge

I was tagged by the wonderful Elizabeth (www.uncustomaryhousewife.com) and Zoe (www.nolightwithoutdarkness.com) to do the Pick Me Up Playlist Challenge. Music is a powerful tool, which has helped me a lot through my life, so I couldn’t resist getting involved.

Pick Me Up Playlist Challenge Information

Rules for the Pick Me Up Playlist Challenge:

  • Mention how music helps your Mental Health
  • List 10 songs that you would consider to be a part of your ‘Pick Me Up Playlist’ (optional: mention a little bit why each song is on your list)
  • Tag the blogger who nominated you
  • Link back to ‘Pick Me Up Playlist’ creator – Laura Spoonie
  • Tag 10 other bloggers to join in with the ‘Pick Me Up Playlist’ Challenge

Music and my mental health

One of my musical heroes, John Mayer, once said “music is the reminder that it is always possible to feel alright“. That sums up my relationship with music perfectly. No matter what I’ve gone through in my life, it’s been a thing I can turn to and feel at ease. There have been times when I’ve felt completely alone, then I’ve heard a song which resonates so much with me, that it was impossible to feel that way anymore. If someone is singing words which reach right into your soul, then they get it. Whatever “it” is.

What is a ‘pick-me up playlist’ to me?

I suppose the natural assumption for most would be upbeat, happy tunes. For the most part, mine fall into this category. However, there are also some songs which are not necessarily upbeat in melody, but in their message. Some are also associated with some of the most precious people in my life, which naturally causes them to give me a case of the warm fuzzies. A pick me up playlist consists of songs which make you feel good, through whatever means.

Ready? Here are 10 songs from my pick me up playlist.

1. Heart of Life – John Mayer

To prevent this from being repetitive, I’m going to restrict myself to one John Mayer song. There are a lot which could make this list. He has so many songs which fill my heart with pure joy.

The reason I chose this one is it’s probably the one which is most in line with how I see the world. It essentially highlights the fact that life doesn’t always go smoothly, but it’s a wonderful thing. I’ve toyed with the idea of getting some of the lyrics tattooed somewhere, and it may very well happen some day.

Favourite lyric: “No, it won’t all go the way it should, but I know the heart of life is good.”

2. Cute Without the E – Taking Back Sunday

While someone being unfaithful isn’t the cheeriest subject matter, I just adore this song. I have done for a very long time. My favourite way to listen to it is with my headphones on, and at full volume.

The best way I can describe how it makes me feel is like my lungs fill with air instantly, as soon as I hear those opening lines. Plus, my eternally emo soul will never not love this.

Favourite lyric: “Your lipstick, his collar, don’t bother angel, I know exactly what goes on.”

3. Imaginary Tea – Jon McLaughlin

This song is slow, and simple, but so pure. Written about his daughter, it expresses his love for her so eloquently – even before she was born. For me, it captures how I feel about my nieces. From the second I knew my brother’s fiancé was pregnant, I loved them.

Favourite lyric: “I loved you before I ever heard your voice, and before I even knew your name, and I loved you before I saw those pretty eyes – yeah, I loved you right away.”

4. Giants – Matt Nathanson

We all need a song which makes us feel like we can take over the world, right? Well, this is mine. Listening to it gets me so pumped up! I love putting this on when I go for my walk first thing in the morning. It sets me up perfectly for the day ahead!

Favourite lyric: “I’m done trying to fit in and be half forgiven for things that I never did. We’re more than what scares us, we’re final and fearless, we’ll dance where the ice gets thin.”

5. Fake Happy – Paramore

Again, there are so many Paramore songs which could have made the cut. After Laughter is a particularly strong album, and I took a lot of comfort in it when it felt like everything was falling apart. Despite the fact its sentiment is actually quite sad, this is probably the one I have the most fun singing along to.

Favourite lyric: “I know I said that I was doing good, and that I’m happy now, I should have known when things were going good, that’s when I’d get knocked down.”

