Today I went to see the psychologist I have known since neonatal who has given me counselling and been somewhat of an extra helping hand for me. At low points in the past she has taken charge and sorted things out with my GP to kick-start more help and has offered in the past to help with things in a non-professional environment like watching Wriggles or doing some ironing. We get on well and I think she takes joy from seeing Wriggles growing up into the menace/delight that she now is. I told her how I had been feeling recently again, and we talked about ways to try and un-knot the knots that are stopping me in my tracks. She referred to them as "grounding" and a cross between meditative exercises and a comforting device.
My biggest fears are something endangering Wriggles and failing as a parent. These go hand in hand; if something happened to Wriggles I would feel it would be my fault. If I fail as something as a parent then I risk putting Wriggles in danger or at best, an unsuitable situation.
I used the image of Wriggles to soothe me, as she is the reason I am pulled back down to the land of the living and the reason I go on everyday, keep loving and go through things I may rather now. I tried to particularly focus on Wriggles now: healthy and content. The idea is to slow down and use as many senses as you can to bring the visualisation to "life". Partly the idea is that if negative emotions are enough to wreak havoc in your life manifesting in physical symptoms, then that power harnessed in positive, compassionate and loving emotion should be able to soothe a soul in difficulty and break through the intensity of fear. We talked about smell (I have always maintained that to me, Wriggles smells like cake-mix), tastes (she has a bit of a thing for nibbling crumbs of cheesey biscuits), sounds ("AHAHA" is her little machine-gun like laugh), touch (velvety soft skin and tiny, gripping hands) and visuals, which are more self explanatory. We talked about her likes (books-anything with pages really including colour supplements from papers or junk mail), special places (the swings; she gets all excited and waves her hands wildly and splutters with glee when they come into view on the path in the park) and special outfits. We used a physical object (her cardigan) to try and sum up all the ideas and to use it, slightly like a small child uses a favourite toy or comforter. I gripped onto it tight, felt the cotton weave and buried my face into it. And burst into tears. My grounding-cardigan felt like Wriggles, precious and safe and made me afraid it might crumble away. I held it tighter and slowly calmed down and felt some tension ebb away.
Whether I keep the cardigan or find a special object or token, I plan to take this advice and find something physical to use as a focus to carry with me at all times. Then when I feel anxious, sad, unhappy, despairing, grieving, panicky or angry, if I loose myself in this object, both in what it represents and the physicality of it hopefully the focus is shifted and the fears and negative emotions that hold me subside. It will need practise and will not be the sole thing that helps me re-find my footing. But I am willing to try anything! I do like to "borrow" Wriggles' soft toys sometimes at night when I feel upset, but I think if I start jaunting to work with a stuffed donkey or rattling Mouse in my handbag they might really think I have flipped!