Poor Jana over is so sick that she could barely take time to write a prompt for today’s Stream of Consciousness Sunday. It’s okay, though, because I had my own thoughts brewing that I simply needed to get out. Here’s 5 minutes, unedited, from my brain this morning.
I hate writing about current topics only because it feels like i’m standing up saying ME TOO! ME TOO! Or I feel like I’m trying to create a voice that willr esonate more than anyone else’s.
But that’s not what I’m doing. I’m just dumping my brain. For 5 minutes.
I’ve recently started seeing a counselor. Yes, I lower my head as I walk to the office. Yes, the office window is covered by frosted glass. Yes, we sit in the waiting room, not talking to each other but somehow silently acknowledging that we’re all there for help, in some way or another.
I feel a little ashamed and I don’t know why. Like maybe I’m not crazy enough to need to talk to someone. Maybe I’m suffering the spoils of being a white, middle class suburban housewife. I worry, worry, worry.
But worry leads to anxiety, leads to depression, leads to…
Mental health is something that is so hard to talk about. So hard, even for me. Even though I laugh it off like I’m going to go see a shrink and lay down on the couch (I actually do have an urge to lay down on her couch, but haven’t yet done that).
What’s wrong with people? What’s wrong with us? I’ve been giving it a lot of thought. Not so that I’ll have any sort of understanding because HOW can you EVER understand THAT? I don’t even need to identify the THAT for you to know what I’m talking about.
I think of our live bombarded with TV, text, radio, tweets, Facebook. Information is always flowing in and out of our brains. How many people do you know take medication because they can’t turn their brains off? They can’t relax. They can’t sleep. We all drink wine and laugh about it.
Our society has moved as such an incredibly fast rate in the past 50 years. Have we adapted? Can our bodies and brains adapt in an evolutionary way to allow us to deal with the new society we’ve created?
No. I don’t think so. For me and my opinion, and mine alone, and nobody else’s, it’s not about guns or mental health. It’s not about the ONE THING that we can put a label on. It’s not regulations or medication. It’s none of that. It’s people. It’s parents understanding their children. Loving them, caring for them, getting support for them (and for themselves).
It’s people learning to sit with their emotions. Let them stir and stew. Feeling the feelings. NOT lashing out with blog posts, or angry tweets, or stalking, or God forbid, a complete pre-meditated assault on other innocent human beings because you have so much pain that you don’t know what to do with it.
This was a 5 minute stream of consciousness brain dump. It’s unedited and unfiltered. Read and comment if you like but today’s post was simply my online journal entry. And it satisfied the need I’ve had to express myself without being overwhelmed with emotion. In this terribly tragic time, I’m finding comfort in the words of The Velveteen Rabbi and encourage you to read her prayer, “God, let me cry on your shoulder.”
I would love to see an entire post of what you think about this. I completely agree. We are so great with band-aids (wine, drugs, passive aggressiveness, guns, etc.) that we have forgotten how to be humbly human. We have forgotten that it’s okay to cry in public, that it’s okay to ask for help, and that it’s okay to help each other when we don’t ask for help. It’s terribly sad.
Amen to everything you said. I’m starting by trying to raise a good little boy who will learn to be humbly human.
There is nothing wrong with asking for some help, but I understand the concern about someone attaching some scarlet letter to us or concerns that come from us about why we can’t fix it on our own.
We are good about helping our children when they need it, but not so good about ourselves. It is not always easy.
I’ve been calling myself crazy for a long time. I shouldn’t feel ashamed of living up to it (TOTALLY JOKING). I know that I face issues with anxiety and depression and I know when I’m starting to bottle too much up. It’s only been a few weeks but it’s definitely helping.
I love this. And I hope you begin to be ok with seeing your therapist – I think we all need one at least most of the time.
I still feel a little anxious but it’s getting better. I actually enjoy the sessions, mainly because I’m *really good* at talking. A lot.
I too rarely race to chime in on current events like “That”. I find I need time to try to absorb and process such highly emotional events before I can put my words into any kind of coherent order.
And kudos to you for reaching out for support. I believe we can all benefit from a little extra support now and again. There is no shame in that, in fact, we should applaud ourselves that we know ourselves well enough to know when to reach out.
I see a therapist, too. It took me years to admit I needed the help, but now that I’ve done it, I can’t live without it. Just having a third party to share with helps me make sense of things.
That’s it, Lynda! It’s finding someone removed from your personal life that can sometimes provide advice or sometimes simply be a sounding board!
I just recently started seeing a counselor too, Fadra. It’s true how it feels sort of shameful. I fought it for a long time, believing that I should simply be strong enough on my own. But I’m told that it’s the strongest people who ask for help, and yes, feeling your feelings requires strength too.
Your opinion here is very sound and I totally understand where you’re coming from.
Good for you for also recognizing when the time is right to talk to someone. You’re right. It requires not only a lot of personal insight but also strength.
“I think of our live bombarded with TV, text, radio, tweets, Facebook.
Information is always flowing in and out of our brains. How many people
do you know take medication because they can’t turn their brains off?
They can’t relax. They can’t sleep. We all drink wine and laugh about
That’s it exactly. I so worry about this younger generation. They never rest. I never rest. But I rest more than my 19 year old. Our brains were not meant for all this stimulation. There is noting more therapeutic than talking with someone.
That’s exactly right. Just the act of talking to someone not emotionally vested in your situation is enough to make anyone feel better even if you never solve anything!
I agree and I applaud you for seeking help. I went to see someone a few years ago and nearly fell apart in the waiting room. I have since put aside all embarrasement and am proud that I get help when needed.
It’s just talking. Why should we be ashamed? Because it’s a perceived sign of weakness. In reality, it’s actually giving me strength.
Thank you for sharing, Fadra. We need to keep these conversations going.
I plan to. Thanks!!
you are too hard on yourself. seeing a counselor is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. I’ve been in and out of therapy since I was 13. I know when it’s time to stop, and I can tell when it’s time to start up again. I’m glad you’re talking to someone and letting the “stuff” out. And yes, sometimes I drink wine. And I take meds. And maybe that’s not the best thing, but…it keeps me sane. Without the meds I wouldn’t be able to relax or sleep. I worry about it, but for now….for now I need it. So I just try to live in the “for now” moments.
Surprisingly, I’m feeling like this might be a short-term gig. But yes, we do what we can to get through the day to day and hopefully stay sane. And not just sane but affable. That’s a bigger challenge for me. When I get off balance (too angry, usually), that’s when I know it’s time to see someone.
I am there. I am there with you 100%. I had my first appointment just two weeks ago and today I’m writing about why there’s such a stigma attached to seeking help. I too feel like I’m not “off” enough. I’m not depressed enough. I have nothing to be unhappy or worrisome about and yes, I dip my head in shame and whisper to the security guard where it is I’m going. I avoid eye contact with others in the office and when I got a (gulp) prescription for anxiety I pulled my hat low on my eyes standing in the line at CVS (mainly because I imagined the clerk was going to say my prescription was ready but she’d have it wrong and say Herndon pickup for Valtrex.)
HA! I loved your comment. Made me laugh. I used to work at a pharmacy MANY years ago and that was when I realized how many people were truly on Prozac (the drug of choice at the time). This is the 4th time in my life that I’m seeing a counselor and it’s nice to just have a neutral 3rd party to talk to. I feel slightly embarrassed, I guess, but I’m getting used to it.