For Crazy People Only

Seriously.

You should only read this if you’re crazy.

Stop right now if you are a completely sane person.

Stop. Do not pass go. Do not collect 200. This is for the real nut jobs and nobody else.

sad girl

sad girl

I’ve been wanting to address something on the blog for a long time.

I go to counseling.

There it is.

I said it.

Ahh…

I don’t care if I’m the first. I don’t care if I’m the only one. I don’t care if everyone who reads this blog disagrees with my choice to see a therapist.

I’ve avoided the therapy office for years; I felt like it had a whole lot of shame attached to it.  I felt like if I went I would be a failure, unable to heal myself. The only time I had gone in the past was as an RA when I found myself recommending counseling to girls on my floor but had never been myself.  Of course at the time…I was feeling great and not really in need of someone to talk to. My boss that year may still tell you differently seeing as I cried in her office almost every week.

I’m blaming that on the then boyfriend.

emo face

emo face

I don’t suffer from a typical mental health problem. I don’t have bio-polar or schizophrenia. I don’t start sweating when I see wet paper bags or balloons.  I don’t believe that I even need medication.

But I do get sad.

I do find myself sometime completely and totally unable to hoist myself out of the pit that I dug days, weeks or months before.

I DO find myself obsessing about things that aren’t really a problem – things that most people let roll off their back.

One thing that someone said can send me into a downward spiral and my normally outgoing self becomes silent and vacant and distant.

What I’ve never understood is the stigma that seems to accompany therapy.

People don’t want to admit they’ve been, myself included.

If you tell your family or friends that you’re seeing a counselor they feel that that means you are at your worst point ever, which may not be true at all.

Even as I decided to go find a counselor I found myself saying, “Really? Has it gotten to this point?”

What?! The point where you’re finally honest with yourself? The point where you admit that you have a problem? The point where you lay down your pride and ask for help?

This doesn’t seem like a low point at all but rather good practice for a life long journey.

What I also don’t understand is why mental health is not considered part of your general health.  Andrew and I had a hard time finding a counselor that would take our health insurance. Why is that? Isn’t it just as important to make sure your sinuses are clear and healthy as it is to make sure your brain is healthy? We let doctors poke and prod every part of our bodies to make sure we don’t have cancer of any sort but we don’t go to talk to someone to make sure we’re ok?

It blows my mind that women go almost yearly to get their boobs painfully squished by a veritable garage door but they won’t got to a nice warm cozy office to talk to someone about their struggles.

Something is wrong with that.

More than 30,000 people commit suicide in the US every year…that’s not just sick…that’s in critical condition.

Man! I miss wearing those jeans.

Man! I miss wearing those jeans.

I’m not saying that everyone of you should go out and see a counselor.  I’m not even saying that I’m better than anyone for going.  It took me years and I’m sweating as I write this.

Therapy is only a means to an end.  Every good counselor should be working themselves out of a job.  Counseling should help us relate  to our lives and our family and friends better.

Most of all…we should be talking.  We should be open and understanding of those around us.  We should be seeking to care not only for our friend’s and family’s physical needs but for their mental health as well.

Are you there for the people that need you?

Are you being honest about what you struggle with to those who truly care about you?

I’m looking to change that in my life. I might be crazy but I’m doing it anyway.

In other parts of my world: 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced.  Could be any day now.

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16 responses

  1. Totally reasonable. I had some counseling that was started because of the catalyst of a bad relationship, but I kept it up for a while after, even when I was thinking far more clearly and doing much better. It just helps you keep your thoughts in line and in the proper priority.

  2. I agree that we really need to talk more and deal with our problems. I have a friend who just miscarried and she will not talk to me about it. I don’t want to push her but she is hurting and I desperately want to help. But she will not let me, all I can do is cry for her and hope maybe she will let me be there for her.

  3. It’s really good to get it all out with someone. Especially someone with some wisdom, who is patient and will let you get it out, and maybe even help you deal with it. I had wanted to do this for a long time, and finally did, and it was so freeing.
    I highly recommend it, if you can find someone who you are willing to trust.

