sam cleasby blogger mental health counsellor sheffield

So I have something to tell you…

I have been quite open on here about the ups and downs of this journey of mine, through meds, hospital stays, 5 surgeries, months of recovery and the multitude of things going wrong, I have documented the lot.  There are times when I feel positive and upbeat and other times when I feel thoroughly defeated.

You may have noticed that I didn’t blog for a good few months this year (from April to July) which is the longest time I have abandoned this place for.  The reason for that time away is that I am really struggling mentally.  And after months of hiding my feelings and plastering a smile on my face, I decided to start seeing a counsellor a few weeks ago.

I haven’t told many people this, I suppose I just wanted to keep it for me for a while, to try it out and see how I felt about it.  I suppose there is a small part of me that is a little embarrassed, I am not from a place or family that talks about needing support or showing any vulnerability or weakness.  I know this is bullshit, but I am fast discovering just how much crap my upbringing and environment has subconsciously taught me.

I don’t want to go into it too much, it is very much a private thing between me and her.  But I do want to say that just a month in, and I am feeling the benefit of it week on week.  Don’t get me wrong, it is HARD.  We are talking about things that hurt. A lot.  We are talking about things that bring a lump to my throat to just think about, let alone say them in front of another human.  But it is helping me to start to learn about myself, to pull things apart and think about them in a new way.

It is helping me to not only understand myself, but to start to think about the people in my life and how they are feeling and how their actions have affected me.

sam cleasby blogger mental health counsellor sheffield

It’s weird, I am quite controlled, yet when I am there, things come out of my mouth that I didn’t even know I wanted to say, that I hadn’t even thought about.  And her responses sometimes floor me.

I struggled with the very idea of counselling because I struggle with people who make excuses for their own behaviour (she has made me realise that growing up with alcoholics and drug addicts will do that to a person!). And so there is a big part of me that feels like I shouldn’t be there complaining, that I should just figure my shit out and deal with it myself.

But another part of me has realised that figuring my shit out requires the input of a very clever and compassionate therapist at this point in my life. And that’s OK.

I thought about whether to share this with you or not, and I came to the conclusion that if I do this, I do it honestly. I don’t want someone reading this blog and only seeing the Mary Poppins, sweetness and light, positive rainbow side of me and thinking ‘oh. why do I feel so shit and she is ok?’ I want to share the highs, and the lows.

I want to tell you all, and myself, that even when things are awful, even when you want to hide in bed or run away, when you feel like you are a burden to those around you, when you wonder what the point in carrying on is, when the world feels like a dark an scary place; you aren’t alone, I am here and I understand.

Love Sam xx


11 replies
  1. anika
    anika says:

    hey Sam.
    Just be glad to have found someone who “fits” ( I heard sometimes that can take ages…) . I guess it really can be hard but accept the helping hand and make the best of it.
    Isn’t it reassuring to know there is someone you can turn to who actually can help ( because, after all, she is a professional ..)
    She can do things that family and friends are just not able to do. Which again is a very good thing for everyone involved cause you are the one who ( hopefully) benefits and feels better at the end of that rocky road.
    And you have the safety of knowing you will always have that family/ friend support- network, no matter what ( plus your councelor if u need her ) , isn’t that a blessing ?
    Thnx for sahring your vulnerable side with us as well
    Take care, all the best,

  2. Tilly
    Tilly says:

    I really want to thank you for being open and sharing this side of your life with IBD. Nobody ever considered my mental health when I developed IBD as a teen, and it has really messed me up. It frustrates me to no end that (it feels like) nobody even thinks about how much this illness impacts on other areas of your life, not just physically. And I am so grateful for bloggers like yourself, who have a platform and a respectful following who will take what you say on board, and maybe begin to be the change we want to see. It would be wonderful if the treatment of illnesses of all kinds also took into account a patients mental health. I am so pleased you’ve found a someone to help, as I think of you often and wonder how you’re doing especially since you’ve been so forthcoming about your struggles with your feelings. I had a couple of sessions through my work and it was the same feeling – things I’ve never said out loud or talked about just seemed to flop out of my mouth. It was liberating to talk to someone who didn’t know me, or my past,and who weren’t there to judge, but just listen and help. I’ve never had that before. All the best with your new counselling relationship – I hope you continue to find it helpful! <3 x

  3. Sheela Cousins
    Sheela Cousins says:

    Hi Sam, I had UC since I was 18 [I’m now 51], a difficult marriage but one which blessed me with 5 children, and then breast cancer with all the trimmings 3 years ago. I was devastated this year when I was told that I needed an ileostomy – honestly, it was worse news to me than my cancer diagnosis! But then I found your blog. It helped me to accept that the bag would save my life, that I can still look good in clothes [and I really DO!!] Your blog even helped me decide that I probably won’t opt for a J-pouch as I am just so comfortable and healthy [for the first time since 1983!] and don’t want anything to change that. Like you, I’m a keep it to myself, stiff upper lip, type of woman – but it actually keeps all the hurt, anger, pain inside and that can only manifest itself as inflammation somewhere in the body [in our cases the bowel I guess]. It takes great strength to accept when you’re struggling and to see a counsellor, but it’s a healthy decision and you should be so proud of yourself. You’ve achieved so much and continue to do so much for all of us in the IBD community – it’s time for you to do something wonderful for YOU. Lots of love to you xxxx

  4. Adele Bailey
    Adele Bailey says:

    Same here Sam. Life has been really tough in the last few years. Illness, businesses, losing friends & family. Ignoring the clouds but knowing they wont go away unless you confront them. I havent tried councilling yet, but i dont think im far behind you. Biggups you amazing woman. You give hope & strength to many thanks to your honesty. xxxxxxxxx

  5. Jacquie
    Jacquie says:

    Really sad to know you have been feeling this way. I’ve dealing with depression for quite a few years now, & have been to a psychiatrist as well, so I get it. It’s not easy to ‘tell all’ & I’m glad you are finding it helpful.

    Sending you nothing but healing happy vibes & goodwill….hugs!

  6. Val
    Val says:

    I can relate to the comment above about finding some one that fits. I had a councillor who was absolutely brilliant and she even got me out the house. (I am acrophobic). Then she left and I havnt been able to connect with any other since. Thankyou for sharing. By you doing this it will empower others to seek the help they desperately need . I don’t mean anything by it but it will be a case if if Sam can I can which is a good thing. Keep sharing. It helps so many of us. Look after yourself lovely lady. Xxxx

  7. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    I’m proud of you. It’s not an easy thing to do – counseling AND exposing yourself on the internet in such a vulnerable way. You are truly an inspiring person. I’m also glad that it’s helping!

  8. Mai-ana Hutchinson
    Mai-ana Hutchinson says:

    Hey…I did counselling last year, made such a difference and I do recommend it. I have found that being honest about my mental health has also been a great. I have recently started mediatiation as well, something that the counsellor did recommend last year, but I wasn’t ready. I am now ready and it makes a difference to me as well. Keep plugging away day by day, bit by bit. You got this.

  9. Jen warmington
    Jen warmington says:

    Thanks Sam, I’m struggling right now too and it’s comforting to know that I’m not alone. You’re not alone either. Xx

  10. Beth
    Beth says:

    Hi Sam, I have done the same recently. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, it shows you are trying to help yourself xx


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.