Tag Archives: helpless

And then it happened to me…

Paula Fowle 23 August 2021

I was on it

Having worked as a counsellor for a long time with a keen interest in bereavement support and anticipated loss support, feeling that I was ‘On it’ and could cope, little did I know!!! Recently my world was tipped upside down when hearing ‘the news that nobody wants to hear’ (see previous blog)

My ‘tailspin’

My dearest friend of very 30 years has been fighting various types of Cancer for the last 15 years, we have been together through scans, treatments, good news and bad. But recently hearing that ‘there was nothing else to be done’ apart from palliative care and ’End of Life Plan’ through me in a tailspin.

Where did all the things that have learnt in my training go?

Sitting in the chair supporting a client over the years has been a privilege, giving support to patients and their families whilst preparing death bed wills to ensure that those last-minute wishes are taken care of, ensuring that what ever can be achieved on the ‘Bucket list’ can be done is taken care of too. Seeing the path of acceptance and that final letting go of life when the patient feels their work here is done.

The patient knows best

I guess one thing that I have learnt during these special journeys is that the patient knows best, the patient is always the one in control, yes, the medication and pain relief help but the final decision to let go belongs to the patient and I know that the journey that my friend and I are on now will be the same.

What does dying feel like?

It is heart breaking watching someone so close slipping away, spending hour after hour in bed, waiting and wondering what is to come next and how it will feel. As we have joked about on many an occasion since the news broke, its not as though you can ring someone up and ask’ hey what does dying feel like?’

Finding the continuing bond

I have searched for things to help and things to make this manageable, but I feel now that there is nothing. I know when the time come it will be hard for me as it has been hard for my clients’ families to see but like them, I will get through it and what I have learnt will stand me in good stead. I just need to confidence to reach out for it and like others learn to create my ‘Continuing bond’

Finding the inspiration

A real inspiration for me has been the book ‘Languages of Loss ‘written by Sasha Bates. In the book Sasha takes the journey to fight with her grief following the sudden death of her Husband. She shares her struggle with her ‘professional self’ and her’ emotional self’. The death brings into question everything she has ever learned and believed would help her clients along the path in their grief journeys but amazingly she gets to a place of peace and understanding and slowly starts finds a way back….

Courage and time

I hope and I know that I will be the same, it will take time, courage but I will always have my memories of all that my Friend, and I have shared, nothing will ever take that away.

Combatting your anxiety gremlin

Will Davies 15 Jan 2021

In the 1920’s, RAF pilots originated the word ‘gremlin’ to describe mythical creatures that cause malfunctions in aircraft or other machinery. Use of the word grew during W.W.2. and Roald Dahl even worked with Disney on creating an animated film featuring gremlins sabotaging pilots and their planes for their own nefarious purposes.

But what’s all this got to do with anxiety you might ask? Well for me, the experience of having anxiety can feel a little bit like being a pilot fending off a gremlin that is playing havoc with my plane and trying to knock me off course. If you experience anxiety too, maybe this is something that you can relate to?

So, if you find yourself under attack from an anxiety gremlin, how can you combat it?

Here are three suggestions that may point you in the right direction: 

Firstly, I think anxiety can often make us forget the past, specifically those times when we’ve over-come our anxiety or when things we were anxious about didn’t end up happening. At the moment when we could be drawing on these experiences, it’s as though the reset button gets hit and we feel like we’re starting from scratch. A way of combating this is to consciously remind ourselves of our achievements and past experiences of anxiety, perhaps through a diary or recounting affirmations. Don’t let the anxiety gremlin make you forget that you’ve got skills in this area and those skills can be put to good use again.    

Secondly, when we experience anxiety we often start to feel that our lives have suddenly been knocked off course and that we are spiralling towards a new and often frightening future that is not of our choosing. Very little in life is pre-determined, so, to use another flight metaphor (I’m clearly craving some foreign travel right now!), try to see your anxiety as just a bit of turbulence that will pass eventually. Bring in your rational and soothing side as quickly as you can to assess the situation and calm you down. Practice controlled breathinggrounding techniquesmindfulness or meditation, whatever works best, to help you ride it out and reach your desired destination. 

Finally, when experiencing anxiety, we can often feel helpless and that things are suddenly out of our control. In these instances it’s a good idea to try and wrestle back some control and often the best place to start is with ourselves. For example, scheduling a time each day to practice self-care and ensuring it happens can reap numerous benefits in terms of both our mental and physical health. Even just admitting the existence of your anxiety and seeking ways in which to address it is a way of regaining control of your life.

More support

Here are some further suggestions of resources to help you armor up and go into battle with your anxiety gremlin: