TALKING ABOUT IT…. (What counselling did for me)



Anon 2010



Looking back, I was an unwilling participant in the counselling process. I came to it realising something had to change in my life but was utterly refusing to acknowledge the fact that what basically had to change was me and nothing else in my life was going to change until I did. An active alcoholic, in denial about this, depressed and with many other people in my life to blame; feeling hopeless, bruised, battered and beaten was what I was used to and I had no idea what feeling any different  was unless I had drink or drugs in my system. To me, they were my reward for getting through the crap that was my life.


It took some time for me to learn to open with Linda, at the time I arrived at her door I trusted nobody. There was also the effects of volume of alcohol I would have doubtless consumed the night before to wade through before we could start getting to the real issues. It took a year of talking about what everybody else had done/was doing to me before it finally started slowly sinking in that it was my alcohol addiction stopping my life getting better. There was nothing I could do about anything else until I had accepted and learned to address that fact. And  this alcohol addiction of mine was starting to warp my thoughts to a disturbing degree and my actions in drink were becoming more bizarre. At this point denial was not an option, I had been still actively drinking during my year and a half of having counselling but if I hadn’t had Linda, telling me truthfully what was wrong with me for that year and a half I truly feel I would have crashed and burned. A rock bottom was inevitable for someone as totally bent on self destruction as I was, but the fact that I had learned to open up during those months, and trusted someone who KNEW what she was talking about, meant I was cushioned when my life did crash. I was in rehab within in days of a phonecall to Linda telling her I was willing to do anything to be out of that hell.


After 6 weeks in rehab, I came out to my early days of recovery fully supported by Linda and AA. The 12 step programme I had resisted for so long I finally realised was a tool which helped me deal with life as a recovering alcoholic. This, on its own , is not always enough for those recovering from addiction and is certainly not for me.  Now in counselling we are not just looking at keeping me safe in the immediate term, which is where I was before, but at real progress going back over the events and what was missing before that compounded my alcoholism. This part is about getting out what I thought was normal, but that did me so much damage, and getting in a healthy perspective on myself and those around me so I continue to improve my life. The change is almost indescribable in words – the best analogy I can offer is a direct U –turn, from death or imprisonment (which where both nearly reality during my drinking days) – to a career, independence, happy children who are proud of their mother. At the very least I have unquestioning support to help with life’s difficulties, at best I have help working through the bad stuff  in my history so I am no longer a victim, not because my life is trouble free – but because I am not willing to be. I now know I deserve to know what self worth feels like.


So talking about it for me kept me alive even when I wasn’t listening, and know that I am listening week by week helping me make my life better, because now, I actually have a future.


Caroline 2010


Thank you for investing your time in me and for your continued support and ability to make me realise who I am, to accept myself just the way I am without having to be someone that I am not and to make me realise that life is not black and white. The sessions with you have really helped me to go back to basic and realise that life is for living and it is up to me to make it happen. I feel so much happier in my own skin now and am looking forward to everything the future may hold for me. When I started these counselling sessions I wasn’t quite sure what to expect and without a shadow of a doubt I can honestly say that it has been one of the best decisions of my life. I’ve come a long way and I am the happiest I’ve ever be. I wouldn’t have experienced this without your help.
Thank you.
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