6. Moments – Bliss n Eso (featuring Gavin James)

When it comes to music, Neal and I rarely agree on anything. So, when he tells me to listen to a song, I’m always a bit reluctant. This is one of the few occasions where I approved of his recommendation.

Whenever I hear this, I think of him, and that never fails to make me happy.

Favourite lyric: “Yeah, I know I’ve been changing, life’s been rearranging, those times were golden but I couldn’t hold them all at once.”

7. I Wanna Dance With Somebody – Whitney Houston

I mean, you’ve heard it, right? It’s a great example of a feel good song!

That aside, it instantly makes me think of my sister. One of my favourite memories was a dance party for two we had in the living room, and we bopped around to this song. There have also been many occasions when we’ve sang along to it in the car.

Favourite lyric: “I need a man who’ll take a chance on a love that burns hot enough to last.”

8. Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison

Similarly to my last choice, this has a family connection. This is my dad’s favourite song. As soon as I hear the opening second of it, he comes to mind. My mum can’t resist singing along to it, either, so it’s a two-for-one. I love those moments in life, when something immediately brings someone special to mind.

No favourite lyric for this one.

9. The Middle – Jimmy Eat World

Pair uplifting lyrics with a rocking tune, and this is what you get. An instant cure for the blues.

Favourite lyric: “Live right now, just be yourself – it doesn’t matter if it’s good enough for someone else.”

10. When You’re Looking Like That – Westlife

If you thought I was going to make it through this list without a Westlife song, you clearly learned nothing from this post. Even though this ISN’T my all time favourite song by them, it’s so cheesy and happy and wonderful.

Favourite lyric: “I don’t want to get lost, I don’t want to live my life without you, how am I supposed to leave you now, when you’re looking like that?”

I think most of the people I would usually tag have already been done, but I’d love to see your lists if you fancy doing one!

10 Songs From My Pick Me Up Playlist

The Pick Me Up Playlist Challenge
10 Songs That Make My Heart Happy
What Songs Are On Your Pick Me Up Playlist?

Dress To Impress [Guest Post by Neil]

Dress To Impress [Guest Post by Neil]

When you put on your best outfit and dress to impress, you feel good, right? Well, today, Neil is exploring that subject in more detail. He will teach you WHY it’s worth putting a bit of effort into your appearance.


Clothes don’t always “maketh the man”. But they can certainly make someone feel better about themselves.

And that is what I want to dive into in this article today. How wearing clothes that make you look great also make you feel happier and more content with yourself. This also gives you self-confidence and the ability to tackle just about anything.

So, whether you agree with me or not, let’s jump into this together and see how your clothing choices can affect your mood for the better…

Leave A Good First Impression

Think about it – the first thing a complete stranger is going to notice about you are your clothes. Well, unless you are juggling fire torches, then they will notice those first!

But generally, people who don’t know you at all are usually going to judge you based on your outfit. I know, it’s superficial and ridiculous, but that is how we are programmed.

And naturally, if they get to know you better, that first impression is probably going to change. Over time at least. However, they might not give you a second chance if you have left them with a really bad impression – via your bad choice of attire!

Obviously, if we are talking about your close friends then that’s fine. Do you really want to hang out with someone who is going to dislike you just because you wore a ripped t-shirt? I wouldn’t.

But when you think about the professional area of your life, or impressing someone on a first date, then you need to embrace “the power of the outfit”.

If you have an upcoming job interview, you can’t show up in your favorite jeans, even if there is no specified dress code. You want the interviewer to instantly have a good impression of you. You want them to remember you even after they’ve talked to all the other applicants – that’s how you get the job, or a second date. Which, ultimately results in you feeling happy! I hope.

So, before heading out the door, take some time to choose the right clothing– some dress pants and shirt, a classy dress or skirt/blouse combo, and some appropriate accessories, of course. Right down to the your choice of watch, which says more about you than you think – don’t wear a plastic swatch to an interview, but something a little more classy like a dress watch.

