I have a sweet friend who is experiencing PTSD from something that happened a few years ago. I have another friend who just learned her parents are getting divorced. I have another friend who’s mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. I have another friend who is suffering from chronic illness. I have another friend who just feels sad all the time. I have another friend who has dating commitment issues. I have another friend who had to bury her brother.
I could keep going.
We all have lots of friends who are battling it out with something or someone- grief, pain, loneliness, emotional detachment. In fact, we all experience it ourselves at some point or another.
But all of those friends I just mentioned above are all taking action. They realized they need help to process what they’re going through and to find practical ways to bring healing to their hearts and minds.
They’re going to counseling.
Those of you that know me, know I am a huge advocate for counseling. I think everyone should go. everyone.
In grad school I started to have weird, out of character, anger issues. The littlest thing would trigger me and I would get so angry it would physically consume me. I started seeing a counselor on a regular basis to learn about ways to manage my anger and then to find the root issue. The bottom line was I had experienced dramatic change in almost every area of my life and felt like I had no control. That lack of control turned into fear, which would pop up in the form of a really angry Hanna. Once I realized what was going on, it was way easier to control my anger and eventually the flare ups went away.
Then, much more recently, I sought the help of a counselor to learn how to process and articulate my feelings. That may sound hilarious to some of you, but I realized that I was very emotionally handicapped. I needed someone to help me learn how to identify my emotions and communicate them to myself and others. That counselor literally changed my life.
Why am I telling you this? Because some of you need to go to counseling. Maybe you aren’t experiencing any of the things I listed above. Maybe you feel an emptiness or pain, but you can’t put your finger on it. Or maybe you’re drowning it out by going out every night of the weekend. If you’re getting drunk the majority of the week– you’re numbing something. Trust me.
Here’s the best news. If you’re a college student, you probably get counseling services for free or for a very low cost at your school. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS. That’s probably the only reason I tried counseling in the first place. It was free– so why not?! The other great news, is you’re still so young! Work this stuff out now so it doesn’t effect your marriage, children, career, etc.
Is counseling the end all be all? No. I’m not saying that counseling is the only way to find healing. But I do think it’s an amazing resource.
So, those of you who are reading this and know this post is for you, do it. Find a counselor. There is no shame in going to counseling. In fact, I think it’s one of the bravest things you can do. You are taking action on working through hard things about yourself, your family life, etc. It takes courage and strength to do that.
We’ve all got issues. We’ve all got baggage. Be brave and choose to work through yours.