Today was my weekly counselling session.

Although I wouldn’t say I currently have depression I really do feel the benefit of ‘debriefing’ all of this unpleasant nausea situation with someone who spends an hour actually listening to me.

We talked about a few things.

One was the difficulty I was having trying to get back into eating, even though now I really only need to worry about feeling uncomfortable around strong food smells. Being scared to cook and eat in restaurants is really now just a hangover from the nausea. As I no longer particularly get any nausea I don’t need to find food so scary and repulsive. But somehow I just associate it with the very unpleasant nausea and I don’t like it anymore. I guess part of me directly associates eating with feeling sick – because I felt sick 24/7 for a time so some of the time I was eating I was also feeling sick. Also once I realised I wasn’t going to actually vomit if I ate, I decided I was best to eat normally (i.e. what the husband was eating, at normal meal times). This undoubtedly led to some positives – me only losing a half stone in the first trimester (could have been MUCH worse) and being reasonably healthy in terms of weight and nutrition now. But I didn’t like it, I was forcing food down when I felt crap and didn’t really want it, and I suppose this may have led me to have negative associations with eating normally. The Counsellor said although I don’t have an eating disorder I have ‘disordered eating’ and she seemed to think that would be quite normal following what it has followed for me. However, as I was clear about the cause and already trying to get past it she wasn’t overly concerned. She said though it was good to be having counselling and addressing it at this point, rather than it dragging on forever and me passing on weird eating habits to my baby down the line.

We also talked about me feeling judged for being so ill with the pregnancy nausea. It seems that right back at the very start I blamed myself for not being able to manage ‘morning sickness’ so well as everyone else I had seen get on with their normal lives, and then this feeling of self-blame and self-judgement was reinforced and exacerbated by the reactions I had from friends and medical professionals.

We also talked about how frustrated I felt with the NHS. We considered other circumstances in which I feel similarly frustrated (feeling misunderstood and not listened to) – how I deal with these (seething prolonged resentment) and where this comes from (no idea). More to do on this – to decide what (if anything) to do with this frustration and how to move past it.

The husband is out this evening so I have to cook my own dinner. OK, warm it up (the husband made me some bolognaise sauce yesterday) but even so this is a challenge for me. I’m trying. I hope that if I try I might realise that cooking and eating is fine. Hopefully I will then get back into the habit of not being scared of or repulsed by food.