Perk Yourself Up

Maybe you’ve had a really rough week and all you want to do is curl up in your bed and sleep for the entire weekend. Or binge on Netflix!

But that’s not going to make you feel better. In fact, you will probably end up feeling worse, because you are just wallowing in all that negativity. So, what’s a better way to solve those doldrums?

Putting on a great outfit that you feel really good in will definitely improve your mood. And it is not just about the price of the clothes either. It’s just about how they make you feel.

If you’ve had a particularly bad day, try putting on an outfit you love. You don’t have to go out, just walk around the house in it. But in my experience, dressing up when you are at your worst really helps. It will lighten you up a little and help you feel better about yourself generally.

Here’s another trick I love using. Maybe you have a favorite sweater that you’ve owned for decades. Every time you put it on, you instantly feel happy. Then wear it whenever you feel down! Don’t worry about what will someone think if you wear it two or three times in a week. (Just make sure to wash it regularly!)

Bottom line, when you feel really sad or stressed, don’t spend those days in your favorite pajamas lying on the couch. Put on that fancy dress or shirt you bought recently and stand in front of the mirror. Looking at yourself all dressed up will help you feel better. It might make you want to go out, too.

Boost Your Confidence

Your overall confidence can impact both your private and professional life. That is why it’s important that you dress for the part,and look great, so that everything else goes as smoothly as possible.

Say you have an upcoming presentation at work, and you are terrified of speaking in front of a room full of people. Make sure you wear something that makes you feel really confident on the day.

As for your private life: maybe you are nervous about an upcoming date, or dinner with a friend you’ve lost touch with. Wearing something that makes you feel more confident will help you relax. This will make it easier for you to open or lead the conversation. What do you know – maybe the other person is just as nervous as you, and they didn’t think of this trick. You will be ahead of the game!

Maybe, it’s a pair of pumps that makes you feel like you’re on top of the world. Or it’s just your favorite tie, which brings out the color of your eyes so perfectly. Whatever that item is, put it on. That boost in confidence will impact your posture, gesticulation and even the way you speak. And you will seem like you really know what you are talking about, even though that might not be the case!

At the end of the day, your outfit does not define who you are. But if a pair of earrings or cufflinks can put a smile on your face, then don’t hesitate to buy them and wear them. You are investing in yourself. If something is going to put you in a better mood or make you feel really confident, then it is completely worth it.

Regardless of what anyone else says.

Dress To Impress - Guest Post By Neil

The Importance Of Dressing To Impress
How The Clothes You Wear Can Affect Your Mood - Guest Post By Neil
Can Your Choice Of Clothing Affect Your Mood?

You can find Neil’s blog here.


I’m definitely one to hang about in my pyjamas on the bad days. Maybe next time, I’ll go the other extreme and get dressed up! It’s not entirely relevant but this feels like a good time to say: if it was up to me, men would wear suits all the time.

In case you missed Jay’s fantastic poem from last week, you can find it here.

Next week’s guest post will be the last one for this year!

Dream Dinner Party: Who Would You Invite And Why?

Dream Dinner Party: Who Would You Invite And Why?

A short while ago, I read a post from Cathy about her dream dinner party. It made for a fascinating and fun read, so I wanted to have a go myself.

Here’s the challenge:

You are having a dinner party, and can invite fifteen guests, not family or your children as that is just obvious, dead or alive, current or historical, real or fictional for whatever reasons you choose. 

Here’s who made my list:

1. John Mayer

Beyond my deep appreciation of his music, I am fascinated by his mind. From seeing him live, to watching interviews on YouTube, I’ve come to appreciate the man behind the music. Therefore, I’d love to have a chat with him.

2 & 3. Michelle and Barack Obama

I adore Michelle for the fact she stepped out from Barack’s shadow. They seemed very much like a team and what she brought to the table was just as important as his work. To me, she is a strong and inspirational woman who I’d be delighted to be in the same room as.

