The Long Way Around

Hey everyone,

Sorry I’ve not been around for a while, lots of stuff has been happening and I’ve been trying to show myself a bit more self-care (as is in my ethical guidelines now I’m officially a trainee psychotherapist – more on that later).

So I guess the main (negative) thing that has kept me away for so long is the breakdown of a significant friendship. One that really mattered to me, one where I really cared and I naively thought they did too. In actual fact, they didn’t and we’ve now gone from daily contact to them not wanting to speak to me again. It sucks, but maybe no contact will help me to get over it quicker.

This leads me to the more prominent point of this post: having to go the long way round. So, my fellow ‘Wheelies’ (one for Helen there <3) will know that to get to a lot of the same places that our non-wheelchair user friends do, we often have to go the long way around. This often involves going up/down some long ass ramp whereas those who have better legs than us can go up/down steps in super quick time (that’s what it feels like to me anyway, especially when my chair is having a slow day). Anyway, I don’t mean to moan too much. I am grateful to those places that now have ramps, because unfortunately they are rarer than some people who do not have to think about access might realise.

Then there’s my chosen career: Psychotherapy. It’s bloody hard, I tell you, but I feel like I’m really doing the right thing. I love client work. I feel like I’ve finally found my place and that is a wonderful feeling. However, sometimes we have to take the long way around. Some of my peers and I came to the realisation that we may not graduate at the same time due to all having different needs, placement hours, and needing to do the right thing ethically to look after ourselves and others. Yes, this might be tough, but I am proud that we’re all in a place now that we realise we need to put ourselves first and to look after ourselves in the appropriate way to be the best therapists we can be for ourselves, our placements, and ultimately our clients.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that sometimes in life you have to go the long way around to get where you want to go. Yes, it can be frustrating, upsetting and sometimes confusing, but there’s a reason for it, and if you want it, you will get there in the end. I have been struggling to ‘get over’ this friendship that (I thought) I had. Trying to fit my placement and uni work in amongst working part-time to fund my course has been tough. But I will get there, and I will make it work because I’m determined to follow this path to get to where I want to go. To be a better version of me. I’d say I’m about a quarter of the way up the ramp right now and I just need to keep going.

For instance, as much as I don’t want to be, I’m still taking anti-depressant medication, after trying twice before to come off it.One day I hope to not be taking medication, but I’m not rushing myself to come off it anymore because if it’s helping me right now, why make things more difficult for myself?

Talking about this is my reference to Time To Talk day that happened last week. Time to Change are a wonderful charity trying to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues by encouraging people to talk about how they’re feeling and also encouraging people to actually listen to people in return. The more people that speak out the better, in my opinion. Check out the Time to Change website if you haven’t already. Or, the campaign video: ‘The Stand Up Kid’ on Youtube is my personal favourite.

I often give myself a hard time because most of my friends are in relationships; are living with a partner; have their job sorted, and have their shit together (for want of a better phrase) and I’m sat here, in my parents’ house ‘moaning’ about it on a blog. I guess this is another example of me taking the long way around. That’s what I try to tell myself anyway, I want to get it right.

*I don’t mean to moan, of course I want my friends to me happy, but I compare myself to others too much and it’s topics like this where it’s especially unhelpful.*

Finally,

I know I’ve said it before but I feel like I need to reiterate that I have the most wonderfully loving and supportive family friends that have helped me, and continue to help me through the dark times. Sometimes they even come with me on the long-way-around ramp, they moan with me, they tell me to man up and get on with it. That’s what gets me through. Some of them I don’t see as much as I would like, some of them are too far across the country or across the world, but I know they’re there. And that makes the world of difference.

And to my newest group of friends, my psychotherapy ladies, there isn’t a nicer, more kind-hearted, funny and supportive group of people I’d wish to be on this rollercoaster of an anxiety train that we call training with. I love you all enormously!

Anyway, I think that’s it for today. Please get in touch if you’d like to share your stories of taking the long way around to get to your chosen destination. Ideally success stories, but if you’re still working to get there, share those too. We can encourage each other.

Thanks for reading, and just in case I’ve not said it already, HAPPY 2017!

Louise xxx