In October last year, following on from months of turbulence, I had the most heartbreaking, traumatic experience of my life. And there have been a few biggies in my life that I didn’t think could be topped.
True to form I continued working, took up yoga again…ignored the screaming pain inside me. I ignored myself as I absolutely could not face the pain.
I realise scrolling through social media that I was gradually falling. Feeling so alone and unwilling to open up for fear of distressing those I love.
When I burst into uncontrollable tears out the blue with an astonished friend, I realised, I needed help.
The doctor gave me antidepressants to lift my crushingly low mood. This caused an initial burst of elation, but was followed by a slump and anxiety coursing through my body.
I was given Valium to alleviate the anxiety which didn’t agree with me at all.
By the end of June I had to tell my boss I was unable to work. I was barely able to function. I had zero appetite, zero motivation and utterly no hope.
I’ve never felt so dreadful.
I couldn’t bare to see or speak to anyone other than my family and my very closest friends.
Weeks went by. I was offered support from social services which has been AMAZING. The worker from the assessment team encouraged me to go to my mum’s for a break and this allowed me some peace to sleep, do nothing & be fed. It was a very much needed lifeline.
Gradually I realised that my time as a home carer had reached an end. The emotional weight and responsibility of the job was just too much for me to carry when I was already breaking under the pressure of life.
I started EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprogramming) therapy which has been ground breaking for me. Our brains process the emotions of each day when we sleep – REM sleep. This is when we dream. If we have an experience that’s too big to process, our brain shelves it. Because we haven’t processed it we hold on to all the negative emotions and beliefs about ourselves that were occurring at the time.
The therapy involves revisiting traumatic memories and gently being guided to sit with each emotion that comes up.
I had thought things like my parents separating hadn’t really impacted me. WRONG! There was a lot of hurt, anger and confusion.
I have to say that this therapy has completely changed my outlook and my confidence levels are through the roof.
I resigned my post as home carer and I’m going back to doing my therapies. My passion for my therapies has also exploded and I feel more enthusiastic than ever about helping others.
It’s hard to know what to do or how to help yourself when you’re in the depths. Speak to your doctor in the first instance. They will support you in coming up with a plan.
Be gentle on yourself. Show yourself radical kindness by dropping the false responsibility of carrying the negative baggage of others.
There is a way through. You maybe just don’t see it yet. But keep walking.