Coping with a huge trigger

A little while ago something extremely triggering happened. It wasn’t one of the everyday triggers, the smells and dates and accidental interactions that I am better at managing these days. This was a monster of a trigger. I was helping an older man with something on the canal while I was out walking my dog…

The double horror of flashbacks

It’s been months since I had a proper flashback. By ‘proper’, I mean full-on, not being able to tell what’s real, immersion in my past trauma. That awful experience of really, fully reliving it. In comparison, I get a lot of body memories and intrusive images. Those feel dreadful, but when they come up I…

What is EMDR?

Last week I met with a psychologist who is going to do some EMDR treatment with me. He talked me through what we’d be doing and explained a bit about the process. One of the first things he said was ‘Don’t ask me how it works’. Having a PhD in psychology, I kinda expected he…

Clutter and memories

Why do we all want stuff? Barely anything is essential. Most of what we own just collects dust. After a while we forget about it, get bored of it, or we just need the space for something new so we chuck it out. I’m guilty of this gluttony. I want things I don’t need. If I…

Mindfulness: You’ve got to dare to be present

For a long time, silence was synonymous with my misery. Being still and quiet would mean drowning in negative thoughts and self-criticism. Panicking about everything I needed to do and all that is past and won’t ever change. I constantly distracted myself, with work, TV, sport, alcohol, whatever was easiest at the time. Anything to…

3 Techniques for everyday mindfulness

I’ll admit I was a mindfulness cynic. It’s this buzz word in mental health that everyone pushes on you. When I first heard of mindfulness I thought it sounded ridiculous. I wondered how on earth sitting quietly and focusing all my senses of a cup of tea would ever help me. I had to find a…

My struggle with self-harm

*TRIGGER WARNING* I’ve wanted to post this for a while, but now I am finding it hard to start writing. Self-harm is such a difficult, triggering and emotive topic. So please, if this might trigger you, take care of yourself and read it later when you feel stronger. I’ve had a real problem with self-harm….