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  • Our Guest blogger has been kind enough to share their thoughts with us once again. Remember if you are in need of help or support, we're always here.

    My first therapy session

    "So this week I had the task of going to my first therapy session. I’m saying “therapy” because I didn’t know what I was going to get. When I went to my assessment about 10 weeks ago she said I may need CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) but she would have to speak to the counsellors and the therapists to see if that was the best decision.

    When she asked me what I wanted to get out of it I told her… “I just want to remember my Dad and my life before he passed away”. Because I have no memories at all. Family will tell me stories of when we were all together and I can’t remember being there. I can’t remember my school years, the years with my first love, the years I spend laughing with my friends, the years I spent growing up in a pub; I can’t remember any of it.

    I remember getting told that if I had accepted the loss of my Dad then I would be able to remember him. That remembering him would be too painful for me right now. But that didn’t make any sense; all I wanted was to remember my Dad. I felt that if I totally accepted he was gone and I didn’t have any memories of him then that would be it. He would be gone. 18 years and nothing to show for it; just one picture from when I was a toddler.

    So I went along to my first session in a place that I had been before; only a year ago I was there talking about an assault which I was a victim of when I was 16. I knew the place and the same familiar face behind the desk.

    Then I went upstairs and met my therapist; a lovely man who said they had decided CBT would be the best option for me. He spoke about CBT and what it involved; although a lot of this I already knew as I work in mental health and did work in the NHS for a while. He then just let me talk for a while…he wanted me to come up with 2 goals for us to work on over the next 10-15 sessions.

    At first I thought this was obvious… “well I want to remember my Dad” …but the more we spoke, the more I realised there was so much more going on.

    We realised that I had never actually dealt with losing my Dad; it still feels as raw today as it did 6 years ago. And the reason I haven’t dealt with it? Because I am scared. Not that if I accept he has gone then he will go from my memory as I thought. But I am scared that I can’t deal with grieving.

    I was so ill with my depression and anxiety and the thought of going back to that place frightens me more than anything in the world. Although I have blocked a lot of it out of my memory, I still remember being in bed for days on end crying, not being able to get on the bus to go to university, not being able to walk down the street without having a panic attack. And that’s only part of it; the rest of it is too painful to remember.

    And then I am scared of something else. Having to get better again. It took me so many years to get to a place where I could say that I felt better (not 100% better, but on my way there). And I don’t know if I have the strength to do that again. I said to my therapist and my mum “there are only so many fights you can take on thinking that you will win. I can’t win them all. I am scared that I will wake up one day and lose the motivation and hope that keeps me going. One day I may wake up and think…you know what? This is too hard. I give up. I can’t get better”.

    And that’s the last thing I want. So my first goal? To feel like I am able to cope with grieving.

    I hope that by the end of my time with my therapist I will feel strong enough to grieve. I know that not grieving is not helping me, I know it’s not healthy.

    I have always had something or someone else to focus on but now it’s time to look after myself."

     

    if you would like to talk to someone, contact us here. 

  • We are very pleased to announce that another comedy night is to be held at The Stand Comedy Club, Newcastle. A host of comedians will be performing on the topic of mental health in a small bid to break the stigma. The profits will be donated to Tyneside and Northumberland Mind.

    Please see the link below for more information on how to book your tickets. We are looking forward to seeing many of you there for what will be a hilarious night!

    BARKING TALES

  • Our guest blogger has been kind enough to share their thoughts with us again. Remember, if you need any help or support, we are here.

    The struggles with depression

    "Depression for me, was one of the hardest things that I have had to deal with because it was also one of the hardest things to explain to other people.

    To some people depression is you feeling sorry for yourself, wallowing over something awful that happened, you being upset for no reason, and not wanting to snap yourself out of it. People think that you can choose not to be depressed. That you can wake up one day and decide to be happy and that will be that; simple. If only it really was that easy.

    I remember a friend of mine confiding in me and telling me that she was depressed because she knew I would understand how she felt, and she told me that she couldn’t even bring herself to tell her parents. She knew their response would be “what do you have to be depressed about?”, “just be happy”; not the most helpful things to say to someone who is depressed, FYI.

    And it really did upset me.

    The only thing that helped me at that time was that my family, especially my mum, knew how I felt. They had been through it before and they were there to support me. But even the family who hadn’t experienced it before were able and willing to try to understand me and how I felt. That meant more to me than anything. But to be in a situation where you can’t even tell the people that bought you into this world how you are feeling? That’s heart breaking.

    Because being depressed is not a choice. There is not always a reason. It’s not crying all day every day. It’s not choosing not to be happy. Why would we choose not to be happy?

