I fight being sad, lonely and depressed and give up counselling

Posted Sunday July 30, 2017 by Hazel Durbridge

It’s sad to read my letters back and realise how sad I was and fighting depression.  Christmas 2014 was a difficult time for me. Some of it manifested itself in physical symptoms and I had fever, sore throats and nightmare dreams.

January has been a blur.  I have not been very well.  I don’t think I have recovered fully from the glandular fever I had before Christmas and this month I have suffered with an on-going cold, sore throat and just general weariness.  I am sans joie de vivre.  Depleted.

Some things have been difficult and I have been feeling lonely.  The time in Cornwall on my own was fine.  I swam, did selfish shopping and walked on beaches.  I could have done with a dog.  It was weird being there with no children for the first time.  As someone who lives in a multi occupancy house, having 2 bedrooms, a lounge, kitchen and bathroom to yourself felt a waste of resources.  I like going, but would not want to live in Cornwall full time.  I found the number of craft and fancy clothes shops irritating for the first time.  I think it is because fashion is becoming more utilitarian, clothes that have lots of frills and add-ons tend to look like fancy dress for elves or fairies and just weird and I have no space or desire for knick knacks.

When I got back I had to make a statement for the police about FB and it turns out that he has previous in domestics.  It made me sick to the core.  They have a rule that they speak to them now and he rang me after they contacted him in a threatening way.  He had been reading my emails for months going back way before I even knew him.  That must have twisted him up unbelievably inside, because all the time that I was with him because I wanted to be with him he was reading about me expressing my doubts to friends and family.  Small surprise he was all over the place, but to do that was wrong.  The police want me to prosecute, but I think that is their agenda.  I don’t want to do that.  I like to preserve the good in my former relationships.

What did my counsellor say over this period?

The counsellor is really helping.  For the first time in a long time I am not allowed to have a plan.  I have to wallow in the current moment while she works out what the issues are.  She says it’s complex!

Anyway, the counsellor lady keeps going on about how HORRIBLE my mum was to me and all the LOSS in my life and that I am in denial about it all.  As I said to her, in comparison with people I see every day in my work and what I saw in Africa I have it easy.  AND I have had lots of counselling.  I have looked at my losses before.

One thing she is right about is that I don’t reflect on my losses enough, but rush out looking for the next thing to cheer me up, usually a man and sometimes, perhaps because I rush it, an unsuitable man, but it does cheer me up or at least stops me from an emotional breakdown or resorting to pills which so many of my friends are on.  This week was exactly that.  I went on plenty of fish, got asked out and have had 3 dates with this guy who lives near St Albans who is a bit wacky, but who I like.  It beats staying in watching TV.

By the way, I stopped the therapy because I didn’t have anything else to say at this juncture.  She said, and others, that I could just come and say nothing sometimes. I couldn’t do that, mentally thinking how much saying nothing would cost me.  Anyway, the bottom line is I am not to plan my way out of feeling pain any more. I think it has been quite a successful tactic myself. We also differed on what she perceived as my level of suffering and that my experiences in Africa and Sri Lanka were not something I could measure my own suffering against. I don’t know. I see people who have nothing every day at work and yes, sometimes they have brought it on themselves, but …



But we all go through bad stuff don’t we?

Last week was busy, but quiet in the sense of new things to report.  Iris had a good few days then a bad few following a chemotherapy session, but in reality she has coped with it amazingly.  Her eldest son who is my age was round in the week and spent 5 hours telling her what a terrible mother and grandmother she was – unbelievably petty stuff – I find it totally shocking, about not buying big enough presents etc. and trashing her whole approach to life as though they would have ended up as entrepreneurial as they are without some sort of example.  Possibly they may have, but the dreadful thing is, alongside the bad stuff, they can’t think of one nice thing to say and the woman is fragile and dying, maybe not as soon as they would like, but dying nonetheless.  It is her birthday this Wednesday. 

I saw Siobhan Friday.  She has just lost a front tooth and because she can’t afford £1.2k for a bridge has got a denture.  Her arthritis is also bad, but the sunny lining to the clouds is they got the leaking £3k shed fixed for free and she has several of her paintings in a local exhibition and is hoping to exhibit in the Royal Academy next year.  She is extraordinarily good, but it’s modern stuff, blocks of colour with sort of vague shapes.  I like some of them a lot.


I have decided to end my ‘letters to my children’ section here.  This is partly because it would be impossible to disguise people I mention and it’s too current so could be disrespectful and secondly because when I wrote, I wrote for my children and although I have edited, the letters were not written with a blog reader in mind and as I continue, I want to focus on that.


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