Dangling

B3FB919E-FF34-41CA-8ACC-E34E35CBA3CEJust sharing my life and present situation, as I try to adjust from one counselor of four years to another. I have to remember and remind myself that they are not the same.

I find it funny now that I often got irritated with my former counselor if the previous week’s session was not touched upon again. Let’s pick up where we left off at please, as I was still dealing with the thoughts and issues from the previous week. Most of the time, we did or she realized and understood the chaos it caused me, if not. Other times, we would cover many areas and panic came as I held up my hand, fingers hanging down and moving; she knew and understood when I felt I was dangling. No doubt she found me irritating but she hung in there with me. Too many issues in front of me to deal with and the chaos would come to the forefront. Stop the dangling!A7F0E4A9-8DE5-4D12-9C04-A0ACA8464D8B

Now, as I am with a new counselor, rarely do we pick up from the previous week’s session. With that, I had to ask her some questions recently. Although, I knew her ways were and will be different, I get it. I have grown through this transition although it has not been easy but I am not going to remain stuck.

So what if we don’t pick up on last week’s topic. Part of me is even shocked with that comment although I/we carry on. Asking questions of the counselor helped me get a better understanding of her, how she manages my records, etc. That’s just me. I have to have order somewhere in my mind but coming to the final conclusion, she is there to help me and I know my records are secure. Let’s move on.

D9046ADA-B82D-4B95-8D6A-33B2E1D883A9As a client, we are allowed to ask questions. Also, prior to meeting with a new counselor, we should do our own due diligence and research of him/her. End result is to trust and go forward. Then the role is reversed, as the counselor asks many questions and gets to know us with our private, personal, deep-dark secrets and a relationship is built between a counselor-client of trust. 51F8BCD1-4F15-44DA-B8A7-C1BD08B7F593It’s pretty awesome, especially when you can open up and share. Healing begins within you.

I feel that it is to your best interest to make the most of counseling, the time between sessions, to do research, read and trust the Lord to bring healing. Isn’t that why you are in counseling anyway? It is not just the counselor’s responsibility, it’s yours, too.

Pray not only for yourself to receive the therapeutic guidance from the counselor but for your heart to be open to receive and your ears and mind to hear. Pray, too, for the counselor to be open for the Lord to speak to them for and to you. There just might be some WOW moments and light to a dark corner of your life, at times.

A3B1CAEF-F72F-485B-8DD8-D1EA9B453A5ECounseling is not easy. Depending upon what you both are dealing with in these sessions, it is downright hard. Many times with my prior counselor, I have wanted to get up and leave in the middle of a session, other times never come back but I did because I was determined to move forward.  It was no surprise to her, as we discussed those facts often. Thankfully, she was mean enough to put up with me and I appreciated and loved her more for that reason.

So now as my new counselor and I get more familiar with one another, trust deepens and healing continues. I am looking forward to what lies ahead and how our counselor-client relationship will develop and if she pushes me (my buttons) to be the best person I can be. I think she will.

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If you are considering a counselor, hopefully this will help give you a glimpse of my experience. It is worth taking care of YOU, you have to. Wish you the best! ML

Don’t Give Up!

Sometimes I find myself amazed, not in just things and people around me, but in myself. With you not knowing me and many really do not, I have come a long way.

ED9BB722-F0B6-40C9-A2F7-885A662507D6Depression can wipe anyone out and while I knew I was in depression, I did not realize just how bad. Hanging on by a thread for years due to life situations, a dead marriage, other areas and at times a bad hair day.

So many times through those years, my mind screaming, ‘please help me’ to those around me, mostly my church family although that meant opening up and being vulnerable. My screams remained within and I continued on with life draining from me slowly. The Bible story of those holding up Moses’ arms is what I needed. I had no strength on my own in any area, just enough to work and come home and repeat like a wash cycle.

Exodus 17 “Moses became weary, and so Aaron and Hur responded by holding up his arms until the Israelites were able to finally defeat the Amalekites.”

Realizing, I needed someone that I could trust and talk to, was when I did my research for months and prayerfully sought out a Christian Counselor. That was almost five years now. Had it not been, I do not know where I would be today.

4305C053-1C2E-477E-A0C6-3F21D27FBD68While I spent many years with her, and that being many, long and hard sessions, it was worth it all. At times, some sessions were like a breath of fresh air but many were down right in the trench digging through the muck of my life and situations where I did not want to continue and just give up and die. Apparently, I did not give up nor did I die. I believe without a doubt that the Lord led me to her and in those four years, we covered a lot of ground.

Now I am seeing others to take me to my next level. I want more in life so I will continue to pursue just that. Just this week, there was a change in me and I recognized it with open arms. I have changed. I am not the same person, as before. I could not help but smile and feel happy, like another breath of fresh air entered in me. Welcomed.

Struggling with depression is not easy. Sure I will have some down or blah days still, we all will, but nothing like before. This breath of fresh air did not come overnight. Many times, fighting like a cat in a paper bag, it felt like.3C674A4B-4030-49DA-A35A-5750739EF3EA

If you are dealing with depression, take one day at a time. Take care of you in all areas (emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually). Open up with a trusted friend or find yourself a counselor. Most importantly, take care of yourself spiritually, find a Bible believing church and worship the Lord.  He knows your name and He knows where you are.

