Monday, December 28, 2009

While the Cat's Away...

...the mice seek therapy.

Life can be messy. Complicated. Confusing. Overwhelming.

While I am absolutely flattered when people say I am a "strong" woman, the truth is I'm just doing what I can with what I have been given.

And sometimes along the way, I need a little direction. A shoulder to cry on. A hand to hold. Someone to listen. I appreciate my support system of friends and family, but sometimes that which needs to be laid out there requires the eyes and ears of a stranger.

I started seeing a therapist almost 6 months ago. No coincidence that it was right around the time J deployed. J and I had a rough sendoff and unfortunately, things don't tend to get much better from halfway around the world. Mix in the needs of my special little boy and making sure his older sisters were also feeling the love and it was easy to see how my feelings of being overwhelmed morphed into feelings of being pushed to the edge.

I chose an Army Chaplain because I knew I would get counsel from a Biblical perspective, which is really important to me. So once a week we would meet. And he would listen. He would let me talk and talk...and very often, cry. Being able express myself was liberating. He reserved judgment and never tried to tell me how I should feel. Instead of telling me what I should do, he nudged me to search my own heart and soul--to allow God's word to minister to me. I bought books, studied the Bible, and eventually experienced a huge breakthrough.

Admitting I needed help took a huge leap of faith. Actively seeking it was even bigger. There is such a stigma attached to mental health--especially in the military. No wife wants to think she's somehow derailing her husband's career because she believes she's been labeled "crazy". Honestly, I thought long and hard about even blogging about this. But at the end of the day, I know for sure that it takes a strong person to say, "Hey. I'm in over my head. Someone toss me a life jacket. Preferably one with a little cross on it..."

So in that sense, then I guess, yes,--that does make me a strong woman. Sometimes I just need to be reminded.


Jamie said...

You are still one of the strongest women I know! And kuddos to you for being strong enough to get the help when you needed it!

Sharon said...

Thanks, Jamie! :)

Michele said...

I just love you so much, Mandie.

Sharon said...

Right back at you, Michele. :)

Karen the Californian said...

Thanks so much for sharing this, Sharon.