Amy and I have been having a lot of chats lately. Sometimes we discuss kittens, sometimes we talk about Christmas and sometimes we talk about our friendship. As women who have always primarily had male friends, we find ourselves at a time in our lives where, suddenly, we’re each surrounded by a handful of phenomenal women.
There is something generally about the nature of ladies that causes us to be competitive, catty and always on guard with each other. But in the instances in which those barriers are trampled down, relationships that are both fruitful and nurturing can be allowed to grow. It takes work, but it’s worth it.
Original Photo: jenniferlstoddart on Flickr (Used With Permission)
One key factor that someone like Amy has going for her is trust. I trust her, she trusts me. As a woman trying to navigate her way to the next milestone of 30, trust is a major component of my personal lifeblood. For as long as it’s taken me, I’m finally at a point in my life where I’ve realized the importance of self and also the ripple effect that my life has. What steers the current of those ripples is dependent on me.
It’s been slightly more than two months since I started seeing a counsellor. The point of my sessions is not only working through stressors that impact me directly, but also finding the little pockets of my past that have an even greater impact – for good or for bad. What I am discovering about myself in these twice-monthly appointments is that I have a hugely difficult time expressing my needs or feelings in the moment.
Who hasn’t thought of the perfect way to say something only moments after the fact?
Each time my counsellor and I meet, her and I weed away further at where this comes from. So much of the time, I want to say what’s on my mind but it’s as if the words literally become lodged in my throat and become stuck there. My question to myself is “what is it that suppressed me into thinking that I couldn’t say what I wanted to say?” And more importantly than that, “what can and will I do to break through that hindrance?”
It’s quite possible that I won’t get all my answers anytime soon – or ever, for that matter. One thing I do know is that I am willing to work on that which impresses upon me and develop who I am for the even better. As people, we try to eat right, exercise, brush our teeth and visit the doctor for check-ups each year, but who of us is willing to keep what’s upstairs healthy and in check? Yesterday I received an e-mail with regards to my openness in discussing my struggles with abandoholism, obtaining counselling and seeking to better my mental wellness.
The author of the e-mail invited both me and my best friend to join a panel of bloggers at Northern Voice 2009 in an effort to discuss blogging as a means of breaking through the stigmas surrounding mental health issues. My best friend was diagnosed as Type II bipolar in recent years and has chosen to be open about his affliction in order to shed some much-needed light on the subject. Many people don’t understand that mental illness is, in fact, an illness. It is nothing to be taken lightly, as those who are mentally ill more than often experience a great deal of suffering on a daily basis. It is heartbreaking.
If you’d like to find out more information about counselling services in British Columbia, mental health or even to find out how you can attend Northern Voice 2009, visit the links below.