I do not remember the day when I was told I was adopted. I can't portray a picturesque, meadowy, green, crisp Autumnal backdrop for you where my parents and I walked side by side and discussed the fact that I was not biologically theirs, mainly because I was a toddler at the time and I can barely remember what I had for dinner the other night. So I guess I will have to settle for this blog post.
For as long as I can (or not so as the case is more truthfully) remember, I have always known I was adopted. My parents have always been honest with me about my past, and I think I secretly enjoyed knowing that I had a secret photo album filled with images of my birth parents given to me when I was 'handed over' so to speak, that I could peruse whenever I liked. Knowing that very few others knew this about me was liberating, refreshing, and something I relished.
It was only recently that I decided it was the right time in my 'adult' life as a 23-year-old graduate with a job and some letters after my name to really donate some time to my thoughts not just about my status as an adopted individual, but on a range of experiences in my life in general. Life is fast-paced, unpredictable, and tough at times, and it felt like the right time to slow down and take stock.
Some facts I can divulge about myself include that I can make a honk noise with my mouth *demonstrations available on request*, can perform (just about) four instruments, and that it does not take a lot for a poem to make me cry....will people stop chopping onions beside me when I'm reading please?!
However, some facts I can't divulge include the time I was born, what features I specifically get from which biological parent, and what they're doing at this very moment I'm sat here writing this. This isn't a sad thing, not really, it's just a fact in my life, and a chapter in my book of life that probably needs to be addressed, bookmarked, and have the pages turned again with a bit more focus.
As a past student of English I know how the introductory chapters of a book can strongly pave the way for the subsequent ones. So maybe it's about time I put down my other books, take a deep breath and start to read my own humble novella with a little more care and detail.
This is why I am joining the #IGetCounselling movement. Now no screams please, there is enough stigma attached to seeking help. As an open book myself I felt it was only right to share my pre and post counselling experiences with you reading this. Some of you might think it's TMI (too.much.info) and that's fine, but I hope for some of you it will give you the extra push or the switch on the light bulb to consider getting your own psychological self improvement movement in motion.
I'm signing myself up for an online counselling session with PlusGuidance.com, and truth be told, I'm actually looking forward to it. With a new year comes new opportunities and potential experiences, and while I think the 'new year, new me' ethos is wearing a little thin, I do agree that there is the chance to improve my own mental wellbeing and mindfulness, and so that's exactly what I'm going to try and do.
Counselling isn't all lying on couches in dark rooms with pointed-nosed, sharp-spectacled counsellors. It's just talking. Talking with a professional who is trained to not only hear, but to actually listen, and offer some thoughts that are at this point in time, alien.
As I was growing up, counselling was always offered to me, but as an awkward 13 year old confused about which boys to fancy, what clothes to wear, and what subjects to enjoy at school, I was nervous of the unknown, unfamiliar nature of counselling, so my adoption was slammed and punched down into my psyche - and now it's time to address it.
I am by no means saying 'I'm adopted therefore I need counselling' because my honest opinion is that everyone should feel comfortable enough and be able to get counselling if they wanted to.
To have a designated time every two weeks or month where you can talk about any financial, relationship, career concerns, that can act as a therapeutic process of reflection and discussion, a bit like keeping a diary but without an ink-stained wrist and the anxiety that someone, one day, might possibly stumble across it.
I guess I never sought counselling before because I was content with my life at home in Essex with my parents and my two siblings, and looking back seemed like a betrayal and a regression. Sometimes it's good to read and relive old chapters before you write future ones- it's time for me to do some more writing.
If you'd like to join #IGetCounselling, sign up for your free introductory session with Plus Guidance