The stigma around mental health and needing help, is gradually being chipped away at. But the completely misguided notion that those who seek help in their lives are somehow, “weaker”, “crazier”, “less stable”, “less capable”, than the rest of us, still exists.
The truth however is quite the opposite. The individuals I meet in my office, are far more aware, emotionally intelligent, genuine and open than most of the people I encounter in my life.
And here’s why:
- Through just the simple yet courageous act of seeking Counselling, that individual is accepting they are not happy and they desire to change. That is not the act of a crazy person. It is far more crazy to spend your life in miserable way.
- By coming to Counselling, the individual is already aware they and they alone have the power to change. They may not know how or even believe it at the beginning, but they are turning their focus inwards and trying to trust themselves. This is not the action of a weak person. A much weaker person likely turns their focus outwards, blaming the world and everyone in it for how they feel. Projecting their own issues on to innocent bystanders in a desperate attempt to escape themselves.
- During Counselling, the individual learns to become more open and curious with themselves. They begin to navigate and process their own emotions and experiences and expose their true selves in the presence of someone else. This is not the skill of an unstable person. I would argue that instability arises when people do not know how to express their thoughts and feelings and instead either push their feelings down or become completely overcome by them.
- Those who seek help know that no man or woman is expected to go it alone. They know that human beings can achieve so much more when we work together and support each other. This is not the knowledge of an incapable person. Incapable people are not those who lack a skill of some kind, they are those who are not willing to acknowledge where they need help and reach out to the resources available to them.
I’ve always loved the proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child” but I wonder what comes after that. If we are to go by today’s society, it would probably go something like this, “Tt takes a village to raise a child, but after that you are on your own”.
No one is crazy or we are all a little crazy. Either way, seeking Counselling or support is nothing to be ashamed of, it is something to be proud of.
My invitation today is to consider this as the new proverb; “It takes a village to raise a child and a village to help the adult”.