I have a Counselor. Actually, I’ve had many throughout the years and I’ve loved them all. Each helped me in different stages of my life. I guess I should note, I didn’t love them all. If we didn’t make an immediate connection, I moved along. So those that I stayed with, I loved them.
I am a true believer of seeking counseling to help stabilize your mental health. I personally have seen a counselor for depression, for setting boundaries, for pressure and anxiety I was feeling about life and most recently for Postpartum Depression (two times).
Each season of my life has looked different when it comes to how often I met with my counselor. I have gone monthly, bi weekly or even weekly for a period of time while I was working on something really hard. I have also stayed connected to my counselor and have touched base even when I’m feeling great for what I call a “tune up”. It helps me to stay grounded, but also to stay connected so when something bigger does come up, we are able to jump right back in and dust off the tools maybe we’ve already learned for something else to help me move forward through this tough season. Seeing a counselor is for sure part of my self care practices. One of the top ones on the list for sure!
Life can be HARD. The pressure others put on us, and the pressure we put on ourselves is ridiculous. I remember my counselor giving me a visual of what I was explaining to her that really resonated with me. The visual was of me standing in quicksand, sinking. My shoulders were layered with small rocks on my shoulders. The point was that I was sinking and allowing the weight of others to bring me further and further down. I was so focused on everyone else's needs, literally to a fault, that I was drowning. That’s when I decided that I was going to make myself a priority. That’s when I learned the word “No” and started to use it, often.
It goes a little something like this.
“I’m sorry, but no, I can’t make it to that event this weekend or weeknight.”
“I’m sorry, but no, I don’t make plans on Sunday.”
“I’m sorry, but no, I cannot own your stress and anxiety as my own. You’ll need to figure that out on your own.”
No thank you, no thank you, no thank you.
It’s been a couple of years now since learning and shifting my mindset. I have it down pretty well, but it can still be hard.
Want to know something sad though?
My counselor left the practice! Yup, she’s gone. I KNOW RIGHT!? It’s like breaking up with your best girlfriend. I cried so hard when she told me. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. She tried to introduce me to some other women in her practice, but instead I actually stopped going after she left throughout the summer (which was a bad idea because it was a TOUGH summer to say the very least). I recently started seeing someone new. This is where the above insert comes in. I gave her a shot and she was so so so kind, but to be honest, we weren’t really connecting. She just wasn’t for me. So I am back to the drawing board on finding my new person. Sigh. If you’ve ever tried counseling before and thought “Nay, this isn’t for me!” Then you probably didn’t have the right person by your side. It’s all about the connection. When you find them, it’s like magic!
Look, I am a true believe of personal development and self care and seeing a counselor is one of the ways that I do that for myself. I have learned that your mental health is a priority. If you seek counseling, it does not mean you are broken, but actually the complete opposite. It means that you are putting yourself first. That you are trying to heal, learn, grow and gain more tools to put in your toolbox to help you be the best version of yourself. In order to live your best life, and find happiness and joy, you need to dig into what’s going on in your life. Hard times and problems are always going to come up, but connecting with a counselor and finding the right tools to help you deal with them will set you up to navigate around these times. You just need to do the work to get yourself back on track. Be proud, not ashamed if you connect with a counselor. I truly believe that one of the best ways to heal in life is to get it all out. Remember, you need to be a priority to yourself. I’m rooting for you!
It is an act of bravery to show your feelings. - Gayle Forman
Continue your journey to be the best version of YOU, unapologetically.