Managing chronic illness
Since 2004 I've worked in Further and Higher education supporting students in the areas of London and Nottingham, and during that time became interested in becoming a counsellor. I enrolled on an introductory counselling course and knew then that I wanted to take my counselling education further.
Whilst studying for the counselling degree I became extremely exhausted and my body and mind just wouldn't work how they used to. After several visits to my local GP and numerous blood tests later (all of which were reported as being fine), I was diagnosed with CFS/ME. I still don't know how I developed the condition, but what I do know is that it had a huge impact on my home, work, education and social life, as well as my own mental health. I got through the degree by being kind to myself and pacing every activity that I did, although I must admit that this didn't come naturally to me and took a lot of practice!
A couple of years later I came across Positive Psychology and became interested in studying the subject further. It helped me to appreciate what I had in my life (rather than my focus being on the life that I'd lost) and I now have lots of tools that I use to challenge my negative thoughts on the particularly bad days. It also helped me to build my emotional resilience which I strongly believe is part of the reason why I'm now able to manage the CFS/ME.
For a long time I resented having CFS/ME, until I realised that it was actually very useful when working with clients with long term health conditions. While every single one of us is unique and all with our own life experiences, I understand how frustrating, scary, confusing, lonely, isolating and generally life-changing, having a chronic illness and/or disability can be.
If you would like to discuss counselling for CFS/ME or other long term conditions and/or disabilities, then please get in touch via any of the methods shown below.