“I probably need counseling,” and my daughter and I said, “Yes, you do,” too quickly and simultaneously. Which was awkward. And then my mom said, “Nah. It’s way too late for that.”
No, really, it’s not.
And this isn’t a jab at my mom. She knows she needs counseling. I think we all do. Wait, I think we all need counseling, not we all think my mom does. Even though, she really does.
Sure, I have a degree in counseling, but I am not licensed. So this isn’t a plug for me to be your counselor. But, if you decide you probably need counseling, make sure you get it from a licensed professional. Seriously y’all. Check credentials.
They are there for a reason.
Anyway, here I am at 2:00 in the morning, wide awake, thinking about counseling and why I probably need it.
So I decided to share.
Truth be told, I was going to write a post called, “I should write a post.” But then I realized, I hadn’t written a post in so long, something must be wrong.
And that is when it hit me, “I probably need counseling.”
The last couple of months have been a whirlwind. I can’t remember when the tempest started to build, I barely recall the eye of the storm. However, I am wide awake at 2 am with some words, so maybe it has passed.
I doubt it.
And that is not a negative. The whirlwind wasn’t bad. It was just a lot to process.
But, yesterday sitting at an art table in downtown Houston, I was fanning my eyes, trying not to cry, huffing and puffing through “meditative Lamaze” breathing, and I thought…
“I probably need counseling.”
And I really do.
I remember a time when I believed that counseling was for crazy people. But I think counseling is for all the people. I fully intend on getting some. But you know when you need to talk, and there are no words? That was me at the art table.
Some of you may not realize this, aside from my full-time author gig, full-time Etsy gig, full time speaking gig, and full-time wife and mom gig, I am also a full-time royalty artist.
I know, right?
Did you know this was a thing? Or did you think art just magically appeared in Hobby Lobby, Home Goods, and Target?
I don’t know who I thought made this art? But it is made real artists like my daughter, Maggie and me. And, one time, I was getting a colonic, I don’t want to talk about that, and I met a girl who was getting one too. Not at the same time, we were in the waiting room, that’s gross, you need counseling. Anyway, it was the oddest of chance encounters, and she, Blakely Bering, happened to be an artist and art agent.
And now she is my art agent, and also my friend.
I kind of count my Wednesdays as counseling.
Blakely signed Maggie to her “Art Farm,” too. And Wednesdays at the art farm are an open house of sorts. There are about 4 of us, that go to the studio in Houston and paint all day. It’s just a little studio room with paint on the floors, walls, tables, and artists.
So Maggie and I go to the art farm, we get assignments for things that might be needed at certain stores and we paint them. And yesterday, when I realized I needed counseling, I found myself hyperventilating at the art table, trying not to cry.
The other artists, who really are just extraordinary humans, rallied. I didn’t even know I was going to cry. I was actually quite happy. A major retailer was reviewing some of my art, at that very moment. I had just learned a new technique. Maggie and I confirmed our trip to Colorado to meditate at the retreat and spa where my Hippie Baby, Luke lives. And I had just hung up the phone with a photographer… because guess what they are putting on the cover of my new book?
Yeah, my face.
But all those things, plus the sale of a commissioned work I just finished the day before, sent me over the edge. Truly, I need counseling.
Which, by the way, the commissioned art piece, was for a counseling office. I know, ironic.
I talked through some of what I was feeling with my artsy friends. But I still had a lump in my throat and felt physically drained. We hit the 4:30, Houston I-45 North traffic just in time. There is that surge of adrenaline, the hurry up and wait variety. Maggie and I were meeting my parents for dinner, only 15 miles away. Estimated time of arrival? 90 minutes.
Dinner was lovely.
I was home by 7:30. Which was when I was notified that the retailer reviewing my art, picked it up. And I cried for the 3rd time in as many hours. And I knew I wouldn’t sleep, so I set up camp in the guest room, where I found all of my “Etsy Shop Art,” freshly hung on every single open available space.
Justin must have spent hours hanging it.
And I cried again.
Note to self, Dear Jami, you need counseling.
By 8 pm, I was dead asleep. And as usual, by 12:45 am, I was done sleeping.
There is nothing bad going on. Things are moving along quite nicely. Still, I feel what I often do, is wait for the wheels to come completely off before I seek counseling. And with the wheels on, I think, this is an excellent time to process and make healthy advances.
This is where I truly believe we as a society miss out on the benefits of counseling.
We blow and go and rush and strive, and then when things get bad, we think, “I guess I need counseling.” But I would like to propose, we all need it, not just when things are hard, but most especially when things are good.
Counseling isn’t just for the bad times, it is for all the time. And a good counselor should be a guide to help you process how you process, what went right or wrong, and most assuredly, help their clients not repeat the same patterns that have left them needing counseling, instead of just wanting counseling.
Wanting to be better is a great reason to get counseling.
Processing with a neutral party that might not see what friends and family see, beneficial.
Recovery or stagnation, both great reasons to get counseling.
And as I wrote this and thought, “I will never post this, I sound like a freaking lunatic. I really should get counseling…” I realized, it is a good day, er… middle of the night to encourage me and you. We all need counseling.
If you can, find an accredited counselor. If you are uninsured, like me, find a non-profit organization that uses sliding payment scales. Maybe it was somewhere in my subconscious, I did not know until I googled something for this post, October 10th is World Mental Health Day. Lucky for you, I was up to celebrate at 2 am, because truly… I need counseling.
Let us join cyber hands mamas. Today we lift up those who have been left behind. To the parents, siblings, and loved ones of those who lost their battle with mental illness. The first time that I heard this term in relation to suicide, I was undone. It is a battle. I cannot fathom what it is to watch a child drowning in depression, and not be able to save them. Jesus, help. Our friend, Jesus, cover and protect. Jesus be all over this epidemic and help us see with clear eyes where we can help.
I heard a professor once say that suicide is selfish.
And I disagree. I don’t believe that a suicidal human is doing anything selfish. They are so broken, they believe they are doing the world a favor. And this is hard to fathom. But we have an opportunity to see mental health in a new way. Sure, we go to the doctor when we are sick, but we also go for preventative reasons. And I want my kids to know, there is nothing wrong with getting help. Counseling is mental health. Really, we should all get some. Jesus be all over you. Love, J
Proverbs 19:20 Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end, you will be counted among the wise.