I made the decision to return to counseling for a season.
I’ve known for a while that I needed a “tune up”, but conveniently never got around to booking the appointment.
And it’s not that I’m ashamed of counseling...in fact, my friends will tell you that I’m pretty open about my experience a few years ago. There is an unfortunate stigma that people associate with things like counseling and mental health, and because of that it makes those needing help less likely to receive adequate care. I believe talking about our experiences can help combat those lies, and in my opinion everyone would benefit from a good counseling session at least once in their lifetime. Not your best friend chatting with you over coffee, although those times are indeed very important, but I’m talking about going to see a professional.
Someone trained in what they’re doing. Someone who isn’t your friend, has no personal investment in your life or those around you. Someone who can be completely unbiased and free to say the hard stuff.
So, knowing all of the benefits to counseling, why then was I being such a slacker when it came time to actually go back?
It’s because I know it works. And it scares me.
I understand in the deepest part of myself that if I go back, that those things that were still left unaddressed in my heart would begin to be rooted out. And if I truly want our sessions to be useful, I’ll have to be a little more vulnerable this time and I was afraid of where that vulnerability might take me.
The last time I attended counseling, the wounds were obvious. Triaging my emotional crisis was a cut and dry task. I wore my pain on my sleeve and I knew before I even walked through the doors what I was needing to talk about on any given day. But tonight...tonight I’m realizing that for this go ‘round I’m going to need to dig a little deeper to uncover those places I wasn’t ready or able to handle before.
Remember that “healing-comes-in-layers” thing? Yeah, that’s what’s happening.
I had to learn that going to counseling didn’t mean I was broken.
“People, especially those in emotional pain, don’t need fixing. They need to grow.”
It was okay to say, “I need help.” Doing so took some incredible bravery.
It’s been said that “Speaking our fears and goals out loud is powerful.” And being vulnerable & real was one of the most freeing gifts I could give myself.
Because isn’t the goal to live a healthy, full and purposeful life?
How could I do that if I was bound by my past?
Peeling back those places aren’t always pain free.
But it’s so worth it...and for now, I’ll just sit back and trust that God has a purpose in it.