I'm a qualified counsellor but I haven't found my training and experience to be of any help in regard to the emotional pain and anxiety I live with due to the death of my daughter. But other approaches that encourage use of the emotions have made me more accepting of the changes that have happened in me. I've also found that having a degree of compassion for myself has greatly eased my guilt about not being the person I was before. It would be very wrong for me to speak for anyone else, but I feel that mental and emotional challenges are often compounded by trying to fight them off or remove them. I'm wondering if a number of us could arrange a group Skype. It may be helpful to share feelings and difficulties that way, and perhaps offer useful support. I'm not very good on the technical side of computing, but I believe that a group 'telephone' call could also be done. Feel free to email me if you should wish. carrie@alephway.co.uk

4 Replies

  • I'm sorry about your daughter. It shows you that no matter how qualified you are to help others through their emotional pain and anxiety, it is a different story when it's happening to you. Now you are the one in need. I am a former paramedic who has seen everything and taken care of others and now that I find myself in need, I feel there is no one around. The anxiety has taken it's toll on me. I feel that I am no longer a strong person. I can't help myself or others. Somewhere along the way, my spirit got broken, with myself it's been a lot of emotional pain that led to anxiety and then agoraphobia. I may be stuck right now but am using that time to heal so that I can once again do what I do best. Help others....I will take down your email address for a later time. Keep me posted if this group call comes to pass. Take care.

  • Yes Agora, I agree that there isn't the kind of help we need. I've been fortunate to have a lovely son and a tirelessly supportive sister, but after the first two years I wanted and needed to be more self reliant in handling the things I would have turned to my sister for. (I'd been incapable of dealing with paperwork or making decisions.) I handle most situations now but there are many days when I still get enormously anxious if I think I'm going to have a disagreement with someone, or if I need to make a small decision. We have a rubbish mental health service and by that I don't mean the practitioners. I mean there is too long to wait for help and when you get it it's time limited and there aren't enough choices of therapies. People in need should be offered help more quickly and be allowed a more appropriate length of time away from work. I had to go back to work far too soon because of being believed fit, when actually, mentally and emotionally I was the equivalent of a person with a massive open wound. So I'm very glad you are using this time to heal. Because of the kind of work you used to do I would say that you are still a strong person, both mentally and in heart, but your strength has perhaps changed its form a little because it's been undermined by the emotional pain. It's interesting that we associate strength with doing what we feel we 'ought' to do. But now, I feel I'm calling on my strength when I say "No, I can't do that without getting anxious. I need to manage my day-to-day commitments carefully." I say it (or text it, or email it) quite assertively, and make no apology for it.

  • Hi Chaya, thank for replying. Your last sentence hit home with me. I have not learned how to say "no" yet. I feel that I must explained why I can't do things and then I know I'm already defeated. "I'm sorry" is probably the first thing that always comes out of my mouth. I should have it printed across my forehead. I will have to work on this because right now the way I handle it, is not to answer the phone or the door. Not the way to go...Take care, keep in touch.

  • Oh I know what you mean! I was constantly saying "Sorry". It was like I had to apologise for existing. But when we're feeling utterly crushed we lose the ability to defend ourselves or speak up for our needs. I'm still sometimes like that in my demeanour and sometimes far too smiley when speaking about something serious. I'm gradually changing though and it's beneficial. I've always been able to defend other people quite powerfully. With issues that affect myself, I've usually spoken out as well, but in almost all cases I've been too diplomatic when doing so. Whereas now I feel that I need a bit more force behind my words, because otherwise they don't have the impact needed for people to understand. When you first speak out in a bold way on your own behalf you may be cringing inside, but after doing it once you'll have broken the barrier so to speak, and it'll get easier and easier. There will always be times when it feels difficult, depending on the people involved and the circumstances, but I do hope you'll try it because it definitely releases some strength and a sense of self worth.

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