Right from when Barack appeared in the spotlight, I had a soft spot for him. I loved what he was about. He made me yearn for someone as charismatic, genuine and dedicated in British politics.

4. Prince Harry

Initially, this was for shallow reasons. I wanted to have my chance to swoon in his presence. Recently, though, as his advocacy in mental health has taken centre stage, my interest in meeting him has switched to discussing this, and how we can move forward.

5, 6, 7, 8. Westlife

I couldn’t pick a single member. As I discussed in a previous post, they have been a huge part of my life. I’m not sure how long I’d last in a room with them without fainting (for real) but it would be wonderful to have the opportunity to tell them how important they’ve been.

9. Sarah Millican

I’ve been fairly public in my appreciation of this woman and, again, this one comes from wanting to say thank you. On top of that, I think we’d get along so well.

10. Adele 

Speaking of getting along well, I’ve always had a sense that Adele and I would be great friends, if we ever met. She seems hilarious, has a heart of gold, and has remained down to earth, despite fame I could never comprehend!

11. Zara

So, I suppose one of these isn’t like the others, but I think she’d liven up the party! If you follow either one or both of us on social media, you’ve probably noticed the level of love we have for each other. You don’t get to see how much she’s there for me behind the scenes, though. We talk near enough constantly every day and it genuinely freaks me out to think I didn’t know her before I started blogging!

There are many more bloggers I’d love to meet, but Zara is the one I feel closest to.

12. Leslie Knope

I decided to add a fictional character, because she’s one of my all-time favourites. She is all that I aspire to be, and more. I love her passion, and share her weakness for waffles.

13. Matt Haig

It was reading “Reasons To Stay Alive” which made me realise I needed to get help for my mental health. I was travelling on a train at the time. So much of what he’d written resonated with me and gave me a nudge to talk to Neal when we got home.

Within a week, I had been diagnosed with anxiety and depression, and my journey had begun. Since then, “Notes on a Nervous Planet” was released. It’s become one of my absolute favourite books.

14 & 15. Nev and Max from Catfish

I just want to hang out with these guys.

Dream dinner party: who would you invite and why?

Who would be on the Guest List
If you could invite any 15 guests to dinner, who would you pick?
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party? Click here to see my choices!

Who would be on the guest list for your dream dinner party?

Let me know in a comment – or maybe write a post about it, too!

21 Early Days: Why I’m Getting Up At 5 am

21 Early Days: Why I’m Getting Up At 5 am

You may have noticed the 21 early days hashtag popping up on my Instagram. This is a challenge of getting up everyday at 4.30am for three weeks – which is approximately how long it takes to form a habit.

4.30am seemed just a teeny weeny bit TOO early for me, so I opted for 5 am instead. It’s not much better, but the extra half an hour in bed helps a lot.

The idea of getting up that early has never appealed to me. Then again, does anybody really want to get up at that time? I love sleeping. I love my bed. Given the choice, I’d spend all of my time there. I like to get a minimum of 8 hours sleep in whenever I can.

So why on earth would I choose to get up at 5 am?!

As counselling was drawing to a close, I started to think about the next steps. I needed to think of ways to take care of myself, and live the life I wanted. One of my biggest concerns was that I would become a hermit. More often than not, counselling would be one of the only times I’d venture out of the flat.

All of these plans came into my head. They were things I should have been doing all along, but hadn’t. Eat better. Get outside. Drink more water. The trouble was, I didn’t want to sacrifice my routine to do that. I didn’t want to miss out on time with Neal by having to push my work back to squeeze these things in.

The solution? Make better use of the time I had.

Enter the 21 early days challenge.

Before I even discovered this, I felt like the world was sending me little signs to switch up my routine. Through getting up with Neal at 5am when he was doing some training, I realised I was efficient in those early hours. I joked about doing it more often, then felt the winter blues kick in and changed my mind.

