The Day Before

TODAY IS THE DAY BEFORE. It’s the day before I see my counsellor (C). She was away last week, so I’ve had to wait two long, painful weeks for an answer. Tomorrow is the day C tells me whether I can continue to see her after my last session, which is due on the 21st of December this year. Up until now, my therapy has been free under the council-funded Eating Disorders service, where I got six months of treatment, for which I’m very grateful.

However, now I cannot get any funding to continue seeing C under the general health team at that counselling organisation. It’s not just that, but there is a waiting list of ten months to even be considered. I can afford a little, but not the average fee for counselling, which is in the region of £50 – £60 per session. On the improbable off chance that C can continue with me without the ten-month wait, I will have to find the money. As it is, I struggle to make ends meet, and because of the UK cost of living crisis, I can’t even afford to have any heating on this winter. Being cold is miserable, but I’ll put up with it if it means I can continue to see C. I’m counting the hours and minutes until I go for my session tomorrow. I feel absolutely sick with worry.

All that aside, I have also lost three people this week (not through deaths, thankfully.) Their losses have been a blow, nevertheless. I had a Befriender from the Hospice who had phoned me every Friday – we’ve been chatting for nearly a year – just day-to-day stuff, like friends. She called me on Friday to say this was her last call as she was leaving the service to work with her daughter.

The same day, I had a call from my lovely pharmacy assistant, who’s been dispensing my medication for the last ten years, and whom I got to know on first-name terms and almost like friends. She always had time for a quick chat.

Finally, I had a call from Amy, who works for the NHS Wellbeing Team. She told me, very kindly, that because my mental health has deteriorated, she can no longer work with me. I just can’t figure that one out.

I’ve seen images on Google that say something along the lines of the picture below. Sadly, it’s no consolation to me right now. Please, wish me luck for tomorrow and keep your fingers crossed that the decision goes in my favour. I will update my situation either tomorrow or within a few days depending on the outcome.

Thank you to all my amazing and beautiful friends and readers who have been there for me on every step of my recent painful journey. Love Ellie Xx 🖤

(Image source – main photo – Photo by Liza Summer: https://www.pexels.com)

49 thoughts on “The Day Before

    1. Thanks, Granny. I do hope you’re right. I don’t understand about Amy’s departure from my life either. It doesn’t make any sense to me. But, it still hurts. Love you, too – lots Xxxx 💜💞

    2. I don’t know how to leave a comment without replying to someone hope you see this Ellie! I love that your pharmacy assistant took time to talk to you my nurse did the same for me today and it was just so lovely when people take time out of their days and focus on you especially their busy days just give you a little bit of your time and make you feel heard and seen it’s very nice. Good luck with things! I’ll check in soon

      1. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me such a kind comment, Jerry. I saw it straight away. Those three people went out of their way to chat and give me some of their valuable time; I will miss them. However, today is the day when I find out if I can continue to see my counsellor. I’m a nervous wreck right now, worrying so much that this will be the end of seeing her to carry on the trauma work we’ve been working on. I’m glad your nurse was kind to you today and gave you time to talk. It doesn’t take much to make someone’s day better, does it really? Have a good day, Jerry x

      2. Never know what looking someone in the eye and listening to what they have to say can do for them. They might feel invisible it’s not hard to make people feel seen just for a little while😊

      3. So true, Gerald. Even just being acknowledged when waiting at a store counter can be very powerful; just a simple “Hi, I’ll be with you in a moment” can bring someone’s anxiety right down. Even better when that person goes the extra mile to help xx

  1. How in the hell is deteriorating health a reason to not see people. Unfortunately I hear it everyday from the UK. In worse case scenario while everything gets settles with NIH, maybe you can scrap up the money to see her once a month. That is way better than not at all. I know are hard but your mental health is your health. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

    1. I can’t help wondering the same question. It doesn’t seem to make any sense. It feels like kicking a person when they’re already down. The health system in the UK used to be excellent. However, with our government, the NHS has much of its funding and services are much more sparse than they once were.

      Unfortunately, counsellors here, or certainly the ones at this organisation, won’t see people monthly – it has to be weekly or not at all. Thanks for keeping your fingers crossed for me. X

      1. Weekly or nothing tottaly sucks!!!!!! I have several people that I know that live in the UK and they have said often how bad it’s gotten. One mentioned they were closing hospital and medical centers causing people to wait longer and much harder to get to. That’s plotics isn’t it? Have a great day.

