My life has phases, and these phases have themes.
Occasionally, they even have theme songs, but not always.
So my theme lately has been “finishing what I started.” I mentioned a few weeks back that I was going to see my friendly neighborhood Christian counselor. That was another “finishing what I started” thing. I started working on what wasn’t really working seven years or so ago. I made a lot of progress, but I quit before I was really done.
If you’re wondering how that’s going, the short and simple answer is “very well.” The longer and more complicated answer is that cleaning out your psyche is much like cleaning out your closets. It has to get worse before it gets better. There’s a short period where all your accumulated useless junk and all the actually useful stuff is all pulled out and strewn in semi-organized piles in the middle of the room.
You’re standing there tired and sweaty and kerchief-headed, thinking “Dang, I had no idea I had all that junk crazy stored up back there!” and feeling generally too exhausted to even think about hauling the useless stuff out to the trash and finding a place for the useful stuff.
But you do it anyway, because at that point, you’re committed. You can’t just leave all your crazy just sitting there in the middle of a room you can’t walk through without risk to life and limb.
If we’re using that as a working metaphor for where I’m at right now, I would say that I can see floor, there are clear paths through the chaos, and a LOT of the junk has been hauled to the waste-wheeler. So, good progress anyway.
I was a little hesitant to blog about this. For one thing, because there is still a big stigma associated with doing therapy or counseling because it implies (GASP!) that you might just not have all your stuff together in all respects.
I know. Shock. Awe.
Plus it’s a little disconcerting when you know for a fact your boss, your closest coworkers, people you respect in your industry, and your H.R. manager all read your blog, to talk about working your crazy out.
But it’s only scary and intimidating if you actually think that most people aren’t walking around with a little more crazy stuffed in their psyche than they really need.
But let me just say right now, if you find yourself doing the same stupid stuff over and over again, and it’s just not working, you might just want to consider calling someone up and scheduling an appointment. Don’t think of them as a therapist or a counselor, if you have an icky association with those words. Heck, call them a professional (psyche) organizer if you want. Call a “personal coach” if that’s what you’re comfortable with.
Contact your H.R. person (who is not as nice as mine is, but is probably still pretty nice as H.R. people tend to be people persons). Ask if your company has an E.A.P. (which means you can get free or low-cost counseling). Ask if you have mental health coverage. It’s surprising how often you do, and just don’t know it. People always ask about dental and vision–mental health is sort of an awkward subject to broach in your orientation.
Because it’s just like your overstuffed closets. If you don’t deal with all that crap, sooner or later it’s going to come spilling out. Probably in the middle of a birthday party or a family barbecue or something.
And really, who wants that?