Monday, June 8, 2020

To Tell the Truth -- Therapy

The message that we get from society, and unfortunately even from family and friends sometimes (and at the worst of times, it seems) is that therapy is just fine as long as its physical.  But, emotional?  Forget it, you're on your own, loser.  Don't talk about it with anyone, don't ever admit it, keep your mouth shut and stuff your feelings and emotions deep down inside so that you don't make anyone else uncomfortable. Ever.  Tell them all about your medical procedure regarding your heart and people will wish you well, but something that hurts your heart emotionally, shhhhh.  Just pretend everything is fine. 

I don't know who out there needs to hear this, but I call bull crap.  I'm proud of you for admitting you need some help and going to get it.  What a great thing to do for yourself and what an important thing to do for your marriage or family or whomever you're doing it with or for.  It's not usually an easy or comfortable process, but it's downright necessary and smart to go through it and come out safely on the other side.

On medication for depression, anxiety, whatever?  Doing yoga and meditation? Good for you!  You go girl, boy, they!  

Many of us are going through a rough time world wide right now because of Covid and its devastating physical, mental, and financial effects, and because George Floyd's life was senselessly and violently taken from him.  And what does one do about this as a loving and responsible citizen?  Good luck agreeing on whatever that is collectively.  Yeesh!  

Therapy might not look the same today as it did many months ago.  There are now virtual visits, phone calls, family helping family, friends helping friends from near and far, writing on your blog, reading other blogs and responding, emailing behind the blog, running, walking, going for a drive with your own taste of music blasting, creating your own individual form of art, working with your hands, cooking, etc.   Whatever healthy thing it is so many of us are on it.  Woot!  

People in my life are reaching out.  Some I haven't heard from in a really long time as friendships fade or go through phases, hurt feelings happen, and sometimes life just changes for us.  When the Covid stuff started sinking in with society worldwide in February and early March, one person surprised me by reaching out.  I found myself just appreciative that she was thinking of me and my family, asked after us, and wanted to convey her love and wishes for good health during this scary time.  I accepted that wholeheartedly and reached back to her with nothing but love, fond memories, and good wishes for her and her family.   In answering her initial and understandably tentative text, I responded to her need to reach out.  And, yes, she was asking after me, but what if she needed help from me in some way?  We both put everything that had been previously difficult between us aside and responded with love to one another.

This got me thinking and I thought that perhaps I should reach out to a few gals I had lost touch with, perhaps weren't the happiest with the way our friendships parted or whatever, and I swallowed my pride and offered my vulnerability.  I was successful in 3 cases and shot down out of the sky with an emotional scud missile in 1.  Woops!  Well, as Storm tells me, "Her response says much more about her and the kind of person she is (not nice) than it does about you."  Thank you, Honey!    

Recently, Storm and I binged watched 3 seasons of that series called The Ozarks.  My absolute favorite character was this young redneck lady named Ruth.  Her character is perpetually pissed off and has this twisted expression with her lips even more exaggerated than does the actress Holly Hunter.  Ruth has short blond curly hair that adds to her spitfire and pissed-off-edness.  She hardly has a line in the show that doesn't include some form of the word fuck.  Laughing!  At one point late in the show, Ruth gets the tar kicked out of her and is in the hospital.  When she finally awakens, her friends ask her how she is and she says in a tiny quiet southern accent, "It feels like somebody  took me apart and put me back together the wrong way."  I laughed out loud even as I murmured "awwwww!"  What a perfect way to describe what life sometimes does to us.

Later the meanest and most vengeful actor on that same show, Mrs. Snell, gives Ruth some surprisingly wise counsel, "Vulnerability is often seen as weakness when in actuality, it's the opposite.  It's strength."

It takes great strength for a person to get knocked down hundreds of times in life and to have the will to get back up.   A hundred?  Isn't that a bit much?  No, considering the fact that for every child of age, there are approximately 180 school days every year.  Ever had to deal with a bully?  And that's just childhood and only at school!

One thing I think people assume is that only when things are really really bad do we get counseling.  And I hope that is true because it's better than not getting it.  However, there are plenty of us our there who catch things in early and get into therapy to help us navigate some choppy weather before an actual tragedy hits.

