Ziad K. Abdelnour
Today is the day. The big return to therapy.
Some would be hesitant to write about such things to complete strangers and even to close friends but here I am.
I don't talk about it a lot on the blog but I am a huge advocate of mental health wellness. While I don't always practice what I preach I hope that by being open about my own struggles and the part that counseling plays in my success in life those on the cusp of taking the plunge into some form of therapy. I think that therapy in whatever form has a big stigma attached to it. The idea it is something only damaged people or weak minded people chose to partake in.
If you think about it though, we're all damaged and weak in our own ways. Whether you admit it or not, well that's your deal.
Counseling could be meeting with a pastor or chaplain. It could be a licensed therapist or mental health counselor. It could be with a teacher or mentor. In my mind, it's not good for it to be someone who knows you very well and has created certain boxes to put you in. In fact, the more of a stranger I am the better.
For me, I picked someone who lives in a completely different town as me. Part of it was because her philosophy appeals to me but there is that level of distance that is really nice. No matter where I'm heading after a session, I will have time apart from all others to process. This space and time is something that I have found to be invaluable when going through counseling.
The "why" of heading into therapy is my Dad. Since my Dad died, I have found that my biggest challenge is the hole that has been left and the unbalance that has caused me. All of the ways I've learned to cope with stress and hardship in my life included him in some way and no one can fill the gap or pick up the slack. My biggest goal with my therapist is to find it in myself and in others to create new patterns and coping skills. It's also to be in a space where the expectations of my grief are not informed by my loved ones own experiences. I always say that I'm not good at grief and that is hard on those around me.
I really do think that if you've even entertained the idea of going to counseling, you should give it a shot. Many people go after huge life changing events but small things can get to us all sometimes.
Counseling is a great way to get the jump on things like anger and resentment that even little things can cause.
I'll let you all know how it goes. I hope you find some time to take care yourself as we head into the last week of January.