      2. The situation with health and care has greatly deteriorated under our current government. There are long waiting lists for everything. It’s undoubtedly because of politics. There are people in agony who have been waiting for over three years for a hip replacement operation! It’s appalling. I will try to update my post later on or tomorrow depending on the outcome and how I cope with it. Thanks for caring, Melinda. Xx

      3. It’s happening all around us, what keeps me sane is that no matter how bad I feel it is for me, others have it some much worse. Politics in both countries is getting out of hand and I don’t know how America will fair in the coming years. It’s very volatile right now. But thank God I don’t live if a thrid world country with no healthcare and militia running the government.

    1. Thank you for the link, J. I will take a look. Unfortunately, as things stand in our country right now, I won’t be alone in not being able to afford to heat my home this year.

      Sorry I haven’t commented on your last couple of posts. I have read them, but no so little about American politics that I don’t feel qualified to give an opinion or comment. Hope you understand. Thanks again.

      1. No worries. Comment when you are moved to comment. I wish I knew nothing about American politics. But this year I do. And this year, I care.

      2. Thanks, J. I can understand your feeling that way. I’ve heard a lot about the election but haven’t really been taking it all in. I hope the results are those you wish for (if you consider either side worthy).

      3. Very astute observation, Ellie. Neither side is worthy, my apologies to Professor Taboo. But one side is better at the present time. The Democrats are trying to govern, while the Republicans want to turn their nation into a white Christian-Evangelist capitalist auto-theo-plutocracy where the average people of the country are nothing but uneducated wage-slaves good for nothing but serving the new aristocracy they are trying to create!
        So, for now, I am on the Democrats side, but moving forward, if their democracy itself survives, they need to add a true socialist party to the political realm, and at least one other party so as to represent people more precisely.
        I don’t know enough about British politics to compare/contrast parties, but in Canada two parties represent big business (the Conservatives moreso than the Liberals), while the New Democratic Party are socialist and represent the working class and try to protect the average Canadian from the excesses of capitalism.
        Sorry, didn’t mean to pontificate, but that is the lecturer in me, lol.

  2. Ellie, my thoughts are with you. Sending you hugs.

    Please try to keep working on practicing suspending judgment of yourself and to practice speaking kindly to yourself. It may not sound like much help, with all you’re facing, but it’s surprising how much bandwidth and energy is taken up when we’re harsh with ourselves.

    Those imposed negative thoughts may come fast and furious, but strangely, spending time fighting them is exhausting.

    Imagine our emotions are represented by a glass of dirty water that cannot be tipped out to empty it of its contents, yet we need to have clean water in the glass.

    What can a person do? By placing the glass of dirty water under the spigot, even a small trickle of clean water will eventually displace the dirty water.

    The concept of speaking gently and kindly to ourselves is very much like that clean water slowly trickling into the glass. Even a little trickle will start to yield noticeable results, given time.

    Keep taking your baby steps.

    Keep applying the tools you’re learning, even if you hold your sword with a shaky hand. Keep getting up again.

    Keep practicing self-care and getting your sleep.

    Sending hugs.

    1. Oh, Tamara, I can’t tell you how much your comment and advice mean to me right now. I needed to read this. I really like the analogy of the glass of dirty water. It makes a lot of sense to me, and I can see what you mean by this. You are quite right about negative thoughts taking up a lot of energy. I’ve been stuck with these thoughts all day today and feel totally mentally exhausted. I so appreciate the guidance you’ve been sharing with me lately. I am learning slowly, but then, slowly is better than not at all. Changing the habits of a lifetime is hard work, but from what you say, it will be rewarding in the long run.

      It will be tough to think positively tonight, but I will try. I dread the possible outcome for tomorrow, but I also appreciate that I don’t know what the decision will be yet. My appointment time is 1.45 pm – it seems like an age away yet, but it will be here soon enough. I’m terrified that all my work with my therapist will be undone by suddenly being left on my own with it again. I’m sorry that I’m speaking so negatively tonight – I’m genuinely extremely scared. Thank you so much for thinking of me and for your comforting hugs. I will hold them close to my heart. Hugs to you, too. Ellie Xx 💜💕

      1. Ellie, I get it. Your fear and anxiety are real.

        Remember this: the universe knows exactly what you need, so a door that seems to be closing may simply be a revolving door simultaneously leading you to the next place where you need to be. Nothing is ever lost on our journeys, for the process has sown seeds inside of you that may only be in their germination stage. Just because someone leaves our life doesn’t mean the lessons we learned during that time were for nothing. It’s all a piece of the new fabric you are weaving for yourself.

        Years ago when I was struggling in the midst of my depression and anxieties, I had well-meaning people telling me that it was all in my head, because the negative thoughts came from that place. I knew they were trying to impart some helpful information, but in truth, it didn’t feel very helpful at the time, because there were too many gaps.

        I didn’t know how to get from where I was to where I craved and yearned to be.

