Back in March, I thought that by September, I'd be back working in the office and that by January 2021 the world would be totally back to normal.  How naive. 

On Friday I pretty much had a melt down.  I managed to get out for a walk in the park and was fine while I was out walking.  I use the time to think about what I need to do, to let my creative juices flow and make plans.  However when I got back to my flat the four walls encroached on me making me feel oppressed. I took one look at my desk overflowing with everything I should be doing and headed straight to the sofa and distracted myself by watching inane shows on TV and ordering a take away.  

COVID-19 has been tough on everyone.  For me it's been really tough mentally.  Living by myself and having to shield for five months has been tough, really tough.  Recently MDRBFHFE girlfriend Vicki, moved back to London and we've formed a bubble.  It's been great to have company in the evenings as that's when I struggle the most.  Faced with a long evening ahead, I turn to comfort eating and drinking and then wake up full of remorse that I've wasted yet another evening.

Just before COVID-19 disrupted life as we knew it, I started counselling (talking therapy) through the Dimbleby Cancer Care Centre at Guy's Hospital.  Initially I requested the counselling as I was finally ready to process my thoughts about planning for a life when there is no certainty.  How ironic.  During our sessions I've described my habits and behaviours and Sophia has listened.  She then knows exactly the right question to see things differently or to change my behaviour.  I've even taken the leap and joined WAY - Widowed and Young, nearly seven years after Matt passed.  

Counselling used to, and for some still does have, a negative stigma associated with it.  Some say you only need friends and family.  However friends and family feel obliged to try and help fix the problem.  If they offer a solution and you don't act on it they don't want to listen any more.  A counsellor is trained to listen and ask questions.  They are impartial.  They don't take sides or feel obliged to fix anything.  

I only have a couple of sessions left with Sophia and yet I feel I have a long way to go to break some of the destructive habits I've developed since losing Matt and then being diagnosed with incurable cancer.  However I can now recognise the habits.  The harder part is doing something about them.  That will be a time consuming project - just the thing I need to get me through COVID!

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