How I Wound Up Going To A Counselor For The First Time…

 

Read the following when I logged onto Facebook this morning:

“I have a counseling appointment this afternoon. Three members of my family are currently in counseling with more to come.

May I send a bit of love and encouragement to everyone who steps into counseling or therapeutic space for your own soul, marriage, family, or healing? Ditto to those of you sending your hurt kids? Whether you go for preventative maintenance or because you are hanging on by a thread…

There is NOTHING weak about being in the care of a counselor. That is STRONG. That tells me that you are not passively waiting for your strength, your healing. You are DOING THE WORK, poking the bear…..

Bravo, I say! May we grab onto any tool possible as we pursue healthy marriages, healthy kids, and healthy souls….”

__________________________

I never know who may  stumble across something I post here in this little corner of the Internet, nor what frame of mind you’re in when you’re here.  My thoughts today go out to the hurting, the struggling, the wounded, the deeply confused and  befuddled,  the broken hearted.  (if you’re on your game, then good for you.  I know that’s where I would live all the time if I had my druthers..unfortunately, life doesn’t always allow that to happen. Sometime, life has a way of broadsiding me, even when I’ve been a good boy and have been playing by the rules….

I need to tell you a  story.

The first year of marriage,  wife and I were going through some  crazy, painful, interpersonal stress.  Nothing in all my years of growing up had prepared me for it. Nothing.

And I didn’t have a clue as to what to do about it.

I went to a men’s conference with my dad during this time , and struck up a conversation with a Pastor at coffee break.  (He was probably  10 to 15 years older than I.)    He casually mentioned part of his job was helping the families in his church  work through issues. (One of the things I liked about this guy was he did not strike me as a nerd.  Too many times, the guys who wind up in pastoral rolls,  seem to be effeminate and bookish, and to meet someone with a spiritual perspective on life, and yet also possess a masculinity that our politically correct culture disdains…..well, it was refreshing….

In the back of my mind, I really wanted to know how this man would approach the issues that were vexing my wife and  I… I got in touch with him a few weeks later, asked if we could meet even though we didn’t go to their church, and asked if his wife would also join us.  He agreed to both (meeting and having his wife present).

As I recall, she started by saying, she was not a trained counselor, and wondered if there was anything she could add to our time together?  I assured her there was….because I wanted to pick their brains as a couple…

…Had they ever battled with the presenting issues we brought with us?

How would they respond?

We ended up spending less than an hour with them.  It was a watershed, life changing meeting.  It was empowering.

Came away with some practical wisdom that enabled us to get “unstuck”…

Flash forward from there on out…

 

From that point on, whether we were dealing with money issues, parenting issues,  anxiety and panic attack issues, depression issues, PTSD, addiction issues, grief, If something cropped up that had the potential to derail (one or several of us) we began the habit of proactively addressing the issue(s)

Call it life coaching if you want….The end result is to not suffer in silence. Take a risk, open your life to someone you trust.

If you’re not sure where to start, maybe you know someone who has been in for counseling.. ask them…if not, feel free to leave me a message or shoot me an e-mail and I would be more than happy to give you some tips, share resources, etc.

side note-  there have been several times in my life now where I didn’t have to spend a dime…resources like a good  book written on the issue at  hand, a trusted  wiser friend,  was all that  it took.

 

 

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “How I Wound Up Going To A Counselor For The First Time…

  1. Amen. I agree with the sentiment, don’t sit and wait for your strength. It shows bravery to ask.
    A coworker sends on a chain-mail type inspirational thought daily. Sometimes they’re pretty good. One gave the story of a boy in the sandbox, discovered a large rock in the middle and dug it out. He managed to push it to the edge, but couldn’t get it lifted over the side. About the time he got his fingers crushed under the rock trying to move it, his dad who had been watching all along appeared, asking why the boy did not use all the strength he had available. “But I did use all my strength!” “No, you did not come ask me for help.”

    Liked by 2 people

    • Great Analogy. I do know the first time (or three) I got to the place where I asked for help, it was humbling, and didn’t feel like strength at the time..now however, I don’t see it any different than how I care for my car..if something isn’t running right then I make an appointment w/ my mechanic. I freely admit I don’t know all there is to know about vehicles..and to just ignore a red light on the dash, or some loud banging sound is pure nonsense. Same goes with our personal lives…if something isn’t working, then to address it isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s common sense. I see you’ve fired up your blog. Good for you! 🙂 DM

      Like

    • Thanks MJ. It’s one of those topics people rarely talk about…unless they really trust the person they are with OR they have their back against the wall and really desperate…having come out the other side of more than one issue, I no longer feel the shame/ stigma about talking about it..would much rather be whole than suffer needlessly in silence. Life is to short. Another way I look at it, is I have a life preserver I am throwing out to the stranger in the water who is drowning..if I look a little silly in the process, so what…I think I’m starting to ramble..probably time for supper 🙂 Always good to hear from you. DM

      Like

    • 🙂 (I would rather do the book gig every time when I’m stuck, but sometimes it takes talking to another person. I’m glad you mentioned strength, because it does take courage to admit you don’t have your, you know what together and to admit it to another person, often times a stranger, is not for the faint of heart 🙂 thanks for weighing in on this one! DM

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s