Being an experienced counsellor didn't help me at all when I had to face the sudden loss of my daughter. (In January of 2011.) I no longer have the ability to manage life in the way I used to. I can't speak for anyone else, so speaking for myself only, I would say that trying to fight my anxiety has been very unhelpful. I felt an obligation to be strong for my daughter's children, and for my dear son. But during the last two years I realised this 'bravery' was causing even more harm to my mental, emotional and physical health. Instead, I began learning to be far kinder to myself. Now, I won't undetake anything I that I feel will overload me, and I no longer feel guilty or 'weak' about refusing to please others. The people who really matter understand, and those who can't accept this different Carrie aren't welcome in my life. I began work again in 2012 and I believe I'm still able to help others. But now I have the confidence to be totally honest with myself and others about my limitations. I'd just say that it can be beneficial to have some compassion for yourself and to respect your emotions rather than feeling they are intrusions. (I know full well that the emotions can be agonising.) Again, this is based on managing my own grief and anxiety, so please don't feel I'm giving any instructions or telling others how to respond to theirs. With lots of good wishes to you all. Carrie.
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