        This is part of my life mission now, to help provide some of the baby steps needed to take to get there. Be gentle with yourself. Be patient with ourself, for it is a journey that is best taken slowly, so the new tools and lessons have time to percolate through the many layers of past garbage!

        Remember, flowers grow best in manure!

        Each life lesson is like a flower you add to your life. Some people accumulate enough for a pretty display in a vase, while others gather enough flowers to fill a botanical garden!

        You’re a seed right now, growing through the dark soil, questioning if the sunlight is there because you haven’t yet seen it. You will. Keep going. The universe loves you deeply and is working everything out on your behalf.

  3. Oh, I’m so sorry! Such a lot of loss to process all at once, and being cut off from counseling prematurely has to be just terrifying! I hope that some solution is found, and soon.

    1. Thank you so much, Ann. It feels like an awful lot to deal with and I feel very overwhelmed by it all tonight. And yes, I’m absolutely petrified of being left with no counselling support at such a sensitive stage of my therapy. I will update my blog tomorrow when I know more depending on the outcome and how I’m feeling. X

  4. The rules we put into place — “because my mental health has deteriorated, she can no longer work with me.” Yes Ellie, that’s a new one for me too. Sending good thoughts your way. And as others mentioned, you gave your online cheering squad!! Good luck

    1. Thank you, Brian. It does seem ridiculous, doesn’t it!? Thank you for your good thoughts. I don’t know what I’d do without all my wonderful readers and friends on WP. I’ve had so much loving support from everyone and that means such a lot to me. Thanks for being one of those people.

  5. Quoting Rawgod: No one should have to go through winter without heat. Heat is a physiological need. It’s on the first level of Maslow’s hierarchy. Mental health (under safety) is on the 2nd level. That England (or any other wealthy nation) would fail to meet people’s most basic needs is criminal. And yes, I know the united states does the same thing. A lot of us over here see the UK as our sophisticated brethren. I guess you’re poking holes in my childish belief. Many counselors offer a sliding scale. Possibly yours does. It can’t hurt to ask. Best of luck to you.

    1. Thank you, Jeff. I definitely wouldn’t say the UK is a sophisticated brethren, certainly not under the current government here. I’m not alone in being unable to afford heating this winter. I wrap in lots of layers; that’s the best I can do. It’s the elderly that I worry about. There will be deaths this year caused by seniors who suffer hypothermia. It’s an appalling situation. I’m currently looking at the link Rawgod sent me yesterday for cheaper forms of heating.

      I will ask my counsellor about sliding scale rates, but the problem is going to be the decision as to whether they will continue to see me at all. The waiting list is ten months long, so if they did say they could carry on with my treatment, I would be, in all intents and purposes, jumping the queue ahead of other people who have been waiting a long time for a place and whose needs are just as great as mine. My session is at 1.45 pm today, and I will try to update later or within a couple of days depending on how I cope with the outcome. Thanks for caring, Jeff.

  6. Sending you so much love. I can understand why you would be anxious about the meeting with your counsellor and I pray it all goes well and that he/she will continue to see and support you so you don’t have to go Private. That’s so expensive. I’m praying God’s hand upon your finances too, so you can afford basic human needs like heat, shelter (rent/mortgage) and food. My heart breaks thinking of people unable to afford heat 💔 😢

    1. Thank you so, so much, Janet. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your kind words. I’m feeling incredibly anxious this morning. My session is at 1.45 pm so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I will update my blog later or tomorrow depending on the outcome and how I’m feeling about it. Thank you so much for all your support, love and prayers. Xx 💞

  7. I’m reading this with a delay, so you already know what C said. I hope that whatever it was, you are able to make it work somehow. People having to compromise on things like staying warm (or cool during extreme heat) is heartbreaking. I hope you stocked up on blankets.

    It’s so nice to hear that people called you to tell you they will not be able to continue as they are leaving that position. Very thoughtful of them and is just a testament to how wonderful of a person you are.

    About Amy – I admit that I’m not sure of her role but one thing that comes to mind is that she no longer feels like she can help you. She thinks you need someone… better. She’s unwilling to take a chance in case something were to happen to you. She might feel guilty for not being able to get you help. Did you tell her how beneficial she was to you? But also – are you able to look for/find someone… better qualified?

    1. Thank you very much for reading and leaving a comment, Sam. I can see now that you’ve read my next post about what happened on the day, so I will reply to that there rather than write two separate replies. Regarding Amy, she is meant to be a Wellbeing Advisor. Her role is encouraging people to exercise, eat properly, take their vitamins if needed etc. I think she felt that because my mood is so low, I wouldn’t be able to engage in some of those things; I’d be better off being seen by mental health services. My doctor referred me to them a month ago. Now, I’ve been told there is a wait time of eighteen weeks to be seen by them! Just as well, I’m not about to jump off a cliff! X

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