I still go for some counselling. This week I arrived in a tizz. I’ve been thinking of stopping the sessions but there’s a lot to get from being able to talk to a stranger. I now realise why the phenomenon of ‘therapy’ got so big in America. Just talking to someone totally unrelated to anyone in your life and being able to say anything you want knowing it’s never going to be used against you or twisted or cause an argument. Blissful. I still use the sessions to talk about Tes and life events around losing her. How sad I feel, how worried I am for those I love, how to cope, how to get up, how to laugh and smile. My counsellor has been one of my saviours in the (almost) last 3 years. And it is her that TOLD me what to write this week. Do you think you’ll ever be fulfilled? She says.
Maybe you should write a blog about it.
She asked me that for a reason. Firstly I was late to the session. I text her on my way to apologise. Don’t rush she says. I rush. I swerve my car into the busy car park and am ecstatic to see a car park space as that will save me thirty seconds. I try to get in to the building although by now I know I can’t because it has one of those lock key pad things. In my rush I’ve forgotten and I feel stupid as I hit my head on the glass. She comes out and smiles at me. We go into the yellow room. There’s always a blanket in the room and I’m not sure why. I’m cold as I forgot my jacket and it’s raining outside. I really would like to use the blanket but I’d feel silly asking so I don’t.
I start off by saying I’ve got a headache and I’m tired. How are you, she says. I haven’t seen you since before Christmas. Surprisingly, I quickly blurt out that I know I’m taking too much on! I explain that every morning I get up I’ve noticed for the past week or so I chastise myself for about 30 minutes because I’m not doing anything right. Like what, she says. I ramble through a list. I don’t exercise enough, I drink/eat too much, I don’t walk my dog enough, I always leave work late, I don’t see my friends as much as I’d like, I feel guilty because I don’t spend enough time with my son. We break them down and of course it turns out that as usual the only person really thinking ‘i’m not doing any of these right’ is me.
Tell me about your dog, she says. Well, I take her out for a run in the morning, I either take her out lunch time or I get someone to take her out and then I take her out when I get home. Sounds like a lucky dog, she says.
With that, I realise of course that for some reason I’m giving myself a hard time for absolutely no reason. Why do we do that? Why spend time criticising ourselves? We talk about my job and how I feel guilty that if I come to a counselling session, I should therefore work an extra hour. Would you ask staff to work an extra hour if it had been agreed they could go to counselling, she asks. Of course not, I say. She looks at me. Knowingly. That, you know what you should do, kind of look.
Why do you push yourself so hard? She asks. I don’t know. We do some exploring. For a change this doesn’t seem to be anything to do with childhood angst. We got it down to the fact that I’d left school without any real qualifications and had spent a number of years feeling a little bit stupid compared to all my friends who rushed off to University. It was in my thirties that I completed my a-levels and a degree. Of course I was no brighter after doing them than I was without doing them. That’s the first thing I learnt. I was so proud though. Really proud. And I realised I wasn’t stupid after all. It was just me, again, telling myself that. I tell her that I am proud of the fact that in the last ten years I finished my degree and got a job in management. Can you stop there? She asks.
I don’t have to think about the answer.
No. I can’t.
Should I? I don’t know. But I can’t. This week I managed to get two freelance paid writing jobs with two different management companies. Paid writing jobs. A dream of mine, to be able to actually call myself a writer. Yes I work full time, I’m a mum, I’m a dog owner, a gym member, I’m someone who tries to cook from fresh, I cook, clean, iron, I see friends, have a relationship. I’m like mostly everyone. So, am I ever going to feel fulfilled?
The dictionary explains that fulfillment is the achievement of something desired.
I’m not sure that I have achieved what I desire. My desire is to keep pushing myself, to keep having challenges, to aim high, to be happy not just today but tomorrow too, I desire to be a great mum and partner, I desire to walk my dog as much as I can so she is happy, I desire to eat properly and keep fit and healthy. I desire to work and be happy.
I desire to keep fulfilling my ambitions.
I might just have to be a bit kinder to myself while I’m doing it.
Now. Where’s that dog lead…………