As an individual who has always been very introspective and psychologically oriented, I realized a few months ago that I was beginning to feel OVERWHELMED. Depressed. Anxious.
There was not any one particular cause. Rather, it felt like I was on a roller coaster and was picking up more and more baggage as I flew by. After struggling from a panic attack, I finally sat back and realized something…I need help!
To a counselor I went…and I discovered something really interesting about myself. I have an undergrad degree in psychology, and spent a year in a counseling grad program (before switching gears to education), and I have ALWAYS been a proponent of mental health care and squashing the stigma.
Yet, as I sat in this room, facing my therapist, I discovered that that stigma was real inside of me, making me feel ashamed of being there, of struggling, and of hitting what–for me–felt like ROCK. Bottom.
My therapist is an EMDR specialist, which is truly a phenomenal type of therapy that can help children and adults reprocess traumatic events in a healthier way. For example, when a child experiences trauma, he or she may process that information incorrectly–say the parents are neglectful. The child’s cognition then becomes, “I am worthless. Nobody loves me.” The child then spends the rest of his life believing that as true, and it forms the basis of SO many life choices. EMDR reprocesses those memories and forces us to go back and recognize what is REALLY true…but, wow…for me, it has been a humongous growing process. And not one that is necessarily fun.
I have learned that I was really resistant to digging up the past and the traumas (big and little) that it held. After all, I grew up, I am “fine”–what good will talking about it do? Well…the truth is, I really have not been all that “fine” for awhile! I need to talk about it…I need to grieve. I need to realize that I do not have to be or act perfect.
I still don’t like to talk about the fact that I need help. It is a hard thing to admit. However, I am trying so very hard to believe that it is necessary. For me. For my husband. For my kids, so they don’t grow up with a mama who didn’t take care of herself.
Welcome to my journey. 🙂