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Warning: this post contains references to rap which might not be everyone’s cup of tea. But I hope this will not prevent you from reading to the end.

You may remember that in my last post I spoke about agoraphobia and how it impacted my life. Not to go on at length, but to explain how Professor Green (a British rapper, not a University professor) helped me in my own healing process, I would like to share my thoughts with you. I also want to touch on talking therapy/counselling which I really believed saved me during this uncertain and debilitating period of my life.

I was at home watching ‘Loose Women’* on television, and Professor Green was a guest on the programme. Professor Green is a well-known rapper who catapulted to fame in recent years. He is a young man who has documented how his early life impacted the way he is today and how his music reflects this. He grew up on a council estate in London, mainly raised by his grandmother. His father was absent for most of his life. This affected him in many negative ways, but he rose above this to become an international rap star. Professor Green’s father took his own life shortly after he had become reconciled with his son many years later and after he [Green] had become famous. This devastated him and he has since recorded a television programme about suicide in which he speaks openly about his love for his grandmother (who stabilised his childhood) and the impact his father’s untimely death had on his own life.

To get to the point, Professor Green spoke about counselling on Loose Women. He talked about how it helped him come to terms with his ‘demons’. I was incredibly impressed and touched at how openly this young man spoke about his own experiences with mental health issues that I listened with more interest than usual. Having my own mental health issues (PTSD, chronic anxiety and agoraphobia) his thoughts resonated with me.

Here comes the rapping! Those of you who have had the ‘pleasure’ of watching last year’s ‘X Factor’ will get a better feel of what I’d like you to do if you watched Honey G’s performance as a contestant. Honey G would rap saying:

“When I say Honey, you say G”, and this would be repeated many times, depending on how the audience received it. It went down really well. If you like that sort of thing. It’s a matter of taste. So here is my version:

When I say: ‘Professor’ you say: ‘Green’
Me: When I say Professor
You say: Green!
Me: When I say Professor
You say: ‘Green’

I was sittin’ in my home
All alone
got no friends
To call my own
Wanting someone to pick up the ‘phone
give me a call
so I don’t drown
In my sorrows
On my own

Me: When I say Professor
You say: Green!
Me: When I say Professor
You say: Green!

Mental health
has got a bad rap
That’s why I’m gonna
Put it on the map!
Shout it loud
and shout it clear
Mental health
There’s nothing to fear!

Me: When I say Professor
You say: Green
x2

I hope you managed to get a rhythm going. That helps! I hope Lady G and Tareau weren’t the only ones rapping along with me. Were you rapping Hariod? Anna?

Seriously, Professor Green was instrumental in getting me back on the road to recovery. He not only talked about how counselling helped him in his darkest periods, but he went on to say that although his situation was much improved, he still used counselling as therapy whenever he felt he needed it. And consequently, he was at present in therapy. Those words propelled me into action. If Professor Green was on daytime television, advocating counselling and he was not ashamed or embarrassed, what say me?

After the programme, I immediately went on-line to research counsellors in my area. I was very fortunate to find someone who has been incredibly helpful and who has allowed me to see that my case is not hopeless. That was over one year ago and I haven’t looked back since. Thanks Professor Green! I am not going to suggest that a few trips to a counsellor will make everything better. It takes time. It takes a willingness to partake in your own healing. It takes courage. It takes persistence. It takes faith. Often time, it can seem there is no light at the end of the tunnel. I’d like to encourage those who feel that there is no way out, that I found mine, and you can too.

~ Marie Williams 2017

* ‘Loose Women’ is a day-time television programme in which a panel of women discuss current topics.
– Final Part 3 to follow

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