Seeking Counsel

Hi Internet! I know my last post was quite dark but I just wanted to finish up that topic in the next few posts before moving onto anything else. I’m well aware how scary it might seem going to see a complete stranger and talking to them about your problems because I was in exactly the same position a few years ago. It really boggled my mind how, even as a professional, they could possibly understand me enough to help me. I know this may be a common feeling among some of you so this post is for anyone who was in the same boat as me or is just curious to hear about my experience.

I first started seeing a counsellor in 2013 in my second last year of school. I couldn’t manage my own feelings and one of my close friends at the time recommended going to see a counsellor. Before that the thought had never occurred to me because I had been so accustomed to handling my own issues or pushing them aside and ignoring them. Seeing someone out of school was never an option for me because that meant I had to tell at least one of my parents but in that sense, I was extremely lucky. Not everyone has the option to see a counsellor at school and if you find you’re in that situation, there might be a teacher that you trust enough or online counselling.

I told Karin when I decided I wanted to start seeing a counsellor so she came with me to book my first session. It was during my Maths C lesson because it was the only lesson I felt I could miss without falling behind so I emailed my teacher saying I had an appointment and wouldn’t be in class that day. With that, after Morning Tea, when everyone else went to class I went to the counsellor. Finding the place was nerve-wracking enough because even the idea of being lost and late to an appointment makes my heart race.

The counsellor soon became someone I trusted and was comforted by. There were countless tears, I told her about my self-harm, my suicidal thoughts, about Chloe, my parents…everything. I completely opened up and it really benefited me because that allowed her to fully understand my situation. From this, she was able to guide me and give me ideas to better myself and be in a happier place. One example I can think of is that she suggested talking to Chloe to apologise so I could move on because in 2013 that was still a major trigger for me. I blamed myself for what happened and really was struggling to move on because even now, the idea of ruining my own friendship is one thing but to drag others down with me was something I could not forgive myself for doing. A year and a half later I did apologise to Chloe and like promised, it lifted a great weight off my chest because being forgiven meant I could move on, guilt-free.

Throughout 2014, I began seeing her less frequently as the workload from school was becoming too much for me and missing lunch, when I studied, or classes was something I couldn’t bring myself to do anymore. It really did suck (for lack of a better word) not having time to see her anymore but the study was keeping me distracted and I was doing a bit better than I did in 2013. It wasn’t until about October 2014 that she emailed me to tell me that she was leaving our school and arranged a time for me to come meet the new counsellor. After she left I didn’t know what to do because I really didn’t want to see the other counsellors and have to start from the beginning so that was the last time I saw her and my last counselling session.

I emailed her once at the beginning of 2015 when I was struggling and she helped me to the best of her ability through email but suggested I come see her at her private practice. That was something I knew I wouldn’t be able to do because that would mean I would have to tell my parents that I was seeing a counsellor and I wasn’t ready for that and although I haven’t spoken to her in over a year, she still holds a dear place in my heart.

I know this doesn’t leave you with a nice ending or really any ending frankly but that’s life. There’s not always going to be some fairy tale ending where all the bad things disappear but for the most part, I have improved and learnt to reach out to my friends and how to cope with the pain myself.

I hope this helped someone, even if you were just curious and I really do hope you all have a wonderful day and smile lots.

– Chan

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