What was the wisest decision you made this year?
I had dug my heels in about the whole thing since my unsuccessful second attempt at it during my freshman year of high school. I didn't think it was right for me, and I didn't think it would do a whole lot of good. But once I hit a wall back in September, my Mother calmly suggested that I try it again. "I think you need this." She explained over a tearful phone call from my end. It turned out that she was right.
Two weeks later I was sitting down across from a therapist, trying not to let my stubborn demeanor get in the way of what I wanted to accomplish. Even though I've only been in counseling for three months, I'd say it was the best decision that I've made in 2011.
The main reason why I didn't want to go was because of the stigmas that often come with receiving that kind of help; that is, you have major issues and are obviously screwed up. Therefore, others must keep a lengthy distance from you, or avoid you altogether. That's why I didn't tell many of my friends right off the bat, or why some of them haven't heard about it from me personally.
Yes, those stigmas are still there. But I don't see myself as somebody that's screwed up; frankly, the ones with the issues are those that are willing to sit around and wallow in their own crap and keep making the same mistakes on a regular basis. My biggest problem, in general was that I was running around in circles and always wound up back in the same spot.
Thus far, it has been a refreshing, yet difficult journey. At first, my whole thought process was "how long is this going to take?" I didn't want to spend the next two and a half years missing out on so many things because I was so focused on getting myself together. But your life doesn't have to stop just because your dealing with a crisis. And you can't give yourself a time limit with this kind of stuff; true healing won't happen if you do.
I won't specifically talk about what has taken place in those sessions, simply because I'm not comfortable with sharing those details right now. A lot of it has had to do with my family. A lot of it has to do with friendships that I've been burned by over the years. I've had to come to terms with certain realities. But most of all, it has had to do with breaking this godforsaken cycle that I've been in since I was ten years old (almost a decade, if I really think about it).
I have felt like I have made quite a bit of progress thus far, but I still have a ways to go. I am hoping to get into group counseling this coming semester as opposed to just individual counseling. While I know that I'm not the only one having to go through this process, I think it would be helpful to actually believe it.
Making the decision to get professional help is almost never an easy one, but often turns out to be a wonderful one if gone about it the right way. For starters, you have to find somebody that will meet your needs; don't just stick with the first person you're given if you're not comfortable. And granted, not everyone is a writer, but journaling before each session and after each session has been a great tool in discussing what I felt I needed to discuss, and allowing what I learned to actually stick. Truthfully, a lot of what I have gained has stemmed from my own conclusions as opposed to just being told what I need to do.
I don't plan on seeking counseling for the rest of my life, because I don't think it's healthy. From where I'm standing at the moment, I can't speculate how long it will take. Regardless, I am grateful for the prayers, encouragement and support that I've received. I don't think I would be where I am right now if I was walking alone in this.
Which is only proof that we're never meant to do anything alone. And if you let allow people to support you and be there for you, you never have to.