It is often the case that the decision to come to counselling is made at the cusp of a life transition. Recognising the moment that sets off this transition can be hard to pinpoint however.
It may begin with a general sense of unease and disgruntlement, or an increased surge of strength and determination to change our circumstances. Although, the gradual awareness of these feelings is perhaps what marks the beginning of our journey towards the point when we have had enough, and our decision to make the move from here to there becomes conscious.
Enough of a relationship, a job, a home, of who you are in the world? Enough of feeling disconnected from your sense of self? ‘Transition’ in labour, just before a baby is born? The transition from victim to survivor? These moments can be life changing.
And so within this shift, this time of change, there will be both endings and new beginnings. There may be a sense of loss as you begin to move away from your old role, as if you are going through a grieving process, even though no-one has died. Yet a mixture of fear and excitement may also be experienced as you take up your new mantle. Anxiety about the unknown path that lies ahead, combined with a curiousity and anticipation about the potential that the future holds for you.
These are normal feelings to have during life transitions, as you actually live through this time ‘in between’. And sometimes it can be useful to look to others for support, to talk things through, both from a practical as well as emotional perspective. As you start out on your journey it may feel insurmountable, as if you can not possibly get to the other side in one piece, as if you are facing literally survival. Knowing that you are not alone along the way can make a real difference.
As many people’s stories testify, human beings can and do survive the most extraordinary feats of transition, but this does not mean that ordinary paths of change are any the less challenging or self-fullfilling. Every journey is different and unique to the individual who is driving it and living it. And while right now it may feel like a leap of faith into the unknown, most times, landing on two feet again but in a different place, can prove to be the best thing you ever did.