As Yourself

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1: Thanks for seeing me at such short notice, I’ve just been so stressed

2: No problem. What difference are you hoping this’ll make?

1: Just to help me cope with it all. I’ve got so much going on and it’s really affecting my mood. I just can’t find the motivation. Even when I do have some motivation, I just don’t know where to start

2: So if you just have a place to start next time you have some motivation…

1: Yeah, well that would certainly help. But if so much hadn’t happened all at once I don’t think I’d be feeling like this. I need to get some things sorted, then it’ll probably feel a lot more manageable

2: Hmmm. What else do you hope will change when you get some things sorted?

1: If I can manage to do that somehow, I’ll be a lot less stressed for a start

2: And instead?

1: …This isn’t me. I’m usually so confident in myself, and capable. Everyone who knows me would tell you I’m a completely different person to this. They wouldn’t believe I’m saying what I’m saying right now!

2: Ah I see. Tell me more about who you are usually

1: Ok, well, no matter what comes along, I just deal with it. Nothing ever stops me from doing what needs doing. I’m dependable, hard working, easy going. In control.

2: And people who know you well? If I were to ask them, what else would they say about you usually?

1: Oh, err… they’d say all the same things… And they’d say I was fun, full of energy

2: So that’s who you are usually? Fun, full of energy, hard working, dependable?

1: Yeah exactly, that’s why this is such a shock, to find myself stressed and, and… incapable like this! Ugh!

2: So if coming here today leads to you leaving here and at least having a sense of starting to head back in the direction of being your usual self again; fun, full of energy, capable, all those things, then it will have been worthwhile?

1: Yes. Exactly. That’s… what I want! More than anything. I just want to be myself again!

2: Cool. Ok, so what would be something you might notice about yourself in any given moment, in any typical everyday situation, that would be a sign of you being yourself again?

1: Well, like that. Full of energy.

2: And how might that energy show up? Have a go at describing how it’d show up in any particular situation.

1: Well, like when I wake up, when I’m at work, err… after work, when I get home, I’d still be full of energy instead of drained and not wanting to do anything.

2: Ah ok, so pick any of those times, what would you be doing differently in the moment that would show you are full of energy, in a way which fits with you being yourself again?

1: So, if I pick one… when I get home. I’d get changed straight away and head straight into the kitchen to cook myself something nice to eat, then think about nice ways to spend the evening.

2: So… describe how you’d be heading into the kitchen differently, like maybe the way you’d be walking through the doorway which is typical of you being yourself again, with this energy.

1: The way I’d be walking through the doorway?!… well, ok, yeah it would be different actually, yeah, I’d be doing it… purposefully, upright, moving like this (sits up straight, moves arms around)

2: And to notice yourself doing that, what difference would that make for you?

1: It’d be nice, it’d feel like me, like… nice, yeah, nice

2: Nice, ok, and it’d feel like you. And how might that affect the way you do the next thing you do? I think you said you’d be cooking?

1: Yeah, and I’d be cooking something nice, properly, not just like a ready meal or something.

2: What would you cook?

1: Oh well, if I could cook anything… Mmm, moussaka!… I’d need to get some stuff in from the supermarket on the way home

2: And can you see yourself doing that?

1: Definitely. It’s on the way home, and I know exactly how to make the perfect moussaka! It’s kind of my speciality!

2: And cooking it in this different way? As yourself again? Can you see yourself doing it?

1: Yeah of course!… I mean, I’d need some things to change, to get into that space, y’know, but yeah I could see myself doing that again at some point, yeah

2: How will you know when you’re getting into that space? When any changes you’ve made, and any others that come to pass somehow have worked, so that you’re finding yourself getting into that space?

1: Oh, err… I think I’d just feel it, y’know?

2: Yeah, why not! What would you feel?

1: Oh I don’t know… no… I, err… no I don’t know…

2: ….

1: … I err, well sort of, I’d just feel… more… alive

2: Alive? Nice!

1: Yeah, I’d just feel alive!

2: What the closest you’ve come to feeling alive in that way recently?

1: Oh well I’ve felt it quite a lot recently. This morning. Walking here in the sunshine… I saw a baby sitting up in their pushchair, waving at the ducks! So cute!

2: Ah lovely, how do you account for your noticing that and feeling alive in that moment, instead of just, y’know carrying on, head down, being stressed, all that?

1: That’s a good question!… I think I just took a step back, even before I left the house. I don’t know how else to put it. I stepped back, took a different view, y’know? I just thought “oh whatever, let’s just do this” took a deep breath, took a step back and left the house.

2: Where did your next step land?

1: Ah! I see where you’re going with this! My next step, my next step landed in today! In a good day!

2: And who are you today?

1: Me! This, this is me!

2: Awesome! Well we’re just about of time here. Do you mind if I ask you just one more question?

1: Of course! Go ahead!

2: Ok, so I’ve asked you a lot of questions, and you’ve answered every one. I think it’s the answers, more than the questions, that can make a difference, so I’m wondering – what answer that you came up with stands out for you as something that might be useful to be taking away from this conversation?

1: Ooo good question!… I think, well obviously the thing about taking a step back… and feeling alive, just reminding myself of that feeling of being alive.

2: Nice. Really nice. Well, it’s been a pleasure meeting you.

1: You too. Thanks. Have a nice evening.

2: You too. See ya!