You are worth fighting for, remember that!

Move!

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If you are not happy where you are, move!  You are not a tree. This quote is quite powerful, I thought.

I actually said this to someone the other night.

Maybe you feel stuck in a rut, as we sometimes get. I know I have. We all deal with circumstances that are unlike the next person so this covers many areas in our lives from our weight (start exercising), spiritual (read your Bible, worship, pray), health (eat better, drink water), employment, relationships, etc. The list can go on and on. This is just self-care and needed, it’s not selfish to take care of YOU.

Just start making small changes to help you be better and a happier person. It’s OK!

When you look at it, as in the tree, we are able to move and make changes so there is HOPE!

 

And I will always guide you and satisfy you with good things. I will keep you strong and well. You will be like a garden that has plenty of water, like a spring of water that never goes dry.” Isaiah 58:11 (GNT)

Sunny Side of 60

5840BA30-3C3A-487C-95AE-5ECB4074C002Recently, when having a discussion with an older gentleman, we were discussing life and how he wanted to fulfill many things before he dies.  Knowing my age, he said I was on the sunny side of sixty, which I thought was funny.  Sunny.  Sixty.  That number!

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Sunny side I get, but this sixty number is affecting me the closer I get. How did this happen so quickly?  I, too, have things I want to do as he does before the grave.  I was twenty one day, then forty and now on the sunny side.

019413E8-ECC8-44E4-9DB1-4EE2DE46C9EDNo doubt many of you have felt the same through the years or as the birthday candles increase.

While life has not been too bad, many rough patches came and not to forget the many blessings.  Life.

7D696DB1-F04C-471A-A8FB-E13C3DC61CCCThankfully, I feel more alive physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually today than I did almost five years ago.  It has not been easy going to counseling and opening up and dealing with areas of life and those rough patches.  It has been healing though while understanding the whys, questions, and uncertainties as I had to trust my counselor and moreso God.

D2005A85-4FAB-43B7-9B80-F41739348ECCI do not know what the other side of sixty looks like for me but I’ll be aiming for the sweet side of seventy and will be laughing and having fun along the way.

Lets make the most of our time left here on earth and be a blessing to others.  Remember…

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Overwhelmed

Have you ever heard the saying, I have so much to do that I don’t have time to die? I have a plaque hanging in my attic bedroom relating to that quote. 60B33F47-76BB-4593-AE7C-7B7F835D5AC8 I have had it for years because not only is it funny, I feel it to be true. Too much to do. End result, if and when death happens, it does not matter. Humor helps when the stress of life seems to swallow one up.

Many times this week, I have been faced with the fact I need to do or that, etc., feeling overwhelmed and panic sets in. The panic of freezing because I do not know where to begin. Chaos takes over in my mind and I become stuck out of unknowingly what to do, fear of dealing with some issues and just plain thoughts of ignoring and that maybe it will go away.

I will face it all and begin but I think I will write about it all for now. Procrastination at its finest, just because.

When I started my present job many years ago, I was completely overwhelmed. It was out of my league I guess you could say. Knowing I can organize and bring order to an office so that it will run efficient is a talent I have. Some offices need my help. In all my years, I had never had an office job to make me cry but tears would fall at this one, early on, due to the amount of work plus long hours of staying late while others were home enjoying their family or perhaps already in bed.

2BF3F1BF-5C85-46AA-B6DE-79A1BEBBBF33To this day, I still have on my bulletin board above my desk that reads, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” That was what helped me tackle the files in front of me day after day and some nights; one file at a time. Well, crying out to the Lord oftentimes of I need your help, direction and wisdom to get me through, or how can I make this better, etc. Today, my office run smoothly and very orderly but it did not happen overnight.

This week dealing with a health issue that put fear on me of death and the thought I do not have time to die, I realized I need to get some things in order. Last night I was informed of another matter that will affect me, I again realized that I need to get real serious of doing the same. The alarm is going off in my mind and it is time to problem solve yet again to bring order, not in my office but life. Pressure to push through when I would rather procrastinate and keep my head in the sand or feel like child and have a temper tantrum. Again, my quote came to mind of “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” And again, crying out with Lord I need your help, direction and wisdom.

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If we do nothing, nothing gets done. Taking that first step, making an effort and pushing through will bring results. So if you are feeling overwhelmed as I am now or have been or later will be in a situation, know first off that the Lord knows where you are.

811F460B-9F1D-4726-8CDC-33587BE13524No matter if you feel as though you are begging for His help, and we often do, but direction and wisdom in an area that needs attention to go forward in an area or in a perhaps stupid mistake you caused, He knows already.  He is there for me, you and each of us. He wants us to call upon Him.

If the quote helps you, use it, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

We all get overwhelmed at times. The head in the sand trick will only cause more issues. Deal with whatever and move on.

Not Perfect

After years of counseling due to marriage issues, personal issues and realizing childhood issues, I realized it is just called LIFE. We all have it, in some form or another.

