So often we think of getting help or needing help as the therapy we see on TV. We sit in a chair and share all our problems but that was just not how it worked for me. I did sit in a chair and tell a therapist my problems but that is not where the healing came in. It honestly made me feel worse about myself. Let me walk you through my experiences with counselling.
I have recently learned that I started counselling at a young age. I don’t remember much about it as I had some health complications as a young child and the counsellor helped me with some of my surgeries as well as my mental health. In my child mind that wonderful lady was a doctor because we went to the hospital to see her. I have learned as I’ve gone through this journey that even at a young age that I already struggled with feeling inadequate and worthless. Although this counsellor was very helpful it did not solve the problem as I have struggled with mental health since than.
While I was attending Emmanuel Bible College I knew something wasn’t right and that I needed help. The college offered a few free sessions with a counsellor so I signed up. I made it about 20 minutes into my first session and said I had enough I’m fine and left. What we talked about quickly made me realize how bad my mental health was and I couldn’t handle it. It brought up things I had worked so hard to keep down. Looking back it is crazy to me that in such a positive point in my life where I was all in on becoming someone who would care for people I couldn't care for myself. It is a great reminder that we should check in on our loved ones even when everything in their life seems to be going great because they could be facing the hardest battle of there life.
After about a year and a half into marriage, I could know longer hide my scars from my wife and feeling as though I had no other choice I explained to her that I was cutting myself and that I needed help. She arranged with our church to get me help. I agreed to go because I felt like I needed to. In my mind I had to stick it out even if I didn’t want to because the church was helping pay for it and I would have felt guilty to quit. I didn’t want to show my wife that I was a failure and that drove me to continue going in the early stages. It’s ironic because wanting to finish counselling so I wouldn't be a failure is one of the many reasons I needed help.
Than after about 5 or 6 sessions a beautiful thing happened, I started to understand that it’s not about fixing the past or becoming something I'm not. It’s about learning about myself and understanding what sets me off and how I can, in a moment understand why I wanted to kill myself. It's about gaining the skills to walk myself out of a negative mindset because I have the tools. I have learned that it is about understanding my past trauma and knowing what my trigger points are. So that when I get triggered in an area of my heart I can recognize why I am reacting to something and can walk my way thought it reminding myself I am loved, I am worth it and I do deserve to live.
I want to recognize that this is my journey. I was helped by a counsellor but that isn’t the case for everyone and that doesn’t matter. There is no one size fits all in mental health. It’s about you, your truth and your journey. I want to about scary things so that we feel safe talking about our feeling with trusted people.
I want you to know that you are loved and I care about you!