Monthly Archives: August 2015

WELL-BEING TECHNIQUES //  Acceptance

August 24, 2015

acceptance blog

 

Acceptance. A simple word. Easy in fact. Or so you would think.

Do you practice the art of acceptance in your life?

I have read so many books, articles, blogs that tell you that in order to move forward we must first accept. Accept where we are, how we are and who we are. It sounds simple enough. So why does it trouble me so?

Whilst on this journey to heal from anxiety, depression and physical limitations, I have always tried to accept my lot. I have tried not to fight it. To know that this is me, as I am. Right now.

The trouble is that by nature I’m a fighter. I love nothing more than a challenge. So when I am told that I have these limitations on me, my inner lion roars and I get set to fight. Whether it be medication, nutrition, exercise, diet, self-help techniques or alternative therapies. I try and have tried everything.

Now the question is, has it worked, all this fighting?

Well hand on heart, I believe it has. To a point. But has it cured me? No! And this is where I get frustrated. It is not in my nature to take things lying down. It is not in my nature to accept that this is all it will be. But in this lack of acceptance, am I generating further pain and conflict?

I know many who have been given a diagnosis and that is it. They have accepted it. Made adjustments accordingly and live their life with it. Albeit in a restricted way. Is this a better path? Would I do better to be the same? To stop fighting?

Maybe that is the right path. Maybe it isn’t. Maybe there is no right or wrong. Maybe it just depends on the person. Everyone copes in different ways. Each person is different, we know this.

So how do I, and you, learn to accept our situation? Whilst all the while trying to improve, where you can, but not to the detriment of our overall health.

The starting point is to take away expectations. If you do not have high expectations then I guess you cannot be disappointed. Expectations are a way of hoping and assuming that things will be better in the future. I have ALWAYS had them. But there are no guarantees. Sometimes those expectations smack you in the face when nothing works out as you hoped. So if you take away the high expectation of yourself, your recovery, your life, then maybe we can find comfort in just being. As it is.

I desperately want to accept my anxiety. I want to accept that I am physically limited. But I struggle. Maybe I will never fully accept it. I have a fire in me. It’s this fire, that has kept me going for twenty years. Not in my bed, but out there living. Well, as much as I could anyway.

I know that there would be peace with acceptance. Acceptance is seeing it as it is, rather than as it should be. I know I had a vision for  my life. This is not it! But then in parts it is. So much of my life now, I love. I am more content than I have ever been. It’s from acceptance that the contentedness comes. I don’t have to worry about career goals at the moment. I don’t have to worry if I will get through a days work. I am free in many ways.

I do accept all my conditions. I always have. And I’m proud of my ability to have continued to live, work and socialise. But I know, that of late, the fight is wearing me out. And I’m already worn out!

So, this piece today is to mark a point for me, where I can really begin the art of acceptance. Where I let go of the ropes. Where I stop fighting every single part of my being. I am me. As I am. And right now I am struggling physically. I hope it won’t always be this way. But for now it is.

Do you accept your lot? Or do you fight it? Do you feel that life is passing you by? By continually searching for what you think you want and maybe what others have, you’re missing your life. Each moment, however insignificant, is your life, so make it count. 

Maybe we all need some peace where acceptance becomes our friend? I’ve proven to myself over the past two years, that the areas of my life that I accept, bring me the most joy. It’s funny but this is a true example of how the most simple things, bring the most pleasure. Somewhere over the rainbow doesn’t exist. You are right where you should be. 

In terms of anxiety. I know, through experience, that accepting the feelings and thoughts and attacks, actually lessens their power. It’s not easy when you’re in the midst of an attack in public. But by saying to yourself ‘hey, it’s just my anxiety. I will be fine’ Then you stop the fight. You accept. You move on. The anxiety passes.

Let’s all practice more acceptance in our lives. To know that what is, is as it should be. For now. For however long. It doesn’t really matter. It’s about seeing it as it is. Not as how you ‘think‘ it should be.

Acceptance is freeing. It’s peaceful. It is at the core of all zen practice.

So I ask you to accept all parts of yourself. Just as you are. With whatever limitations are set on you right now, or however your life is not panning out exactly as you had planned. Let go of the expectation and see it as it is. Enjoy it. Live in the now. Make plans to do things that you can do. Make plans to pace your life or adjust your life to get the most fulfillment you can get, with what you have. I’m going to do the exact same. Time wasted on wishing for things that are just not going to happen, is futile. It will make us feel bad and wear us out. So we will see it as it is and see the good in it. Even try to like it!

Working to improve your situation is always good in my book. I don’t know any other way to be honest. But having high expectations that are followed by a fall, is not good for the soul.

As with everything. Maybe it’s about moderation?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Onwards my loves. Kiki xo

THERAPIES REVIEW //  Counselling

August 18, 2015

therapy review counselling final

Counselling. What is it?

