Tuesday, February 23, 2016

My Counselling Story

              I’ve been realizing over the past few months in particular that the concept of “help” is different for everyone. At some point in everyone’s lives, we are all going to need help. The thing is, not everyone will actually get the help they need; some people will not have the capacity to look inside themselves and say “I am not okay.” I get it – inner reflection is terrifying. You could find out some pretty scary things about yourself, but when you reach for the outermost corners of your being, you could also find tools you never knew you had. In short, it takes a lot of strength and bravery to look inside yourself. It takes even more to realize when you are not okay and get help. At three crucial points in my life, I got help in the form of counselling.

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              When I was in elementary school, I was bullied by exclusion. I remember the last time I was ever invited to hang out with someone was at the beginning of grade 6, and it was because the girl was new and didn’t know that I was not someone to be friend with. It was lonely, and I was miserable. I would come home and cry every day. I wanted to kill myself. My mom got me connected with a local family counselling place that became a vital tool in my recovery. I learned how to talk things out and be assertive at school. It helped me cope with that difficult period.

              In high school, I returned to the same counselling place but for a different reason. In grade 11, a teacher came up to me and said “You got a B on this last test. That’s fine, but you’re an A student. Is something wrong?” I disregarded it. As the year continued, I find myself growing irritable and disconnected with my friends and taking that out on my family. The same teacher approached me with the same issue. It was then that I realized I had lost my energy and drive and decided to go back to counselling. This time around, I learned how to take a step back from issues and deal with my emotions in a constructive way rather than letting them eat me up from the inside out.

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              The third time I was in counselling was last school year. An issue with a family member prompted me to think about who I was living my life for. I don’t want to get into this issue specifically, but the original issue was diffused. I learned how to take a step back and collect myself before exploding. After I reached that point, I continued with counselling because talking everyone out was giving me a fresh view on my life. I stayed in counselling for six months, and I got so much out of the final sessions. I learned about who I am as a person, just how valuable I am as a person, and what I deserve as a person.

              As you can see, counselling has been a big part of my life in all stages. It has been so beneficial to me that I suggest to anyone going through a difficult time. Overall, getting the help I needed led to becoming the person I am today. Over various points in my lifetime, counselling has given me clarity, direction, and purpose. I would say that inner reflection that has been constant in my life has allowed me to become a well-rounded person. This is my struggle with mental health. This is how I overcame the small problems and the big ones. This is what I tell people when they come to me for me. This is part of who I am. This is my story.

-Daniella