For my age (26) I have probably lived through quite a lot of things that have impacted my mental health and I am sat here now and couldn’t be more excited for what my future holds.
I have struggled with anxiety, PTSD and depression, the last 2 years have basically been a write off for me, I have been down in the dumps because I felt I haven’t gained anything from these last couple of years, it’s like I have been alive but not really living.
A few months ago I was wanting to end my life because I couldn’t deal with my depression and now I couldn’t feel more excited for what this year has in store for me.
So what’s changed? Nothing really, I am still the same person I was a few months ago but what I have learnt is that instead of punishing and beating myself up about my mental health I am going to turn it into a positive. I am going to take the pain I have felt, the hopelessness, the anxiety and the trauma and use it to support others who are suffering.
The saying ‘Once you have hit rock bottom, the only way is up’ really applies, I have walked through such darkness and felt things I would never wish upon another person and yet I have come back fighting and stronger.
From a young age I never knew what I wanted to do as a job, I was never very ‘career minded’ or motivated in anything other than writing or photography. I ended up being advised to leave college at 17 and stumbled into an apprenticeship at an estate agents, 9 years later I am still at this job.
About a year ago, I was attending therapy and something in me just clicked, maybe I could be a counsellor...I did an online level 2 introduction course, smashed it out in a couple of months and loved it.
I have changed my mind set, that the worst time of my life will not define me but will turn into the best time of my life. The things my therapist has taught me in such a small amount of time have lifted my mood dramatically and now my dream of becoming a counsellor has turned into a plan. She has shown me the negativity I carry around with me only weighs me down, she is teaching me to recognise my feelings and the best one of all is to stop carrying other people’s stuff around with me and focus on my own life.
The way I imagine the journey of counselling is almost like a marathon, it’s going to take time, it’s going to take patience, there will be times when you feel you can’t go on, you will get exhausted, you will have to practice, you will feel supported by the cheers, all of those mental hurdles are so worth it when you cross that finish line.
Those proud moments for me make therapy worth it, the happiness on her face when I have ‘smashed’ doing something that a few weeks before I was terrified of even considering is the best!
So my PLAN (not dream) this year is to study and work hard to become a counsellor, I think my past will make me relatable, empathetic and down to earth with people who are struggling. Who better to speak to about feeling anxious than someone who deals with that most days? Who better to open up to about those dark and scary thoughts than someone who has been there? When you feel alone and the world is against you? I can support you.
The road to becoming a counsellor will be emotional, tough, rewarding, enlightening and I will reflect on my personal emotions to be the best version of myself I can be to help others.
The last few months have been an absolute whirlwind of emotions, there has been downs, ups, confusion, loneliness, comfort and all of this has strengthened me, empowered me and made me realise how precious life is. Life is short, it’s made up of moments, moments that we create with the people around us and the choices we make, and I choose to be stronger than my black dog and turn my negatives into a positive.
I read a quote a while back that said ‘Becoming a therapist, always remember that for each patient you see, you may be the only person in their life capable of both hearing and holding their pain.
If that isn’t sacred, I don’t know what is’. It was like sun shining through a tree, I am ready to chase the sun!
Sophie is a regular writer for C.C. Magazine and in her own words: "I don’t take life too seriously, always joking and making people laugh! Family and friends mean the world to me, and my little cat tiggs! Music is my life, I spend most of time with my headphones on listening to anything and everything, I believe ‘When words fail music speaks’! I am more creative than anything I love writing and knowing that hopefully writing my struggles can help other people is just the best feeling ever! I cannot wait for the future so I can train to be a counsellor and hopefully help someone the way my counsellor has helped me!"