Monday, 24 March 2014

Never thought I'd be here.......Trainee Psychotherapist, Lifeblood Trustee, Lifeblood Buddies, Patient Day.....

I had a really lovely evening last night with a dear dear friend of mine who has totally turned her life around after a diagnosis completely changed her world a number of years ago. We were speaking about all the projects and jobs she is doing and were speaking about having faith that where you are today is exactly where you are supposed to be, and had everything not happened to her she wouldn't be doing what she is doing today and incidentally loving it!

It made me reflect on my life, my path and what I am now doing, or certainly journeying towards doing and how, difficult as it has been at times I am exactly where I need to be.

I trained as an actor musician and did various acting and teaching jobs over the years as well as working as an estate agent. In 2010 when I met my now fiancé I was working as an estate agent, living with a friend from drama school and just getting on with my life. I wasn't really sure whether being an estate agent was what I really wanted to do, or how I had really gotten there but after my dreams of going on tour had been shattered and with knees that kept letting my down and a bank balance that needed boosting, a stable, steady job seemed the place for me. When my knee started playing up again I thought the surgery I had would take me out of action for a couple of months tops, I never imagined I would never work as an estate agent again, or suddenly live with a permanent condition, PTS, after a DVT and multiple PE's.

I am now re-training in psychotherapy and counselling, am a trustee for Lifeblood: The Thrombosis Charity, am heading up Lifeblood Buddies and am a speaker at the first ever patient day in National Thrombosis Week. Sometimes I really do wonder how on earth I got here, but I know that this is where I am supposed to be.

I remember speaking with a friend some years ago when I was again a 'resting' actor and getting pretty fed up of waiting for something to happen. I wanted to be happy but was so confused about what that meant and everything I did seemed really to be for other people and not my own happiness, answering the question, 'what do you truly want?' is I think one of the hardest questions. My friend told me to go through every job I had ever had, every thing I had done and find the link, find what I really loved about it, what made me tick. My answer: helping people, helping people change/discover their potential, give them support. Even when I was in a theatre show which at the time I hoped would be my 'big break' I spent my time helping the new cast member learn all the dance routines, when I worked as an estate agent I always struggled with the fact that 'our client' was actually the person selling the property not buying, I wasn't someone who really cared for a demanding seller, and getting the best fee possible, what I cared about was meeting an applicant, getting to know them and finding them a property that fit their needs, it was about helping that person find what fits. That's what I am about today.

My re-training is at times really full on, but I am loving it. When I am sitting with a client, being able to really be there for someone and give them a space, it feels right. When I am teaching singing and helping someone reach THEIR goal no matter what that is, it feels right. When I am sat at home and I think of another idea for Lifeblood, it feels right, though sometimes I wish I could run before I can walk, I know I will get there.

Lifeblood Buddies is the first step in, I hope, a focus on support for those affected by thrombosis for Lifeblood. When I was diagnosed and went from being a relatively active, fit young women recovering from knee surgery, to feeling old before my time, it crushed me. I didn't understand why it had happened and I certainly didn't realise that nothing would be the same again. However if that hadn't have happened where would I be today? Still working as an estate agent? Would I be engaged? Would I be re-training? Would I have found what makes me happy or would I still be chasing someone else's dream?

Lifeblood Buddies is there to help you connect with someone who just may understand what you are going through when your world is changed after a thrombosis. I know I needed it. I wanted to be able to express how I was feeling when I was in the hospital not understanding what was going on in my young body. Someone who would understand how the prospect of going to a social event scared me and anxiety took over to the point where I would make up an excuse to get out of it, where I didn't feel able to fully express to those who didn't really understand how everything was making me feel.

If you think you could benefit from joining Lifeblood Buddies, or know someone who you think could click here to go to the application form.

This National Thrombosis Week is 5th-9th May and Lifeblood is having it's first ever patient day. The patient day is exactly that, a day dedicated to patients, where you can meet others who have been affected, listen to talks about Post Thrombotic Syndrome, anti-coagulation, the psychological affect of thrombosis and hear patient stories. For more information and to book you place click here.

Help me, help you, help others, help themselves.