Kidney Care UK counsellor Dee Durham has written a series of blogs about managing various aspects of dealing with the current lockdown situation whether you are experiencing it alone or with family. Last week was the 2nd part of Coping in isolation and we will be publishing the final blog in the series next Thursday. This week is about the benefits of talking to a therapist and next week will be about the 2nd part of dealing with your family in isolation.
Being affected by a long-term health issue is life changing. Alongside the everyday issues of attending appointments, dialysis, clinics, GP surgeries, etc, the rest of your life needs to continue, condensed into a shorter time frame.
The emotional impact of living with kidney disease is huge. As well as the uncertainty of how you are going to go manage with the issues of your kidney disease day by day, there may be a sense of loss.
Loss of freedom to go anywhere, loss of control over your choices, perhaps loss of a possible future. That dream job that may now not be possible.
How can we cope with these losses and the accompanying intense feelings of fear, depression, sadness and loneliness?
Most of us know on some level, that keeping these thoughts and emotions inside our head turns them into elephants in the room.
If you don’t talk about your emotions and feelings, no one else will. They may pick up that you are sad, fearful or depressed but if you will not or cannot express these emotions they will remain inside your head, getting heavier, larger, using up more and more of your emotional energy.
Being able to talk to someone, someone who can be objective, someone who can listen, someone you learn to trust can help.
Someone who can help you carry the weight of your sorrow, your fears, your sadness.
Someone who can help you find some space. Space to start to confront difficult emotions, space to begin to find some control and change these thoughts and emotions.
A counsellor will help you to find a way to take charge, deal with these intense emotions, deal with your losses.
Talking to a counsellor is not a sign of failure or inability to cope. It’s a sign of strength. Strength to reach out and clasp that outreached hand, strength to begin to believe in yourself, and that you can learn to live again.
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