Mollie was struggling with anxious thoughts that were taking over her life and stopping her from being independent. She felt stuck and thought that she had already helped herself as much as she could. But when she started seeing a YMCA Dialogue counsellor, all that started to change. Mollie was supported to overcome her anxiety and gain control back over her life.
Mollie tells us her story:
I have struggled with anxious thoughts my whole life. I am a very deep thinker, so before working with YMCA I felt like I had already processed and helped myself in the most beneficial way I could. I felt stuck and thought that there wasn’t any way to get past the feelings I was experiencing.
My main point of anxiety was feeling that other people were a danger to me. Because I’m quite small and I’ve been told I look younger than I am, I saw people as a threat. I was constantly looking around and creating escape plans, imagining dangerous situations in my head. It prevented me from doing anything by myself, even walking down the road on my own to Tesco. I was so scared that someone would hurt me. It took over my whole life.
I was referred to YMCA Dialogue and received 10 sessions of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). It was very flexible, and I didn’t panic at the end as it was suggested throughout that I could have a bit more if I needed.
The therapy I had helped to unpack and make sense of my brain. We spoke about things in a logical way rather than being a jumble of thoughts, as it had previously felt like. It helped me to overcome the problems I was facing and changed the way that I think and speak to myself.
There is stigma around mental health and accessing therapy, but I would absolutely recommend others to take that first step. Whether that’s admitting to yourself that you need help, or filling out the form to start your journey with counselling, it could reveal a much bigger, opportunity-filled world for you. For me, it has changed my life in such a short space of time. Even just being in a safe space to talk about and unpack the things that went on in my mind without being judged was healing in itself.
I am proud to say now, post-counselling, that I feel empowered, prepared and able to live my life to the absolute fullest.
Now I’m doing great! I’ve been so much more independent and in general I have a ‘just do it’ attitude in everything I do! I am a lot more logical in my thinking and I make a conscious effort to speak over myself using empowering words rather than ones that make me go into a spiral. Life is so much easier.
I started a new job last year as a receptionist and I’m the only one in the building at the end of the night (around 9pm). I always feel anxious doing this as in my head this is a ‘dangerous’ time where the ‘bad people’ are out, but I speak to myself in a different way and can get through it. I can now easily walk to Tesco or meet my friends in town, which would have been a really big thing to me before.
Since ending therapy, I have also passed my driving test (first time) and experienced a new relationship that pushed me to travel by myself, sometimes even at night.
Just one month after ending therapy, I also went on a two week trip to Kenya, volunteering at a primary school with my college group. It was an enormous push out of my comfort zone as I didn’t know anybody before. There were moments where I felt anxious but it was incredible and I’d love to do more travelling in the future. It taught me so much and opened my eyes in so many ways.
My A Levels are coming up in a couple of months, and after this I’m planning to study counselling and psychotherapy at university. It’s so exciting! I’ve used my therapy experience in all of my interviews as it has been the pivotal point for me. As much as it helped to improve my mental health drastically, it was also the start of my future and knowing what I wanted to do in my future. I found my own therapy so fascinating as a process and impactful within my own journey, it helped to solidify my ideas of wanting to go into the field of mental health and I am quite certain now that I would like to become a relationship or marriage counsellor.