Then, videos about getting up early worked their way into my life. It started with this one from Casey Neistat. In it, he gives an overview of his routine, and discusses with a Navy Seal Commander why it’s beneficial to get up earlier.

Neal was watching it while I was doing something else, but it caught my attention. Casey mentioned how the time between 5am and 7am is when most people are sleeping. Everything is quiet. The distractions are very limited. It’s possible to send an email, and know you won’t get a response right away. You can focus on what you need to do. What he said made a lot of sense to me. So, I told Neal I was going to start getting up earlier and getting things done.

I lasted two days. They were two highly productive and satisfying days. But, my love for my cosy bed was too strong.

Then, again, scrolling through YouTube, I found a video about a 5am morning routine. I was charmed by the fact this person had time to do the things I wanted to do. She was talking just as much sense as Casey, and I felt another tug towards the 5 am club.

The icing on the cake was a TED talk by Filipe Castro Matos about 21 early days. Instead of getting up at 6am, he was getting up at 4.30am. A simple change with huge benefits.

Once I started thinking about the ways this could be helpful for me, I knew I needed to give it a go. For me, it would be a more dramatic change. I go to bed at around midnight and get up at 8-8.30. But, I wanted to try. It didn’t mean I had to miss out on any sleep. I would simply need to go to bed earlier.

The first day, I managed without much issue. By 8am, I had been out for a walk, showered, drank 600ml of water and done several things on my to do list. A blog post was written. I was all caught up on social media notifications. I watched the sun rise. By the time other people were waking up, I had already done so much.

It felt AMAZING.

Better yet, it freed up time later in the day. Completely free time. No stressing about what I needed to get done. I had already taken care of it. Being on social media was more fun. It was no longer distracting me from pressing matters. There was finally space in my day to put my feet up and read.

Despite my success on the first day, the second day didn’t go so well. Actually, I failed miserably. I turned off four different alarms. You won’t have seen any Instagram updates from me in the early hours, because I wasn’t awake to see it.

Rather than let that be the end of it, though, I tried again the next day. Neal got up with me this time, which I think made it a little easier. I didn’t have to deal with the envy of him being cosy in bed. Once again, it was another highly productive day.

I am currently on day seven. There have been successes and failures. On more than one occasion, I’ve ended up going back to bed, or needing a nap later in the day. Let’s face it, I wasn’t going to be able to adjust easily!

Yet, in doing this, I think I’ve achieved more in the past week than I’ve done in the month. I’m going to keep pushing forward with it, and see how it goes.

It’s strange, because I’ve always been skeptical of the idea. Turns out, these crazy people who get up at the crack of dawn might just be on to something. And I might be turning into one of them.

21 Early Days - Why I'm getting up at 5am instead of 8am

21 Early Days - What is it and why am I trying it?
Does waking up at 5am really make a difference to productivity? I did the 21 Early Days challenge to find out...
What is the 21 Early Days Challenge? Click here to find out and see if it actually works!

We Are Strong [A Poem By Jay]

We Are Strong [A Poem By Jay]

I’m bringing you something different today, with a little help from Jay. It’s a poem called We Are Strong!


Ever had a thought in your head,

That won’t go away,

Can’t put it to bed,

Seems it’s here to stay,

I feel it so often,

It’s constantly mocking,

Nothing can soften,

When it comes knocking.

 

Fed up of this feeling,

Like anxiety has won,

Bound with no healing,

Mentally weighing a ton,

I’m stuck in a cage,

Lost in the woods I’ll exit the stage,

One day I’ll be good.

 

There’s a changing inside,

At last it is kind.

It’s time to confide,

I’m not losing my mind,

Not afraid anymore,

For once I stand tall,

Head held high evermore,

No fear of the fall.

 

Spread your wings and take flight,

I am aiming so high,

I will win this fight,

I’m unable to lie,

I know it’ll return,

Where it doesn’t belong,

Have courage, hold firm,

Host know we are strong.

