Not the counselor I was expecting. Definitely wouldn’t have picked him if it were up to me. He is not very authoritative. Very soft spoken. Hard for me to understand his personality, just yet. But, I sensed a genuine smile and honest desire to understand my situation. And, maybe I needed to see a gentle person guide me on this, but didn’t even know it.
Spiritual, but not Christian. Not what I was expecting. Especially since being referred to the clinic by Christian friends. Will this be a conflict of interest? Or, can I learn something from him and also maybe shine the Light on him? Perhaps this is the plan. This has to be a God thing. It feels too peculiar and too uncomfortable, to not have it be a part of something bigger. If I deny him counseling me because he is not Christian, I am judging him and his ability to help me. In the same sense, I don’t think that he would deny helping me because I am a Christian. Shining the Light.
Things that resonate:
I asked what we did for my therapy. If this was, like, retraining my brain. He said that first we would work on restoring some hope. Small hopes into bigger hopes, and that eventually the plan is that the good would overpower the bad. Not his exact verbage, but you get the drift. Second, we would work on how my present reaction to life is related to my childhood. I am most nervous about this.
It was mostly very informal, otherwise. A list of questions that gauge your intelligence: counting backwards, by 7, starting at 100, to your awareness: what month is it, what season, what country do we live in, to the more intimate emotional questions of, “Have you ever seen anything traumatic? Something you would describe as ‘terrifying?'” This is when I cried.
I don’t think I ever realized how “traumatic” that night was. For all of us. And, that was just the big night. Lots of little nights. Days, too. Lots and lots of days.
I was able to stop answering another question I didn’t feel comfortable with answering. Shame, ya know? But, he said it was okay. And, smiled. I think it was good to know that I didn’t have any obligation to tell him everything. I could not offend or hurt him. I needed to keep this to myself for now.
When I told him I’d been on antidepressants for 14 years, pretty consistently, and he comments on what a long time that it was, you suddenly realize that the problem isn’t new, ya know? It’s just never been dealt with. I’m not suddenly depressed, it’s been a progression of unresolved pain on top of more pain. Not to say that my brain chemistry isn’t totally wonky with the illness, enviornmental toxins, chronic stress, and more, already. So, who knows if I would need the medication anyways, right? But, still. A long time to rely on artificial hope.
I remember something in the midst of last summer through fall and October. Something just got worse. My health. My father-in-law’s passing. Deep debt. Something about October hit me hard. And in the winter the darkness continued. Caught off guard by church. And, I fought it this year as best I could, but with mom so sick, the cancer. That flower shop-Is it keeping me going or making me fall apart? I do not know. I just think I finally wore out into my most vulnerable state. It felt like a freight train of sadness heaped on me daily. So vulnerable. The attack has been unreal.
In my prayer the other day I heard Him say, “Let them see you suffer… and still seek Me. This is what I need you to do.” It wasn’t audible, but an inspired message I sensed during my meditation time. Listening for Him. He told me to write and I went and wrote.
The fog has lifted this week. I even thought maybe I didn’t need counseling, after all. Maybe the prayers were finally being heard and things would be changed. But, I also sensed that this could be the enemy’s tactic, “You don’t need help. You’re fiiiiiine.” But, I knew I had to go. I knew the darkness would come back. It always comes back.
I don’t want to make everyone else around me miserable, anymore. I don’t want to fight this feeling of worthlessness for the rest of my life. I want to enjoy, to love and be loved, to find peace for my soul. To know and experience this life with passion and love for my Father.
So, there I was at session one.