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.
I’ve been wanting to address something on the blog for a long time.
I go to counseling.
There it is.
I said it.
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.
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.
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.