It’s a really strange feeling – missing someone who I paid for the pleasure of spending time with. But I saw my therapist for an hour every week, for well over a year from January of my third year of uni up until I finished my final exams, and now I’m settling into a new stage of life, far away from the familiar armchair and face of my therapist, it’s becoming more apparent that I miss that person and that routine and how the process helped me day-to-day, and on a much larger scale.
Not only were we an almost unbelievably great match (advice I would give anyone thinking about going to see someone is to keep trying until you find your match, I feel so lucky and grateful that I found mine first go, but it could have taken a few tries!) but the simplicity of having an hour a week specifically to work through my emotions and struggles with someone whose sole job was to listen and support and push me to think differently, was obviously a massive benefit to my mental health and life in general.
It’s something I’ve been thinking about as I settle in to my full time work and new life a pretty good distance from all of my support networks. I didn’t stop seeing my therapist because I’m ‘better’ (mental health can improve but it’s definitely an ongoing journey), or because I/we felt that our work together had ended, it was actually weirdly traumatic leaving for the final time, so it’s strange to me now that something which has been pretty much constant in my life for a good time has suddenly stopped, and when I have 5 minutes to think about it, I miss that time each week for myself and processing life and all it has to throw at me.
I’ve been trying to remember that I have other support networks and people around me, but again, it’s strange to not see the faces that I spent every day at uni with, and be able to get things off my chest as and when they happen. I imagine there’s plenty of my newly-graduated friends that might be feeling the same, so I just wanted to write this as a reminder to myself – and to anyone else that might be experiencing a seismic shift in their life at the minute -, that there’s always someone to turn to, there’s always some time to take for ourselves, and that it is constant work and practice to remember to actually do these things, but it is so important.
It’s so easy – especially with a new job or change of location or people around you – to work and plough through the days and ignore those feelings of fear, anxiety, exhaustion, depression, etc., but that tactic is pretty much what landed me up in therapy in the first place. Therapy and counselling are fantastic, but can also be time consuming, potentially expensive, and sometimes just inconvenient at certain life stages, however there’s so much of the basics that can be taken and applied to life wherever you’re at. So please everyone – myself included – keep talking, keep taking proper time to process life, reach out to your friends or family or partners or strangers on the internet, and check in on people and share some of those feelings and worries.