Wherever I go in my car these days, if I need my wheelchair to get around when I arrive, I need to get it out of the boot and put the wheels on (I don’t have one of those fancy wheelchair lifts, but I’m sure one day I will, and in the meantime I can just think they’re cool).
Sometimes I wonder if therapists, in general, have a bit of an image problem. So this month I decided to play the role of Agony Aunt.
It’s always something of a shock when well-known strangers like Charlotte Dawson kill themselves, although her death was back in 2014. I felt the same when Greg King suicided in November 2012.
They feel familiar and yet they’re not. You feel sad but there’s no relationship to mourn. Life goes on with nothing missing.
Perhaps there’s even a subconscious, yet obviously false, belief that someone so well-known would have something to live for. Everything even.
Our DPSN theme for August is ‘Connection’. Connection is a hugely important part of the human experience and this month we’ve asked our bloggers to reflect on how they connect to others, themselves or the world around them. We want to hear your thoughts on connection too, so let us know in the comments below, or jump over to our Facebook page to join the conversation.
Most close relationships — be they parental, friendships, intimate or professional — begin with passion. We see all the good things — the cuteness, the interesting ideas, the good looks, the skills, the strengths.
As the relationship matures and develops, we need to bring in compassion. This allows us to understand and excuse the naughtiness, the lateness, the strange habits, the occasional inflexibility, the weaknesses.
Now that I have your attention…death can be a very depressing subject. But in the English language, there are many sayings involving death. When we laugh really hard, we say we have “died laughing”. When a performer live on stage feels a bad “vibe” from their audience, they may say they “died on stage” (although I’m sure this has never happened to any of the performers I know!)
Most people I know think of death as the end of everything, but many religions consider death to be only the beginning of another stage of life.
At 52, I am probably more than halfway on the journey to my own death, unless some clever scientist invents a way to live forever, or at least for more than 104 years.
Within the last year or two I seem to have developed a fear of flying. I still travel by plane, of course, because there are places I want to see and places I need to go. But flying makes me feel considerably more anxious than it ever used to.
Being a therapist, I’ve naturally done a huge amount of navel-gazing and self-reflection as to what this fear is about and why it has developed.