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Counselling reminds me of frailty of life

December 10th, 2013 2 min read

Counselling session continues… where was I? Yes, we are taking a break because nerves are raw, especially mine. And so the session turns more personal and the counsellor wants to know how we deal with stresses of life.

He warns that stress can cause the immune system not to respond to the njugus as expected because with it comes high blood pressure, insomnia, lack of appetite, fatigue, indigestion among other complications which could be harmful to the already compromised immune system.

The elderly lady is more than will ing to go first.

Major diversion

She starts by telling us how a few weeks ago, her son was causing her stress. Apparently, after much insistence on her part, the son married. I almost ask how that serves to reduce her stress levels, how her blood pressure shot up and had headaches for days.

In my humble opinion, she was also to blame. Why force your child to marry? In retrospect, I also understood where she was coming from.

HIV teaches us the frailty of life and at times, in our subconscious, we want to achieve everything in the shortest time possible.

For her, I think she yearned to have a grandchild and not necessarily getting her son to settle down. We hear you mama, all the drama in your life. But how do you deal with stress?

Seeing a shrink

The story was a nice break but surely, is it me or had she completely missed the point as usual?

A few years back, I had to see a psychiatrist to cope. I did not know what I was feeling, when to feel it, and life was one big dark cloud. Any time I allowed myself to think, I got so depressed. What future did I have? Would I see my son grow up?

Would I suffer before I died? Would my family think less of me? Why me? So many questions.

One thing the psychiatrist told me was that it was okay to feel, to allow myself to grieve and only then would I begin to heal.

This lady needed what this session may never offer her. She was in the grieving stage and it was gnawing at her like a cancer. But I understood since I had walked that path.

Tranquillisers and time were a need not a want. I only prayed that one day she would be able to move on beyond her status like I had. I made a mental note to try and get her number before we left.

Find an outlet for stress

Ms Trendy’s solution to stress was long walks and chewing gum. While we were all waiting for her to elaborate, she took a phone call. I was amused by her, she was not about to divulge anything personal and I respected her need for privacy.


After all, it was only fair to try and salvage whatever privacy one could afford.

When I was asked how I dealt with stress, I said I write and also confide in a few friends who are always ready to listen.
I realise it’s impossible to completely avoid stress, but the key is learning how to cope without losing ourselves to it.