We Are Strong - A Poem by Jay

We Are Strong - A Poem by Jay
Snippet of We Are Strong, a poem by Jay
We Are Strong: a poem about mental health and overcoming challenges, beautifully written by Jay

Follow Jay

Blog: www.beardedigor.wordpress.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/StealTheMGaming


Missed last week’s guest post? Check it out here.

UK Blog Awards: Are You Ready To Vote?

UK Blog Awards: Are You Ready To Vote?

A short while ago, I was notified of the fact I had been nominated in the UK Blog Awards. To complete the process, I had to fill in a form to confirm my entry. After some deliberation and a battle with imposter syndrome, I did this.

Last week, I received an email to say I was through the second stage. While many were quick to post their email on social media, I took a few days to process it. I told a handful of people, but mostly kept it to myself. It didn’t feel real. Still doesn’t, actually.

This is not something I anticipated happening at this stage in my blogging journey. I imagined it to be much further down the line, if it ever happened at all. I am proud, touched and overwhelmed.

It all sounds very Hollywood and cliché, but to even be nominated is enough.

The category I am in is the mental health category, which is a new addition to UK Blog Awards, and that makes me so happy. As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t matter who wins, we all do. Again, I know that sounds like one of those things people say, but I really do mean it.

What we advocate for is being recognised with its very own category. There are enough mental health bloggers to warrant a separate category for the topic. That shows there is demand, and that means there are plenty of people writing about this subject.

That’s what matters.

There are people sharing their stories. There are people opening up about their struggles. Collectively, we are working to show how mental illness affects a variety of people, but that no one is ever alone in their experiences. It’s something really special and to see it being acknowledged with a category in the blogging awards is wonderful. So, thank you, UK Blog Awards!

I would be a liar if I said I didn’t care about winning, because it sure would be nice, but this post isn’t to ask you to vote for me. Although, if you’d like to, you can click here. Please be aware you can only vote once per category, so make sure you’re happy to choose me. I’d hate for anyone to regret it!

It’s simply to ask you to vote in general. Blogging, as a rule, can be challenging. Yet, writing about mental health requires a high level of vulnerability. Though I rarely see it that way for myself, it’s something I recognise in others. Anyone finding the strength to do that should be seen, heard and appreciated.

It’s hard to confront your demons and put them down on paper (well, screen, I guess). It requires an unprecedented degree of openness because, for people to gain a better understanding of mental illness, you have to show it all. The good, the bad, the downright hideous.

You have to face up to uncomfortable, awful feelings. For some people, such as myself, writing is a coping mechanism. It’s how I make sense of things. It helps, but the process isn’t always easy. But, I do it. I do it for the same reason others do – to teach others how difficult life with mental illness actually is; to demonstrate how recovery is rarely straightforward and never easy, and to show those who may be experiencing it that there are people who understand.

The very act of admitting you have a mental illness takes guts. There’s still stigma around mental illness, so occasionally there’s a backlash because of that. To deal with that, and write in spite of it, when you’re already going through inner turmoil, takes a lot more strength than some people realise.

Whether it’s me or somebody else, please vote for someone who you believe deserves it. Vote because their story touched you in some way. Maybe because you found yourself feeling lost, and they showed you things would be okay. Or, perhaps, it gave you a better understanding of a loved one going through the same thing. Vote because you know the content they create is important. You have the opportunity to show some of the people who need it most than you believe in them. Please use it.

I would also like to encourage you to vote for any other bloggers you enjoy, too.

Since I started blogging, I have discovered so many amazing people. Passionate people with a message to spread. Incredible storytellers with a tale to tell. Beauty bloggers who create makeup masterpieces. Travel bloggers sharing their adventures. A whole range of individuals who inspire me to no end. It’s so important to recognise the talent we have in this industry. That’s the whole reason these awards exist, after all.

If I’ve helped you in some way, then by all means, having your vote would be brilliant and very much appreciated. But I’m aware of the talent I’m up against, and I’m comfortable with that. That’s not me selling myself short, by the way. It’s merely an acknowledgement of the fantastic people who share this platform.

