Therapy… more specifically mental and psychological therapy, is a twisted, winding road. Unlike physical therapy which begins with some level of crash, a trip to the mechanic (hopefully it’s not totaled) and then a set direction towards getting back on the road. Mental therapy is a harrowing, constantly narrowing path which is oft traveled alone, sometimes with an unknown point of departure, with an unpredictable destination and quite a few dead ends.
The important thing to remember is — wherever you go there you are! Because once you get there there’s usually no turning back and you can’t remember where you came from anyway. Think it through; talk it out-loud to yourself — sometimes hearing something has a greater impact than just thinking about it. Try not to do this in public though, you already know you have problems and there’s no point in adding everyone else thinking you’re looney tunes.
If you don’t want to listen to yourself, find somebody who will. Do not pick random people to discuss your issues with. Strangers may have the best candy but they usually don’t care about your mental well-being. Start with friends and family or maybe a friend who’s like family or a family member that’s a friend. Sorry — some family members just don’t like you that much. If you have no friends or family, seek professional help. A therapist doesn’t have to be your first resort but they don’t have to be your last one either.
Personal, public and professional therapy aside, there is another unexplored option. You could pick up a locally distributed paper. In hopes that maybe a freelance contributing writer of said paper has constructed an article that covers your issue. Perchance said writer of said paper shares a similar mental hang-up or hiccup and wants to work through it in writing. Oh look…it’s happening right now!
Have you ever done something you immediately regretted? (And the award for most awkward transition in writing this week goes to…) Let’s take that a step further- Have you ever regretted something before and while doing it? Knowing in advance there’ll be mindful hell to pay and yet you do it anyway? Because at the time, what you’ve convinced yourself to be the positive aspects and outcome outweighed the pending potential grief, guilt and anguish… or so you thought. Funny thing is, once it’s over, all those little cheering voices go deathly quiet. And the voices of regret and guilt arrive long-winded and deafening.
Some things can be reprimanded and rectified with a simple sincere apology or gesture of goodwill. Others can be undone by undoing what you have done. And then there are those things…those stupid little things, which seemed like such a good idea at the time, which become haunts of forevermore.
Making matters worse you may realize early on, after the fact, that you have been in error. You feel the brunt of your actions and try to act in reconciliation, fully aware it’s a faux attempt. This will often make things worse by eliminating any false hopes and driving home what is already known: there is no fixing this.
So it’s broken beyond repair and you are the one that broke it. Talking about it, contemplating, confessing may ease your mind but it doesn’t make it go away. No matter what you think, say or do, you cannot fix this. Because it is no longer broken… it is over, done with, gone. What’s done is done, cannot be undone and now all that’s left to be done is to live with it, remember it and never do it again. Remembering’s easy, and if you remember then not doing it again should be too. But living with it… that’s the hard part.
Do not deny or pretend it never happened, accept it and embrace it — it’s your guilt so wallow in it. Come to the understanding that you did this and cannot undo it. Let it eat at you, it’s humbling and good for the soul but DO NOT LET IT CONSUME YOU! Never let anything consume you…especially bears.
Time heals all wounds, even mental ones, but you will have a nasty scar. Don’t pick at it, you’ll get an infection. Tend to it. Touch it now and again. Remember it’s there and don’t reopen it.
I welcome almost all questions and comments via FOCUS, or E-mail me directly at – [email protected]. Hope to hear from you, until then try and stay focused. See ya!