    It's waking up every morning and feeling your heart sink because you don’t feel any better than you did yesterday. It’s not understanding why you feel sad so often. It’s not knowing why you are crying. It’s not being able to explain to someone that it’s more than being sad. It’s having moments where you realise that you need to do something to make yourself feel better, and planning out your days to reflect this, and then not having enough motivation to even lift your head off the pillow. It’s not washing because you cannot physically get out of bed to get to the shower. It’s not eating because you have no appetite and feel like you don’t deserve to nourish your body or your mind. Your body that has betrayed you by feeling weak and listless. Your mind that is telling you that you are not good enough every moment of every day. Your mind that is telling you that you will not get better. Your mind that is telling you that you are worthless, weak, vulnerable, useless, a rubbish friend, unloved, unwanted, unworthy. That is truly exhausting.

    Anyone who can feel that every day but still carry on…they are truly remarkable.

    And do not forget the things you do every day that to others may seem small, but to you are achievements. If you managed to drag yourself from your bed to brush your teeth, if you managed to answer the door to the postman, if you managed to pull on some clean clothes, if you managed to make yourself a meal and actually eat it, if you managed to laugh at something on the telly. Seriously…hats off to you.

    We are the strongest people. We feel like we are constantly being bullied and let down by our own bodies but we still wake up every day. We still put on a brave face. We are survivors even though it may not always feel like it.

    You are stronger than you think."

  • 05 October 2016

    World Mental Health Day

    As part of this years World mental Health day we've plenty of great activities taking place that you can get involved with.

    The files below outline what's going on and when...

    We'll see you soon! 

  • This week we bring you the second instalment of our very special blog series. Our guest blogger has been sharing their experiences with mental health with us. They have bravely offered to share their thoughts with us, with the aim of supporting others who may be in a similar situation or period of their life. This week they offer their experiences of coping with grief. Remember, you are not alone...

    “That you don’t always react straight away.

    When my Mum told me that my Dad had passed away I was absolutely heartbroken; I remember screaming out loud and sobbing uncontrollably all night. The initial shock just knocked me off my feet. But after the funeral I hardly cried; I was used to not seeing my dad so I thought nothing of it when it had been a few months without talking to him.
    It didn’t hit me until at least a year later; it was then that I started to think of all the things that I would be missing out on. And it was then that I started to become depressed.

    That you can be really angry with strangers.

    I remember my first Father’s Day without my Dad…I told my Mum that I was going to go for a walk to get some fresh air. I remember seeing a young child, who was probably only 5 or 6, walking down the street with their dad. And I felt SO angry. Why did they have their Dad and I didn’t have mine?
    And then I felt awful for feeling like this; I can’t be jealous of a child who has their Dad. I wouldn’t wish what happened to me on anyone else. And I felt like such a horrible person and would beat myself up for it all of the time.
    That you will remember the things you didn’t say rather than all of the things that you did
    The last time that I spoke to my Dad I had asked him to lend me some money; his response was “I’ll see”. I knew exactly what that meant. My Mum and Dad had been using that line instead of no for the last 18 years of my life. When he said he loved me, I just said goodbye and hung up.
    Yes, I know that he knew I loved him…everyone told me that…but that’s not the point. When you think about what you want your last words to your loved ones to be, you want to tell them how much you love them. How much of a difference they have made in your life, how much you will miss them and cherish all the memories you have with them. Instead I brushed it off and just hung up the phone. Great memory for my Dad and me to have.

    That everything you feel is “normal”.

    You will go through so many different emotions when you lose someone, and some of them you won’t even understand. But everyone grieves differently. You aren’t odd, you aren’t weak, you aren’t a burden to anyone.
    And I guarantee you that person who you think is really strong is actually struggling too; they just want to put on a brave face for you.

    That there really is no time limit on grief

    It has been 6 years since my Dad passed away and I still haven’t really accepted it. I can’t even say that he is dead. I hate that word. Honestly, I don’t think I have dealt with everything that I need to, and that’s something that I am going to tackle with the support of a therapist. Because I need to do it. When I am by myself I think about the fact that he was only 48 years old; I’m over half way there. How is that fair?
    The thing that gets me most is thinking about the rest of my life without him. He will never see me succeeding in my job, get engaged, walk me down the aisle, meet his grandchildren, see me set up home. He isn’t there to make me feel safe when I am scared. He isn’t here to protect me.
    I would do anything to see him again…just to hear his voice.
    Just remember that your loved one is always there with you, no matter what you are doing. Listen to their favourite songs, visit their favourite places and look through photographs. Don’t pretend that they never existed; keep their memory alive through you.
    It’s going to be a longer journey than I once thought, but if I ever find out what the time limit for grief is, I will let you know.”

    Keep an eye on our blog for updates from our guest blogger. If you need someone to talk to, contact us here. We’re here to help.

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