Ending therapy during the pandemic…

Today I had my last session with the therapist. I must that say that we’ve known each others for almost 5 years but it was not continuous and I have had three different time intervals and in all of these cases I came to therapy in a quite displaced state. It is hard to describe what is like, what I have learnt and how I feel today in a short post but let me just put few things down that I d like to share…

Everyone has their own reason when and why to start therapy. It can be a conscious choice for self-care or desperate call for someone to rescue us. In my case, eventually, it has become a little bit of both and, it is through that search for the rescue, I found new ways to look after myself…

This, last time, I had more than a year in therapy: leaving my old job, moving city and getting through the first wave of the pandemic – all did feel like I could not have done it all without a support. Therapy is unique as we are. As we all have different journeys in life, different things will become central in the sessions..

I was incredibly lucky to work with someone who understood where part of me might need healing and where I was maybe beating myself up a little. I understood how much we carry from our childhood and that love, in its first form given to us by our parents, can change the way we place ourselves in the world.

During the first wave of the pandemic in the UK, I literally found myself lying on the floor, not really sure what to do and how to possibly realise fully what is happening with the world. Now, as the second wave is literally by our doors, I feel prepared, with tools up my sleeve. I guess that what is really about, about finding tools, what work for you, realising that whatever it is you can work on it and that you are a human being, after all. It is a hard work I must say and part of me decided to face the challenge by getting on my own feet and try to work things out on my own now.

Having my family far away in Russia, building my life abroad with different language, culture, new friends has actually been a challenge and therapy has given me space to realise that and be kind to myself where things are not as smooth as I wish them to be. To be patient and to acknowledge the journey and process with which we go through life. My therapist has given me a chance to see how unique and special our journeys are.

Autumnal walk in Lancaster

However, what I also felt for a while that therapy defined me as a patient, I struggled to let go of the thought that my identity is defined by all the troubles and pain I went through in the past. This can be quite heavy and some can deal with this aspect a little be better than others. Crucially, realising that having therapy is not equivalent of being ill is important for the process, even though sometimes we are truly ill and we need therapist to help our healing. Seeing it as self-care is vital to build good relationships with your therapist too as you move through time together..

It was quite emotional to leave again after my longest period with my therapist. First time she found me during my masters where everything felt like falling and then slowly rebuilding itself. Next in my PhD, when I truly felt like I was losing the ground under my feet and then again, now. I know that I might be back again as life will continue throw challenges that might not always be easy to get through on my own but I am slo happy and excited to give it a go and see how far I can go with my little bag of tools and tricks and resilience that I built during this year…

P.S. I am sure someone may have already written about it this way but autumn this year felt as if I was literally dropping my own leaves, feeling lighter, letting things go… maybe we all feel like that a little, just like the trees…

Rebuilding yourself during pandemic…

Pandemic has brought quite a few changes to us, for some of us more than others. How do you get through it? When it all started, I was fairly confused, overwhelmed and had few episodes of weird panic attacks. I had a period of overeating, a period of oversleeping and I even asked my manager to take few weeks off to just realise what is it going on. Because, without a pause, I did not know how one suppose to recollect yourself…

Now, we are in the midst of the second wave. But I do find myself in a very different place. Throughout past six month I literally rebuild myself, or in more honesty, I built, ruined, built again. I have done all sorts of things, starting with going fully alcohol free, picking up yoga ,followed by bodyweight, followed by walks, cooking, reading, breathing, trying different work routines, breaking new habits, starting again, rearranging furniture in the house, rearranging thoughts in my head, working through old guilt and weight on my shoulders…and finally, treating myself to time off away when we could to sum all these up and see where I am now.

A week now since we were back from our trip to warm Sicily, I had time to sit down and look back. We went to the same location we visited last year and oh, how much has changed just in 12 month. Travelling inevitably and always make me to change perspective, whether I want it or not – I change. Accepting that change would take a few days, I would need few new habits or some shaken up but I would feel freer…

Working in pandemic is hard, especially if you have a small space and if you do really care about what you do. It can really start eating you up a little. Since we moved to Lancaster, I realised I have not made any friends yet and as we went into lockdown, my best times of the day is meeting online for work or not but just seeing others and hearing their voice…

I learnt how much I need others and how much I need to be needed by others too, to offer my help, to feel that I can do something not just for myself…

I regained weird energy through working on myself so I can give more to others in my work. Meditation and breathing has been the most impactful but is the hardest because clarity of mind, mindfulness can force one to face things that are very raw, very real and sometimes it is really scary…However, on the positive side, being in the moment offers such peace. Worrying about future or past can be an endless cycle of thoughts putting us into stress and panic but in the present, we just have what we have and we trust.

I am growing to embrace it…and hope that I won’t slip from this…

This week I celebrated 125 days of gratitude. Every single day I write down few things I am grateful for from the day and I can tell now looking back, it does make such a difference. Every day is precious to me, good or bad. I do not want to press button ‘forward’ to pass through it at different speed. Days are suddenly becoming longer, weeks are more fulfilling… Yet, its a hard work of daily routine. Morning reading, yoga, mediation, breakfast with my husband – all of these can make one to start your work day way later but all of these are very important to have a good day. Whats once was a hard work becomes a beatuful habit but its important to give it a time…

If you are starting a similar journey to find yourself or rebuilding yourself in pandemic, closed doors environment, be kind to yourself – do not rush and enjoy the process as it is in the process where we find fulfilment now in the final outcome…Trust that it takes time to build something and keep going 😉

with love,

Ana