Counselling is a talking therapy. It is an opportunity to talk to a qualified professional whose aim it is is to listen, without prejudice and with support, in a secure environment. It is usually a short course of treatment for those who have an understanding of their current well-being. Counselling is used for everything from bereavement, depression or anxiety to problems with sexual identity, relationship problems and stress. It is a way of analysing exactly what thoughts you are having, what feelings you are feeling and looking at addressing them by talking them through. It will offer new ways of looking at your thoughts and feelings. It is normally centred on behaviours and behaviour patterns. You are required to be as open as possible with the counsellor.

I want to make a specific point here. I think admitting to having had ‘therapy’ at any point, used to be a bit taboo and there were negative connotations attached. I believe counselling and other talking therapies have come a long way and I know many people who have tried therapy with great success. There is no shame in talking to a professional person. After all, they are the experts.

The Process

If you think it’s worth a try then the first step is to talk to your GP. They may have a counsellor attached to your practice. Should you go through the GP practice there will likely be a waiting list. This is not ideal as the waiting lists are usually very long. But it may be worth the wait.

If you are employed and have an occupational health system in place, then it may be worth going to HR and asking to have contact details of the occupational health provider if you don’t already know who it is. You can normally self refer. This is usually confidential and should not have any impact on your job. You may be entitled to a set amount of sessions face to face or you may be able to have the sessions over the phone if this makes you more comfortable.

If you do not have occupational health support, but still want to try counselling and potentially happy to pay privately, then again approach your GP. They should have a list of recommendations. Alternatively, I would recommend visiting the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) website. They have lists of registered practitioners that are in your area.

Going on recommendation is always great. This would be my first choice. If you know of someone who has benefited from counselling and had a good experience with a particular counsellor, then its worth finding out the name and contact details of that counsellor, and making your own appointment direct.

Should you make an appointment, then I encourage you to be open minded at first. It may feel strange telling a complete stranger your deepest thoughts, but if you persist with the therapy, keep regular appointments and be as open as you can, then you may find that even though there may not be one specific issue to talk through, you may be thinking in ways that are not helping your recovery. The counsellor will recognise this and put you on the path for changing the way you think.

I would also say, at this point, you HAVE to be comfortable with the counsellor. If you feel in any way uncomfortable or do not have a sense of trust, then it’s likely it will not work. You will spend too much time considering how you feel about the therapist, instead of speaking openly about your worries and symptoms.

Pros

  • At first you may think what’s the benefit of talking? How can a simple conversation make things better? It’s normal to think this especially if you are feeling chronically ill with mental anguish. But counselling has proven time and time again to help aid well-being.
  • The old saying is that a problem shared is a problem halved. Talking to a professional gives you the opportunity to share even your most private thoughts and feelings in a secure environment.
  • Talking to someone who knows nothing of you, who is completely impartial, may be a welcome change from trying to talk to your loved ones and friends.
  • You are in control of what you discuss. You may find that you discuss more openly as the sessions go on and your confidence in your counsellor increases.
  • Even though some of the talking may make you emotional or upset, this may be a good sign that feelings need to be released. You are releasing these emotions in a secure and sympathetic environment.
  • All qualified counsellors are registered with the BACP. I would recommend that you only go with a qualified registered practitioner.
  • You are taking a positive first step to aid recovery. You are in control.

Cons

  • Waiting lists make it difficult to access.
  • Some cost could be involved if you go privately.
  • Emotions will flare up. But this is part of the process to healing.
  • When you start, you’re never sure that the counsellor you have chosen is right for you. So I would always go by recommendation if you can.

Kiki’s Review

I remember going to my first counselling session. It was many years after my breakdown. I went on the recommendation of a friend. The counsellor was very good. At the time, for whatever the reason, I did not feel that I wanted to discuss the past. I think I was afraid of finding something awful. So when I went I just discussed how I was feeling at that time and behaviours that were not helping me to live a full life.

Since then I have seen two other counsellors at different stages of my recovery. Each was very different in their approach, but equally good. They each empowered me to help myself feel better. All have given me a recommended reading list of ‘self-help’ titles. I have always welcomed this. It always gives me a sense of control that I am getting to the bottom of issues. Reading and learning to improve myself is always high on my agenda.

I can only say good things about counselling. I have not really had a negative experience. I did see one lady about 10 years ago. I did not feel a rapport with her, so I didn’t continue with the sessions.

Counselling was not something I did following my breakdown. When I first had the experience of depression and anxiety, I was so bad, that the GP’s figured that I needed medication. And to be honest with you, by that time I was desperate and happily took the medication. They saved my life, and continue to. However, over the years when my mental and emotional health has been a struggle, I have been very glad to talk to a counsellor.

My point of view is this. What do you have to lose? Are you feeling depressed and anxious? Are you grieving, confused with life or really stressed? Then counselling may be just what you need. If it doesn’t work out, you have lost nothing. Just an experience.

Leave comments below my loves.

Onwards and upwards. Kiki xox

We are back online!!!!

August 16, 2015

Just a quick line folks. The great people in the ether have fixed my ‘bugs’. The website is now working just fine.

I hope to have some new posts up this week.

Stay tuned.

Onwards, Kiki xxxx