For me, it’s a privilege to be amongst others who are contributing to the conversation around mental health. And it’s an honour to be surrounded by so many determined individuals, whatever their niche may be.

Voting is now open, so go ahead. You only get one vote per person per category. Choose wisely. Vote with your heart.

UK Blog Awards - Are you ready to vote?

UK Blog Awards: It's Time To Vote
UK Blog Awards: Why You Should Vote
Will You Be Voting In The UK Blog Awards? You should be, and this is why...

The End Of My Counselling Journey… For Now

The End Of My Counselling Journey… For Now

Monday was my last counselling session. The reason the title says “for now” is I wouldn’t be against going back again, should I need to.

Over the course of 6 months, I had 20 sessions. Some were easier than others. Sometimes, I would dread my appointment. Other times, I would look forward to it.

Week in, week out, I would turn up and say, “nothing much has happened this week”, before opening up and realising… a lot had happened. Either growth or setbacks. Being given the opportunity to really reflect on the week helped me to highlight things I’d ignored.

These chats lasted around 20 out of the 50 minutes, and the next 30 minutes would be spent delving into deeper issues. We discussed a variety of things – from being bullied when I was younger to my current travelling anxiety. Surprising topics popped up once in a while, and I was forced to face the reality of how much events from the past still burdened me. I explored parts of my mind which had been left untouched for a long time.

Now that it’s over, I feel sad, and strange. I feel sad because I really liked my counsellor, so it feels like losing a friend. I feel strange because it became a staple in my routine. It was an excuse to take a break, get out of the flat and just talk. Knowing I don’t have that anymore knocks me off balance slightly.

I knew this time had to come, though. It was never going to last forever, and this is a natural part of the process. The timing was right. Still, I think it’s going to take a little while to adjust.

Counselling was good for me in a lot of ways. I’ve made no secret of how beneficial it’s been in my journey. It wasn’t a magical fix for all my problems, and there are still things I need to work on. They are part of a much longer process. Expecting 20 counselling sessions to sort 27 years of stuff would be a tall ask!

At the time, though, I just needed a reminder that how I was feeling was nothing to be ashamed of, and that I was in control. I could choose to let go of the past or continue letting them drag me down. It’s not that straightforward, of course, but in some ways, it was.

I was filling my time fixating on things I shouldn’t be. I needed to refocus my attention to what I had, rather than what I lacked. Instead of obsessing over all the negative things people have said to and about me, I needed to start paying attention to the good stuff, too.

As a result of counselling, I now have a happy things book, which I’ve mentioned before. It has had such a positive impact on my outlook. Every night, I write down good things about the day. I’m not going to lie – some days, I have to search much harder than others. However, I almost always find something. Going for a walk with Neal. Hearing a song I really liked. Having waffles. All sorts of things end up in there. Sometimes, it gets repetitive, but that’s okay. It means I go to sleep happy, rather than worrying about 101 things.

Counselling has given me a better understanding of not only myself, but others, too. It has strengthened my relationships. That’s a wonderful thing to have as I move forward.

My counsellor has made it very clear to me that I can sign up again if I need help. Be that as it may, I feel it’s time to test the waters and see how I fair without it. I feel stronger than I did, and better equipped to deal with a lot of things. I am more comfortable discussing how I feel with people in my life, and realise I don’t have to let toxic thoughts stew in my mind.

Counselling has done as much it can right now, I think. It helped me out of the darkness when I needed that the most. I know I have as much right to the help as anybody else does, but I’d hate to think of getting in the way of somebody else who may feel as hopeless as I did 6 months ago. It’s time to let somebody else have the experience and, hopefully, benefit from it as much as I have.

The End Of My Counselling Journey

6 Months Of Counselling
How I Feel At The End Of My Counselling Journey
Was Counselling Worth It

I’ve written about the journey overall for The Counsellor’s Café if you would like to have a read.