    God be with you always.

  4. Val:

    I go through periods of profound sadness also, and understand, at least to some measure, what you’re going through. Perhaps for very different reasons, but the manifestation sounds quite similar. Best wishes, and I am certain you are doing yourself a great service. That’s exactly what professional counselors are for, and there is absolutely no shame whatsoever in utilizing their services.

    Much love

    Tommy

  5. It’s great to have someone that will let you dump all your troubles on them. Someone that fully listens. Someone that is patient. Someone that cares. Someone that won’t snap at you yet holds you accountable. Someone that offers good advice.

    Happily there are several people in my life that will do just that. All it takes is for me to ask for the help. Thanks to God, Alane, Gail, Dan, Karl, Loris, Chris, Mom, Chris, Cathy and others that I have missed….Oh yes my counselor, Mike.

  6. Val,

    I think this is great and so greatly appreciate you having the courage to talk about it. I have had a really bad battle with depression after Piper was born and was afraid to get help. I am now turning things around a little (feeling like my hormones are regulating again), but I wasted an entire year being sad and sleeping! I couldn’t bring myself to use the word “depressed” though I knew in my heart that was the problem. I wouldn’t get help like you are now.

    I have thought many times about going to counseling to deal with some things that motherhood brings along, but I never thought it would be covered by insurance and we don’t have the money for it ourselves. I’ll have to check into it some more.

    Anyway, thank you for your post. I love reading them.

  7. yay val! I’m super proud of you for your choice to see a doctor/counselor–which totally makes sense(I love the health perspective you rightly assert here)–AND for your choice to share that decision with others. I know for a fact that it will help someone else make that healthy choice for themselves and their family. Indeed, you might have just saved someone’s life. So proud, so proud. Way to go 🙂

  8. I love, love real people… it is really my fav thing about your blog (besides your great writing and witty humor). I love how real you are. I think it is great that you get counseling. And all of your reasons for going are so wise. But, even more great than that, I think it is great you are talking about it with all of us. B/c your right there shouldn’t be a stigma and we shouldn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed about it. I love you Val!

  9. Hey Val. There certainly are varied responses to seeking counseling. I’m glad that you’re trying to remove some of the stigma. I hope you find it helpful. And I hope you have a healthy baby! Those 9 months just flew by.

  10. Val this is a great line….’This doesn’t seem like a low point at all but rather good practice for a life long journey.’

    Perfect reason to take care of your mind, heart and emotions because that will make you a WHOLE complete well person.

    I love those backyard photo’s….

  11. lol. seeing a counselor is like saying ‘ i need PROFESSIONAL help’ which is somehow a bad thing only in one’s attitude. For everything else we applaud people for paying an expert to do a job too hard for them. We get our nails and hair done by professionals, get our wills and degrees from professionals, even buy our bread and our cereal and our vegetables from professionals. “DUH!!!”

    I’ve never been to a professional therapist, but i regularly seek advice and counsel and encouragement from people i trust, who’s experience is related. Heck, I MARRIED a counselor with the wonderful benefit of in-house help!lol!

    I heartily agree that it takes bravery and good judgment to determine your need and to choose to use the resources available. Im not at all surprised that someone of your sensitive, artistic nature gets sad a lot. There is pain everywhere. And there is Someone Who carries it all the time. To share the sadness of the world (or your tiny piece in it) with Him, is the opportunity to join in His cross and the rebuilding of the happiness of His kingdom.

  12. I think if everyone digs deep down they can admit they struggle with some kind of sadness every now and then. I know I do. There doesn’t even have to be a reason for it. In fact, most of the time I can’t explain it and will just tell my husband that I am having “one of those days” and sorry in advance for being moody.

    I went to counseling in high school. I could have really used someone to talk to a few years ago… but now I have finally found 2 good friends that I can confide in about anything without having to worry if they will tell someone else. It feels good to be able to get it out in the open.

    Thanks for your post!!

  13. Pingback: To Be So Lucky « Bed By Day – Tales of a human musician

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