Note to Self

Genuinely a post entirely for myself to go back to.

About to start the Level 4 Counselling Diploma and oh yes, there is a knot of dread in my stomach. The groups are HUGE. Instead of 12-14 people, the groups are now 20-odd strong – not such an easy prospect for someone who struggles to speak up in front of people. The presentations ahead aren’t 10-minute bursts on Zoom but all-morning workshops. There will be fishbowl sessions OFTEN. (These are sessions where you counsel a peer, observed by the tutor and the rest of the class). We are delving deeper into theory and we’re doing placements with real clients. On top of all of this, there’s of course the “you can only take your clients as far as you’ve gone yourself” and we all have to be in personal therapy too.

A daunting journey ahead, in other words.

Yes, I’m excited. Yes, I am so, so happy I’m doing this. But it won’t be easy and it sure as hell won’t be comfortable.

Hence this reminder to myself. Yesterday was a reminder to myself.

Normally I go for a run every morning but yesterday I had tonnes of things I needed to do, so it was only later in the afternoon I could get out. And it was SHIT. Truly awful. I wanted to stop and walk less than half a mile into it, before I’d even reached the cricket fields. But I kept going. OK, just get past the cricket fields. But then when I had, just get down to the middle. And then, just get to the bridge over the little stream. And then, cut through the field instead of following the path around it. But then I followed the path around it. Just up to the bigger path in the middle and walk the last bit. But then I didn’t walk at all and had run the whole loop as first intended. I didn’t take a short cut and I didn’t stop and walk.

The whole way, I had Level 4 in my head. Almost like this run in some way represented it. How heavy going it was, how close I was to giving up THE WHOLE DAMN WAY. The last stretch I felt dizzy and weak and my face must have been contorted in a grimace of pain. It was rubbish. I get runs like that once in a while, usually a week before I have my period so I reckon it’s hormone related. Honestly, I can go for a 10k run one day and fly through it, then a 5k loop feels like purgatory the next day. When I got home, I was beetroot red and I was still beetroot red an hour later. Gosh, that run was so crap. Every damn step felt like struggling through treacle.

Anyway. It felt like a little reminder to myself. A reminder of who I am now. I don’t give up. I keep going. I can do this.

Who knows what it’ll be like. Who knows if I’ll struggle or if I’ll mostly be OK. But whatever happens, I will try. If I fail, it won’t be because I gave up or ran away. And I’m no more likely to succeed or fail than anyone else. A shift has taken place, very subtly but very definitely. I still have a lot of work to do, but I no longer consider myself quite so lowly compared with others. Not that comparison is important, but I’ve spent my entire life lowering myself to something I don’t have to be. I’m as good as anyone else. It feels weird to say still but these days it doesn’t make me cringe and whilst I’m not entirely convinced, at least part of me believes it.

I don’t know why but that run was important to me in that regard. Nothing to do with counselling or my studies, but to my mind it was something to prove to myself I don’t break as easily as I sometimes have me believe.

Today I’m not going to drink.

5 thoughts on “Note to Self

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