Just a bit ago, I was going through some emails of which I am behind in either reading or deleting and had to smile because I am so far behind on many things right now. Before that would have stressed me to the max and while I feel it somewhat, it is not keeping me up at night. My have things have changed. Even other insignificant things whether at work or home, if I do not do it perfectly, it is okay. While it is not 110% in my book, it is still 99.9% so I shrug my shoulders and move on.

01786893-AB4E-450A-84BB-197253DDC4EDRealizing childhood emotional abuse can cause children to try and be perfect just to get noticed or praised and not to forget to feel and be loved, they will go over and above to gain those things. I did as I needed all those things. Even up into adulthood.

I want my boss to know I have his back and will make him look good, a lot at my expense while working late and making that report look great, etc. Odds are, nobody is 00F8C389-8885-49B6-9146-0D8223FFDFF3going to measure the margins, etc. I would. That’s how detailed I have been in life with such for one instance.

Having a task for another boss years ago, I worked tirelessly on this to make the ending of this study lesson perfect. To realize later, another co-worker, I am sure at the boss’s request added an appreciation to me at the end of all the work put into this endeavor. It threw off everything and I was livid. Now my work was off and now my name is posted. Those words of appreciation were never felt, as it was not perfect anymore. I was no longer perfect and now everyone saw that. Panic.

Since recognizing the whys in my life and understanding what makes me push for that so desired love, it has taken pressure off of me. It has been a good thing. I am thankful I had a counselor to help me understand this in me. While I still give my best, it does not need to be perfect, enough to make me lose sleep or cause me stress. The other day, I read a blog recently written and a word was wrong, should be taking and not talking, it is still there. When I find myself in this mode of perfection and needs to be done now, etc., I stop and recognize what is happening. It has been a lifetime of performing this way to be somebody.

News flash! I am somebody. You are somebody.

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Those we live with, work with, associate with are all important but so are you, me and each of us. You do your best and let the Lord promote you, accept His Love and He will always have your back. He is all that matters anyway.

629128EB-F7ED-466C-9B82-279E002D9903I tend to shrug my shoulders a lot more in life as a reminder I do not need to be perfect.

Do your best and move on.

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Journey of Life

947F91A9-B1D8-49C6-8138-5C2EEA15DF62Here I am, home from my counseling session and so thankful of having such great counselors as I deal with life. I would not be where I am today had it not been with each one.

Mental health awareness has been quite visible lately in the news and on Facebook of not denying or keeping your head in the sand that it does not exist. It does. Look around and listen to the news, there is mental health issues of all levels around us. Some being hidden by a mask or fake smile and those that are down right out there and may cause issues.

Why is there such a stigma of counseling and sadly in the church making people feel shame in going? Many years I secretly went to counseling almost an hour away to avoid my church and members from knowing I needed help. You know, those that will say I did not have enough faith in God. Those that will bring shame, which is why I went out of my way to go. No more!8DDBBD6E-CF15-41B4-BEFC-5BD3D2AC9032

I found myself, as I was leaving my counselor’s office the other day and several women were in the waiting room. I couldn’t help but think about them and wonder why they were there, too. Did they feel shame being there or did they just accept that they, too, need help. For a moment, and to be honest, I felt a judgment of them, just as many would and have in the past and/or in our experiences. Wrong! I captured that thought quickly realizing I just walked out of a counseling session. I am no better than them and we all need to support one another. It’s that stigma that latches on.  I’m sure others have had that of me.  While that quick lesson allowed me to see both sides, I politely smiled and wished them a good day. As we make these appointments and deal with life, that is self-care and much needed for me, you and others.  It’s okay!

We all have issues. Even counselors, doctors and so forth. I totally recommend seeing a counselor for issues or just to stay in tune with life and healing for yourself of past, present and for the future.  In my case, it started with marriage but nowadays it is to help me grow and heal some much-need broken places in my spirit, soul and body. I am a better person with counseling. Not having a spouse to relate to and cry on his shoulder or my close friends that do not live near, I have my counselors. Yes, counselors.

For this period in my life, I started with one to help me get over my last counselor of four years that left due to health issues.  We were dealing with abandonment issues in my life, yet I was abandoned by her. While not her fault, still it was and is still hard some days. Talk about a double whammy! Plus, I have another counselor to help me move forward in life, not so much focus on past counselor. Both have been good for me in my journey right now.  It’s been a good thing.

A2D1DCB8-345F-4FBF-9E47-A34CDC8843BAJust with my last appointment, she said that a poem reminded her of me of my past counseling experience, which I will share. Perfect. Again, I have had the best and thankful for what each one has done to help me grow, understand life, and even understand myself.

So, if you are considering to go see a counselor, do it. Give it time so each one can get familiar and build a relationship.  If after a time and there is no connection, change your counselor but do not quit taking care of you. There are some really good ones out there. Just know YOU MATTER and YOU are worth it.DE7BECC3-28B7-4B8B-83B3-C9265B356DA0

Just FYI, there is a lot of information on Pinterest regarding mental health, groups on Facebook and Google searches, too.