You should see a counselor, even if you think you don't need to

I was sitting in my counselor’s office staring at a picture of a brain on Tuesday thinking about how glad I was there. Even if I wasn’t talking at that moment, I felt like I could say anything or cry if I really wanted to.

“This shouldn’t be a place where you feel bad about saying anything here,” my counselor said to me. You see,  if I wanted to talk about how much my friends were getting on my nerves, how much I was angry at my mother but would never tell her, or how I felt like I was smiling for the last few days even though I wasn’t really happy I could.

If not for any other reason, you should talk to a counselor so you have space to say the things you feel like you are not allowed to say or would be too afraid to say to people’s faces.

It wasn’t until I started seeing a counselor that I finally realized my emotions surrounding certain people in my life. It wasn’t because she did anything specific, but she gave me the space to say the things I truly felt, and I didn’t have to feel bad about it or think that it might get out. I also didn’t have to worry about how she would react.

Going to a counselor might help you realize emotions you never knew you had, or maybe you did know but were too afraid to acknowledge them. No matter what, everyone has emotions, it’s just about getting them out in a comfortable and safe environment.

Counseling can also be helpful if you often find yourself listening to your friends a lot. For me, I find myself listening to my friends a lot. I’m good at giving advice as well as just listening when they have a bad day. However, this can sometimes get emotionally draining and I need a space to get that energy out.

When I first started counseling, I thought that my counselor was going to be able to magically solve all of my problems. I thought she was just going to be this person with all of the answers. But in reality, she is just a person to sit with me in times when life gets really hard, and that’s all I can ask for.

Most of the time, counselors will not have the answers to our problems, but a lot of the times they give us space to talk through our problems in order to find the answers ourselves. Even if you think you don’t need a counselor, I think it is important to try talking to someone at least once. You might find out that you needed it more than you thought you did.