It took me years and years to get the courage to go to my GP and tell him I believe I suffered from depression and anxiety. Years of panic attacks, dark thoughts, loneliness and denial. 5 minutes later, I was leaving with a prescription for anti-depressants and advice to go to counselling. It took me another 6 months to arrange counselling. I struggle to talk about my feelings and to ask for help generally and I was still kind of in denial.
I found Ellen through a review website and she seemed to be down to earth. Ellen’s profile stood out to me but I can’t now put a finger on why. We exchanged emails and then a phone call and set an appointment date. I was pleased with myself but also terrified. When I turned up I was so nervous. Ellen was so calm and relaxed and I spent the next hour throwing up negative life events that I had self diagnosed as the cause of my issues. It made little sense but Ellen listened attentively and an hour flew by. At no point did I feel judged which is a big thing for me.
I walked out and was consumed with anxiety for sharing all those things but also for my non-sensical approach. Ellen wasn’t phased. Over the next 6 weeks I would come to look forward to our chats and by the last week, it was genuinely the highlight of my week. I am far from an expert about techniques but I feel the most comfortable and happy with who I am than I have ever felt in my life and I’m 31. I had the confidence to move abroard on my own a few months after our sessions and I previously didn’t like doing anything on my own.
Ellen has given me a belief system, an outlook and a calmness to my life that I’ve never had before. A way to not be consumed and to step back and appreciate. I discovered what the panic attacks were and how to identify the feeling before they start. I now have a whole tool box of ways to deal with the black fog and can identify that also even when I’m in deep. All this and I can’t say one specific thing that Ellen told me because that’s not her approach. It’s not a lecture, it’s not listen to this and you’ll be cured. I should note that I was open and willing to read what was suggested and work on the techniques. As a result, I no longer need the anti-depressants.
I feel like I’ve woken up to life and what Ellen has made me realise is that it was there all along, I just wasn’t being present in it. I had a moment on London Bridge midway through our sessions. I’d spent years powerwalking to my office , absent-mindlessly planning my day or being grumpy about something or someone. That moment, I wasn’t thinking, I was just there and I could feel the sun on my shoulders and my face and I looked around for the first time on my commute and the view was beautiful, I’d seen it a thousand times but I’d never appreciated it until that moment. It was that moment that I knew I could feel free.