Mental Health and M.E.

Okay. Deep breath. Here goes.

I’m currently trying to weigh up whether the benefits of a video call session with my counsellor would outweigh the physical fallout from the exertion and concentration.

Video calls and phone calls are problematic with my cognitive function. The “what have you got to lose” approach doesn’t work here – the post exertions malaise could be catastrophic.

But I haven’t had a session with my counsellor since the beginning of March.

I was one of ‘those’ people who never thought they’d need to seek help for their mental health. And because of the damaging idea that some still hold about M.E. being a psychological illness, I was far from keen to share about going for counselling.

I had my first session in March 2019 and I shared a little in an article published by the ME Association which you can read HERE. When I first sought professional help, what I was experiencing was not a diagnosed mental health condition. It was ‘merely’ a very reasonable response to a very sad and hard situation.

For those new here, 2019 was a toughie mentally and emotionally. It’s the reason I couldn’t host the usual Real Life tea party. I had known for a few years already that I wouldn’t be having children because of the impact M.E. has on my life. But as others around me started to become parents I was suddenly drowning in grief.

And then in November 2019 I experienced a short but very real period of Depression for the first time. (I haven’t actually said that bit out loud yet.) The dam broke, so to speak. Counselling has opened a huge can of worms; almost a decade of M.E. and the impact it’s had on my life and those around me. But my goodness have I grown and benefitted from the process.

But the struggle and the sadness are still there, and I know now that they’ll likely never go away. Counselling cannot ‘fix’ this for me. Two beautiful new babies have joined my friendship group since lockdown began. And my extended family will grow by one in the next few weeks.

So that’s where I’m at today.

IMPORTANT: When I first spoke about this online and asked for absolutely no unsolicited advice, some felt that didn’t apply to them. They reached out privately to share their story in an offer of misplaced hope. Each of our stories and our circumstances are different. Many others with the same health condition as me go on to make a different choice regarding having children. There is no right or wrong; only what works best for each of us as individuals within our particular set of circumstances. Please. No unsolicited advice.

Published by Anna Redshaw

Blogging about life in the slow lane with an invisible, chronic illness. I wasn't always a sick chick so this is somewhat of a life changing experience!

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