Last night, I couldn't get to sleep. I was literally shaking in my bed. I felt anxiety, fear, dread, you name it - and all in the name of my first appointment with a counsellor as my long path to some kind of help begins. Every time I drifted to sleep, I woke with a start, and by the time I got to sleep properly I had decided that in the morning I would cancel my appointment. In the morning I woke up, and yes I almost did cancel it. But something told me no, something told me I had to go. But I couldn't face the anxiety so I rolled back over and closed my eyes to sleep the morning away. I got up at lunchtime, endured a couple of hours, and arrived at my appointment in the afternoon. Oh my god! I was worried for absolutely nothing. The counsellor I saw was very patient and non-judgemental; he appeared to understand and take in what I was saying. Through the course of the first 10 minutes my fear had been replaced by something positive - I had taken a big step, and this guy was genuinely here to help me. By the end of the hour, I left the place looking forward to my next appointment (which, incidentally, is in two weeks' time). In just an hour he had helped me to see different ways of looking at life and myself, and to begin to understand where some of my most deep-rooted issues may stem from. He then explained a 'mathematical' theory which likens the relationship between actual self, ideal self and self-esteem as an equilateral triangle - in other words, the more distance there is between your actual self and the self you'd like to be, the lower your self-esteem is. And for me, that's absolutely spot on. The coming sessions he said would be like a journey to discovering who I really am, who I'd like to be, and how I can change the things I want to change. I really only posted this because, genuinely, I was petrified about going to that appointment. And there was totally no need to be. I wanted to let other people who might be equally scared know that counselling is most likely not as bad as it may seem beforehand!