There are really three ways that I get ideas for what I want to write about.
- I’ll see or hear somebody, and I’ll recognize that they don’t understand something that I wish they understood. It’s not always appropriate to approach them immediately, so I’ll make a note of the idea on my phone and then write about it later.
- I’ll notice that somebody I know is going through something that I’ve gone through before. They may not know that I understand what it’s like, and rarely is it effective to directly tell somebody in pain that I understand. They’ll usually reject whatever is said. But by writing about it, and allowing them to read it on their own time, they are generally more open and will sometimes reach out themselves for support.
- The last reason is when I recognize a flaw in my own life. Sometimes I’ve made the change in thinking or acting already and am trying to share what I now understand. Other times I’ll still be in the process of changing but feel it would be valuable to share my thoughts.
This idea came the third way…
I realized that I had spent most of my life looking down on those who went to a therapist/counselor.
I was 25 when I first started individual counseling, and up to that point I believed that if you were strong you could deal with life yourself. I thought that those who went to a counselor were just those too weak to handle life themselves.
I also believed that only those who were broken needed counseling. I didn’t consider myself to be broken, so why would I need a counselor?
These are terrible beliefs, and if you currently think the way I did please keep reading.
First off, regarding strength and weakness, it is not weak to ask for help. When you ask for help you’re simply accepting that another person can help you accomplish something better than you can by yourself.
That’s called being smart.
You want to reach something on the top shelf, but you’re too short to reach it yourself? Ask somebody taller. It doesn’t make you weak, and it’s a whole heck of a lot better than struggling, jumping, getting upset, and finally giving up.
Or just get a ladder, a chair, or something to help you reach the top shelf.
Regardless of how you get the help, it shows that you are accepting that you – in the state you’re in – can’t accomplish what it is you need to do.
Life is hard for all of us. There’s no point in trying to compare battle scars to determine whose life is harder. Everybody has moments when life gets crazy, and it seems like making it through on top is just out of reach.
Rather than struggling to get through yourself, why not ask somebody who is a professional at understanding how to deal with life?
If you wanted to be a basketball player, wouldn’t it be awesome to talk to a pro basketball player?
If you wanted to be an actor, wouldn’t it be great to talk to a professional actor?
Well, if you want to be somebody who can deal with life, wouldn’t it also be helpful to talk to a professional at that?
Talking to a counselor doesn’t mean you’re weak…it means you’re smart.
Now, I also want to talk about the belief that only those who are broken go to a counselor.
Maybe that belief exists because so many people think they can take care of whatever they have going on themselves. When they’re finally exhausted from trying, and they’re completely broken down, that’s when we see them getting help.
If we only slept when we fainted from exhaustion our bodies wouldn’t be very healthy.
Likewise, if we only focus on our mental health once we breakdown our minds aren’t going to be very healthy.
I talk to a counselor because it gives me a chance to talk openly about what I’m feeling. Together we can identify unhealthy habits I might have and ways I can change how I think about myself.
It’s much easier than trying to make it through life myself, breaking down, and having to rebuild myself from there.
I’ve done both, and I know which I prefer.
Regardless of how you feel you’re doing at the moment, I believe it would be a good idea to meet with a counselor for a while. It will help you learn more about yourself. You’ll understand more about why you think certain ways, patterns of behavior you might have, and situations to avoid.
We all have ups and downs in our life, but wouldn’t it be great to learn how to deal with the downs before they show up?