I’m sharing this very personal little story with you because I was surprised at how many of my girlfriends have experienced something similar and never shared their experience – with me or anyone else. We all have our secrets but there are some secrets that when shared, become a source of joy and acceptance rather than shame and judgement.
How does that song go…
“Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
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By the way I’m building this up you’d think I’d done something totally heinous. Nothing quite so salacious I’m afraid.
I went to see a counsellor, a therapist, a psychologist – a shrink. There you have it – my confession. I had a complicated problem that I was struggling to solve on my own so I decided to seek outside help. The details of the problem aren’t the important part – we all have problems of varying degrees from time to time in our lives – mine are no more significant than yours. What is important is that at the end of the first session with my counsellor – I’d established a course of action that would lead toward the solving of my problem.
The second session took place on the following Friday. We talked about the steps I’d taken toward solving my problem. It was all going quite well – I’d ticked most of the boxes and had a clear plan of how I was going to tackle the remains steps. What a sense of accomplishment I felt.
No longer was I dwelling on the emotions I had been experiencing due to my problem – I was pragmatically focused on solving it. Sure, emotions have their place – they tell us when we’re wandering off the track and are there as a guide to serve us through life. But we’re by no means a slave to them – once emotions have alerted us to a problem then it’s up to us to take over and seek to solve the problem. It would have done the cavemen no good to be paralysed by fear, they would have become lunch.
No one was more surprised than me when at the end of the second session, my shrink told me I was fine and wouldn’t need to come back. I felt a pang of “but surely there’s something wrong with me” – why else would I have had a problem that I needed a therapist to help me solve? She must have interpreted my enquiring expression because she smiled at me and told me that everyone, from time to time has a problem they need an impartial person’s assistance to reframe the questions we seek the answers to. To which I smiled and thought to myself, there’s nothing wrong with me – I’m totally fine!
Anyway, enough about that – the reason I wanted to share this is that I got a bit of a shock when I slowly started to mention to my closest friends that I’d been to see a counsellor. All but 2 of them had at one time or another, out-sourced some help with their decision making process or employed the services of a therapist to help them clear of the clutter of their past.
Of the 2 who hadn’t, one confided that her and hubby were considering a bit of marriage counselling – things weren’t all that bad between them but they wanted to learn a few skills in the communication department to ensure things stayed good and they’d set a good example for their children to learn from.
So, when you think your problem might just need an impartial sounding board – do what everyone else does – ask a professional!