the path to well-being
Mental Health Posts

Obstructions on the Path to Well-Being

Increased Awareness of my Condition

I’ve been feeling a bit better this week. The depressive feelings that were so unsettling last week have subsided somewhat. It’s remarkable what a bit of time can do. Last night I went to my counselling session at Footsteps. We spoke about how I was feeling and I mentioned how I was able to now distinguish between depression and anxiety a lot more clearly. Last week the depression really grabbed me. As I’m not feeling it right now I’m able to look back and identify the symptoms and how they made me feel. At the time if I was asked to articulate how I was feeling I wouldn’t have been able to. The anxiety symptoms are more clear to me and have been for a while. In the past I labelled everything as anxiety, now I can clearly see that I do suffer from both anxiety and depression. The awareness and acceptance of that in itself is a positive thing.

Is Awareness Always a Good Thing?

Yesterday the anxiety feelings resurfaced for the first time in a few weeks. This time there was a clear trigger. The fact that I know what caused the anxiety has both advantages and disadvantages. It’s good that I know where it came from this time, no frustrating time spent wondering why the symptoms had appeared. On the flip side it pisses me off that something so insignificant can derail my progress.

For once I’m not going to detail what it was that unsettled me. It’s not me being aloof and mysterious. It appears that my honestly and openness has led to some people/person to stir up ill feeling. Nothing serious, just the sort of thing that square people do, some real boring, jobsworth kind of nonsense. As i’m in a fragile state at the moment this was enough to knock me back and make my mind go in to overdrive. At counselling we discussed my default setting of looking ahead and catastrophising whenever I’m unsettled. This is what happened/is happening. It’s times like this that I think I’d rather not have any awareness of my condition at all. The fact that I know that insignificant things are making me unwell is really upsetting.

The Benefit of Counselling

The fact that the setback came a few hours before my counselling session was a real blessing. I was able to vent to Yaz and get everything off my chest. As always she listened and only spoke at select times, the ratio of me speaking to her speaking must have been about 10:1. However the things she did say had so much weight and made so much sense to me that it reinforced how brilliant I think the service is. Here is what I took away.

The Path to Well-Being

I’m on a path, the path to well-being that I have chosen to walk down myself, not  that I have been forced down. It’s a path towards me feeling better, living a happier and more content life and eliminating stresses from my life. My journey started a number of years ago and there are probably a number of years still left. The important thing is that I am moving forward, no matter how slowly.

What happened yesterday, and what so often happens, was that something obstructed my path. These obstructions are external drivers and influences that I can choose to ignore but often don’t. All too often I let these obstructions divert me from where I am heading. I give them too much headspace and afford them too much importance. What I need to do instead is kick them off my path, walk around them or step over them. That’s what I will be trying to do from now on. I favour the kicking, hard, by the way. My path to well-being is unlikely to be obstruction free but I’m prepared to do a lot of kicking.

I’m well aware that the last paragraph may sound a bit cheesy and idealistic. That’s fine – it doesn’t have to work for everybody – what’s important is that it works for me.

If there’s anybody reading that has got beef with anything I’ve written feel free to get in touch in person, no need to hide behind others – I see you.

2 thoughts on “Obstructions on the Path to Well-Being”

  1. Hi, what a remarkable article! You always bring everything alive in your writing. I feel I’m sitting beside you and you are telling me the story.
    The article itself is very interesting because depression can become confused with anxiety. It is pleasing to see you are moving forward and your counsellor is someone who, as you state, listens and then says something that makes total sense to you; few words worth their weight in gold.
    I look forward to reading your stuff it’s always a pleasure.

    p.s. As always brilliantly penned!

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