Yes, it’s true. I admit it, I am seeing a shrink.
But I also admit that…while I’m trying to make myself the advocate for the authenticity and transparency of the challenges of an abused single Christian mom’s life (and life in general), I thought twice before deciding to make this public confession, and write about it.
Because in the Christian circle I grew up in, it was taboo to talk about that. It doesn’t sound spiritual at all, actually. At best, we recognize the big impasses in our lives, we promise to go and see a professional, but we actually just talk about it to one of our friends and tell them not to repeat it. At worst, we despise the very idea of talking to a shrink, especially if they are not a believer.
I’ve actually been around so many Christians who have had a long walk with the Lord and the equivalent of a Master’s degree in theology just by listening to preaching, reading books and participating in Bible study groups, but who are consumed by their inability to forgive, are unable to even name their emotions – let alone deal with them – and hurt everyone around them by repeating old patterns from their unregulated childhood. I say this with a great deal of compassion, but also with a great deal of sadness. Because it’s sad.
I’ve decided it’s not going to happen to me. I’m dealing with some severe stuff. Being surrendered to adoption as a baby. I’m also dealing with a hard life as a single teenage mom and more recently, finding out that my (ex) husband had been drugging and abusing me for years, and that my daughter was his victim too.
So there is enough reasons as too why I should go and see a therapist. We can all agree that difficult grief requires a helping hand from someone who knows about it. And It helped me a lot, by the way. It’s been a few months now and I feel like we are just getting started, there is so much going on, so much to be processed and we only have 60 minutes each time every other week. But I still desperately need it and will need for some time to come still.
Not going into too much detail, but I still suffer from anxiety attacks, chronic stress and pain, depression, bitterness and the inability to let go. A classic example of an imperfect and tired mother. Except that I’ve decided I really want to fix this in my life.
Going to therapy doesn’t stop me from having a real prayer life you know. God and me, we talk a lot.
I have a relationship with God Almighty, even though we’ve had some arguments and even though I have a hard time understanding life, my relationship with Him is the main thing giving me strength.
But I needed a little more help, I couldn’t cope…and I admitted to it finally.
It should just be the first step in a real transformation process. Admitting. Acknowledging that we’re having a hard time. Then trying to fix those flaws, letting ourselves be transformed by God who calls us to walk from glory to glory and to continually become the best version of ourselves.
For me, going to a shrink and trusting God for a drastic transformation of my character…because often it takes a miracle…is by no means inconceivable.
It’s like believing that God can cure us of an illness, but going to see the doctor anyway, just to understand what’s wrong. It’s like believing that God can provide for our difficult finances, but going to an accountant anyway, just to manage our money well.
I could go on for a long time about the fact that I am convinced that God wants us to be able to be vulnerable but also wants to take advantage of the talents/knowledge that He has given to other people. He really likes to use human beings in general to bless us, and it’s just completely foolish to deprive ourselves of that.
What to do?
So, didn’t I convince you? You’re judging me, aren’t you? It’s really not a big deal. The point here is: do you have some boo-boos in your heart, some dead ends, some things inside you that are ruining your life and the lives of others? Are you convinced that you need to seriously work on living a real transformation to finally have a more peaceful and abundant life? (I hope so, because answering no to that question is a problem, in fact…! Haha! (uneasy laugh)). But you refuse to go see a shrink or you really, really can’t afford it, and there isn’t even a counseling service in your church? Well then, here are a few other suggestions, so you don’t become like the old Christians I described above:
- Find yourself a series of good books on the subject(s) that concern you (that doesn’t replace your Bible, we agree) and seriously study them, with an open heart.
- Talk to friends, real ones, who will challenge you and to whom you will be held accountable to on a very, very regular basis.
- Find a mentor you admire and want to be like and spend lots of time with them. Ask her lots of questions too.
- Put yourself in a “straight talk” mode with God…like, “What do you want to change about me? Where does that come from? What lie do I believe? Why am I reacting like this? “and listen to the answers, even if they might hurt! Afterward, ask Him concretely what you should do to experience healing (…suddenly He would tell you to go see a shrink, you know!). Hahaha!!!!!!)
Go for it!