I’d been feeling off for weeks, just down and grumpy and really pessimistic about everything. Nothing anyone said could lift me out of it, I would wake up in the middle of the night crying, without really understanding why.
I talked to my friends about it, they all knew I wasn’t doing very well. And they were all really nice about it. But nothing I did, no one I talked to, seemed to make a difference.
My best friend told me to go and talk to a professional. So, after I developed psoriasis on my forehead that my GP said was probably stress related, I decided it was time to do something about it.
When I sat down in the therapist’s office the first thing she asked me was: “So, what’s been going on?”
I guess because I’d never met this woman before and I felt completely anonymous, for the first time I began to really talk about what was going on in my head. About all the things that were making me feel angry, sad and anxious.
For a long time, I had been keeping a lot of it to myself. Because I was worried I’d sound like a whinger, or that my friend’s problems were more important than mine, or that people would worry about me.
But as I sat in that office with the stiff grey carpet and closed blinds, I began to feel immeasurable relief.
It turned out that talking to a therapist was the best thing I could have done, and it was way more helpful than talking to a friend.
This might come as a surprise to you, like it did to me, but counsellor and psychotherapist Fiona Bales says there are many reasons why talking to a professional can make all the difference.