I must admit, back before I went to counselling I really didn’t know too much about it and what to expect.
It was certainly a bit scary too, after all, I’m an Australian male so that means I was never taught how to allow myself to be vulnerable.
Also, what if the counsellor recognised I had some horrible mental illness?
What if I really was a dysfunctional person that could never find some internal and external peace?
Was I ready to have someone, a stranger no less, see just how horrible and broken I was?
Truth is I had absolutely nothing to be scared of at all.
Going to counselling seven years ago was up there with the best things I’ve ever done.
My counsellor was an older man, wise and knowledgeable, but also approachable and easy to talk to.
Over the next eighteen months or so I had sessions on and off with him and the amount of change that I was capable of making within myself did nothing less than shock me.
For all these years, probably thirty plus years, I had my true, honest, kind, authentic self buried under layers of emotional baggage.
I was confined under the weight and darkness of inaccurate self-made concepts and I was a thoroughly confused person with a distorted and disorganised view of myself and my world.
I welcomed back my true self, my true nature, and I’m now a very different, more confident, calm, satisfied and resilient person.
I no longer feel like a computer that is weighed down by having fifty tabs open all the time!
And that’s a great place to give you an analogy of what counselling was like for me.
I want you to just think about when you get home from your weekly grocery shop.
You have what, seven or eight bags (or more) of groceries?
And within those rather heavy bags is an assortment of items that range from refrigerated goods to frozen goods, pet food and cleaning products, personal hygiene odds and ends and food that needs to go into the pantry.
What you do is you put all the bags on the counter and you sort them out, don’t you?
You separate out the cold things for the fridge, the frozen items, the things you will take to the laundry and the things that will go in your bathroom.
That’s a bit like what a counsellor can help you do.
Together, you can work your way through your thoughts, emotions, memories and concerns and start to make some sense of it all.
You can pack them up and put them on the right shelf and in the right place. This means you no longer have the ice cream in the laundry and the laundry powder in the freezer!
When I was going to counselling we focussed on just the one or two issues at a time and what I found was that, like a dam wall bursting, once I had got on top of these first items everything else just came through so much easier.
It was a snowball effect.
If you feel tired, overly emotional, unsettled, these are signs that you’re ready to start on a path that I hope leads you to the same place that I’m in today.
Don’t be scared, there are people who are here to support you on your journey…chances are it’s a road they’ve already walked.