Oh wow, look at what I discovered about Michelle Obama and Barack Obama.  She shares openly in her book Becoming (and in an interview with Oprah) that they sought marriage counseling.  I wonder if their friends gave up on them or said "Ah yeah, get back to me when all that is over because right now, you're just not good enough......"   Ya think?   Think any of her close friends said that to her in the White House?  And if they did, do you think she kept them as confidants?  We know her better.

I feel some people talk out of both sides of their mouths when they say there is no shame in getting mental or emotional help, but then treat you like there is once you admit it.   Unfortunately even doctors and therapists can make you feel less than.  Does yours look down on you when you come through the door?  Hopefully, not, but if so, it might be time to find a new one.  All I know is that when you come out of that door, virtual or otherwise, your loved ones should be looking up at you because it takes guts to face life instead of calling it quits.


  1. Here here Windy, what a fabulous post, and well said! Good on you for reaching out to those friends you had lost contact with. I'm so sorry you got shot down in one case, but Storm is absolutely right. That says more about her than you.


    1. Thanks, Roz! Oh, you know, just being human and all that during this rough time that we've all been in. It doesn't mean that we will stay in touch with the friends from the past, but that is just fine, too. Everybody just checking up on others! I'm glad your county seems to have this Covid crap under control. Stay safe and healthy, Roz! Hugs, Windy

  2. Gonna share a weird thing about me... quite a few years back I fell apart - tiny pieces all over the place ........ took me a while but finally with some help - got myself into therapy.... never crossed my mind anyone would think differently of me for it... that was a bit of an eye opener!! But here I am many years later a full on advocate of therapy....... and respect people who decide to take that route -- it's not an easy one :)

    1. Hi, MorningStar! That is not weird at all. And thank you for sharing here so that any of us who read here know we're not alone when we have had to reach out for therapy/counseling or if some of us are thinking about it. You explaining and offering your vulnerability here and on your own blog might really help someone. I think you're a really great gal and I'm glad you got the help you needed and that you're on the mend for a while now. Good for you on the advocacy! Much love to you! And I'm glad t hat you never felt anyone judging you along the way. Maybe that is just my own experience with some ugly and judgmental people that I have around me! Blah! Hugs, Windy

  3. I got therapy before I married because I realized I was pushing away any decent guy that came near me. I was in danger of doing the same thing to Nick so I sought counseling and it helped enormously! My SIL went into counseling about a year ago and he said if he hadn't he didn't know if he would have been able to make it through all that's going on in the world now. It's a life saver for so many.

    1. Aww, Pk. You were pushing good guys away, huh? I'm glad you reached out for some answers and hung onto Nick as a result. I'm glad your SIL got help, too, and that it helped prepare her for the mess that is 2020! Therapy is a lifesaver indeed. Well said. Thank you, my friend! Hugs, Windy

  4. Absolutely spot on! I know quite a few very strong people who come through difficult challenges using therapy!
    You are a good person to reach out with love to those who have hurt you. I admire that.

    1. Hi, Minielle! Good to see you. Thanks for the hip hip hooray. Wasn't easy, but I tried! Hope you are well. Hugs, Windy

  5. I have many a story to tell, Windy. I even have a blog site where I write just that, life and mental health etc. I won't bore you with either but what I do want to say is that mental health IS important and more so, it effects your physical health as well - so why not take care of it? Usually the answer is that those who scorn have been scorned themselves .....

    It takes a great deal of courage and strength to step out of the box and try to fix what ails you before it gets worse, but it's still the right thing, not the weak thing! It took me many a year to figure that out and distancing myself from my family in the process, so be it.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't worry about those who don't know or don't understand. OR if you like 'do' worry, do whatever it is you do and how it works for you. Life belongs to only one person - you.
    (not saying this is you specifically just the collective 'you') :)

  6. Nijntje,
    Hello. It' is November and I am just now seeing your comment from July because I haven't been blogging. I'm so sorry it took this long to respond. It's good you have a place where you can write that deals with your life and mental health... that can be therapeutic as I am sure you know. Thank you for the encouragement. Anyone who reaches out for help, no matter if it's the first time or the 50th....good them, right?!! Best to get help if and when and for however long we need it! Thanks for your comments! Hugs, Windy