I like to work out at least four days per week. Actually, this habit only started about 7 years ago when I was in the heat of depression. The only reason I started to work out was that a friend of mine, who I used to clean houses with, inspired me. She encouraged me and motivated me about my health and my future.
When I go to the gym, I feel better about myself. Working on being physically and mentally fit makes me feel productive, content, attractive (inside and out), and most importantly, healthy. Today, I continue to workout out of discipline and commitment. There are times when I will take off a few weeks because I resent having to work out, but I always come back to it because I committed to this being a lifestyle change. As opposed to “diets,” which are temporary, lifestyle changes compel a lifelong commitment. I do not “diet” exercise, or exercise for the sake of looking hot in a two-piece at the summer vacation pool. That is an added benefit, but it is not the motivation.
This is the same with mental health. We must not seek out a counselor solely to “feel better” at the moment, but rather to drill down and do the hard work of healing. Just like pumping iron at the gym, there is a pain in the gain. My biceps don’t get swole without enduring endless hours of severe pain in my arms. Sometimes I walk away with my arms feeling like Jello, wet noodles, or fragile Chinaware. In those days, it was hard to even pick up a pencil. This is what counseling can and should feel like. It should hurt. If it isn’t hurting, you’re not doing it right. You can’t get the big guns without big pain. In the same way, you can’t get the Hulk Hogan-fortified mind without the pain and repetition of working out your past traumas and present issues (e.g., anxiety, depression, fear, sadness, unforgiveness, resentment, bitterness, or just the plain ol’ blues).
Why should it hurt, you ask? I’m glad you brought this up. It should hurt because bringing out the details of your past traumas doesn’t feel good. Details of the sexual, physical, verbal, mental, or emotional abuse you endured as a child shouldn’t be pleasant to talk about. Discussing a lost child, an addiction or a spousal addiction, an abortion, parents passed on, or a car accident isn’t fun topics. They hurt. Bad… But the reality is that we cannot heal from these things without walking through them. Flowers cannot grow in darkness– only mushrooms and mold do that. We must bring the painful details of our past to the surface (by discussing it), which is effectively allowing them room to receive light. In light, love is found. We must allow ourselves to be nurtured and loved in the secret places; the places that are too painful to reminisce on.
Allow our infamous Counselors at NuWell to help you and walk by your side as we walk through the pains of your past. Allow us to shed light and love on your traumas. By doing this, if you truly want it, you will receive healing. You can’t get flex without a fight.