This is going to be what feels like a very personal post. One that I will probably write here then forget that I put on my blog and when people ask me about it, that’s when I’m going to remember that I chose to share this. But me sharing this is for anyone else who actually needs to know that it’s okay to seek help.
A time came when I was really really low last year. My sister would come in my room and I was always asleep and this was in the summer going into autumn. She’d ask if I was okay and I was able to quickly mutter, “Yeah.” and go back to sleep. I stayed in all the time and the only place I allowed myself to be seen was work. In a way, it was the only place I could wear a mask because, at work, people only know what you want them to know but you can’t hide that from your loved ones. I’d go to church and sit in the back for an hour, make notes and go home.
A day came when I picked up the phone and called a friend. I spoke to her about so much and I cried uncontrollably, I felt so lost with my personal life and I felt very alone as well as lonely. After listening to me for ages she said, “I think you should talk to a professional.” Now usually I would be hurt by something like this. I never thought what I was going through was so bad that I would need to see someone “professionally”. Instead of being offended, I agreed and I understood why. A time comes when you realise that talking to your friends is helpful but it isn’t always the best option. The church is great but what may be missing is a one to one conversation. So, I made an active decision to go to counselling.
Before I started counselling I told a few other people and the more open I became with it, the more I realised that so many other people had experienced therapy. No longer did I feel a sense of shame but a sense of relief that seeking help is nothing to be ashamed about. We all have so many burdens we are dealing with individually. Daddy issues, family problems, relationship issues and dealing with the past. None of us is void of emotion and none of us should pretend to be just that. Being strong all the time is HARD. Trust me, I have tried and failed and crumbled. But I share this to say don’t crumble, seek help. Anytime you realise you can’t do it alone, you become more powerful in understanding there is strength in your weaknesses.
When I first started I was told it would get worse before it got better and that was entirely true. However, in it getting worse at first I was able to deal with real issues and get to the route of a lot of pain. We can’t always skip over the pain part of life. Eventually, we have to address the cracks in the pavements of our lives and allow them to be part of the beautiful masterpiece that is our story. So I dealt with it and then I overcame. In overcoming there is much joy, honest joy. There was no more pretence to be happy, I just was happy and I am happy now.
I think a lot of us put on a brave face every day of our lives and pretend like we can overlook the cracks but we can’t. So if there is one thing I want you to go away with it’s being okay with seeking help where it feels necessary.
Remember that your problems are valid and talking about them is allowed. Seeking help is allowed.