I’d never, in my wildest dreams, thought that I’d go for counselling.
To me, it was something foreign and unnecessary. But sometimes, all it takes is that one moment of realization to push you to do the unexpected. For me, that ‘moment’ was when I told one of my best friends on how aimless and lost I felt lately. I’ve always been an anxious person, overthinking even the littlest of things and constantly worrying too much about what other people thought of me.
So, when I explained all this to her, she simply looked at me and said “Why don’t you try going for counselling? I have a friend who can help you.” Before I knew it, I said yes.
I’ve been going for counselling for a month now, and I can say this – going for counselling was one of the best decisions I’ve made. Here’s how it’s helped me so far.
I learnt that I CAN control how I feel
As humans, we tend to be affected by things or people that mean more to us. For example, it’s easier to be hurt by family or friends than it is to be hurt by a stranger. The reason for this? We get emotional because we CARE. Emotions like anger, hurt, and sadness are actually our body’s way of coping, and its perfectly normal to feel negative emotions.
However, too much of negative emotions can hurt you. I learnt that’s it’s good to care, but to also use logic and reasoning in organizing my thoughts instead of just relying on emotions. So, if you find yourself worrying about the future, ask yourself – is it your emotions or your thoughts in control? And just how logical ARE your thoughts?
I learnt to be willing to talk about who I am
Talking about oneself is generally easy, but REALLY talking? Not so much.
When you’re in counselling, the depth of conversation is entirely different. It’s not the same as daily conversations with colleagues or friends. When you’re with your counsellor, you talk about who you really are, your past, your fears.
Imagine talking about that thing which happened 20 years ago which hurt you as a little kid? Yeah, not so easy. I realised I was so conditioned to say what other people wanted me to, that I didn’t really know how to talk about MY feelings. Or maybe it was also the years of supressing the negative emotions.
But talking about your feelings is important in counselling. Every little detail of your life is taken out piece by piece and examined closely, even the little things which you think is insignificant. In fact, I remember being irritated with my counselor a few times thinking ‘how can something that happened 10 years ago possibly affect me now?’ But its often the little things which can build up inside of us.
I learnt more about myself
Counselling is like reading a book about me. Every session I go to reveals a new thing about myself.
One of my counselling goals was to find out what job would make me happy, and I was given a personality test which rather accurately, showed me what my morals and personalities are. It then showed me what work environment would make me most comfortable.
I also learnt that my anxiety stems from a need to control my surroundings. Dig a little deeper, and I found that the need for control was because of the shaky environmental household I grew up in. Hearing that was a major revelation, and I must admit, it took some time for me to admit that fact. But as the saying goes: You only start healing when you know what the problem is.
I learnt not to be shaped by my past
The past is a tricky thing, and I now realise that who we are now is greatly shaped by how we grew up. As humans, our behaviour and actions are mostly learned, especially from our parents and social circle. Leaned behaviour is part of who we are, but too much of it limits you. Imagine someone who has been hurt by a lover before, and now distrusts people because of what he or she experienced. Quite common isn’t it?
Coming from a household in which my parents would constantly fight, and being a sensitive young girl, I was afraid that my relationship would be like that too. But counselling made me realise that I’m in complete control of who I choose as my partner, and what my future will look like. In order to move into a different direction in my future, I need to stop being ruled by my past. My past will shape me only if I let it.
So in short, yes, counselling is not easy. It forces you to talk about a lot of uncomfortable things which you rather keep buried. But in just a month, I feel calmer, more self assured, and relaxed. Though I’m still far away from getting rid of my anxiety, but it’s a pretty damn good start. I don’t think I could have done it alone without a help from a counselor. Sometimes it takes someone else to see something in you that you may have overlooked.
So if you’re reading and contemplating on seeing a counselour, I’d say yes. Be brave and go for it.
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