Lea Visits the Counselor

It’s one of those trips that you take by yourself. You trek up to the SAC where all hurting people travel. You check-in at the front desk with women who bring comfort in a smile, then proceed to sit in silence as you imagine all that can happen in the next hour. Healing, crying, laughing, uncomfortable small talk. All of these are bound to happen because you are finally dragging yourself to a counseling appointment. 

Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash

 You meet your counselor, you hit it off immediately, and all of your problems are magically fixed. At least that is one of the multiple scenarios playing through your head. Or if you are like me, you are focusing on other more progressively tragic scenarios. You meet your counselor and it’s a man. How are you ever going to open up to a man? He wants to know what’s wrong with you. How are you supposed to know what’s wrong with you? He persists until finally, he concludes that your problems are both too big to be fixed and somehow also too inconsequential for you to be wasting school resources. You leave feeling dejected knowing that you will never be fixed because why would anyone ever want to listen to what you have to say?


But luckily, that is not the reality of the situation. No, because as the time ticks on, you are completely pulled from your imagination of infinite horrible possibilities by the sound of your real counselor calling your name. 


And there she is.

For me, it was like viewing an angel. And yet she was still somehow completely human. I marveled at the way that she was so powerful and yet equal parts comforting. For confidential purposes, I will call her “Luna”. 


Luna welcomed me into her office and sat me next to her. No notepad, no paper, no voice recorder. Just two friends sitting beside one another in the safest of places. She asked what, at the root of it all, pushed me to finally seek out the Counselling Office. 

The craziest part; she listened and affirmed me as I told her of the scariest, darkest points of the last year of my life. She called me “strong” and “brave” for seeking help in the first place. Apparently, it’s a thing that everyone needs but not many people choose to vocalize. The thing about me is that I have no problem talking about my emotions, feelings, fears, hopes, dreams, my past, my present, etc. (I’m an enneagram 4 after all). My problem is knowing how to leave that place of sulking, crying, self-pity, guilt, loneliness, and fear. Even writing about that brings me anxiety. 


Fortunately, Luna has taught me a few tricks to try out when I begin to feel so anxious that I feel a panic attack coming on. For the past week, I have been going through the steps she has shown me in order to bring down my level of anxiety. So if you see me on campus breathing with great focus, writing my name repeatedly on paper, or a number of other things, mind your business. Or ask me about it. Either one works. 


In conclusion, I am so excited to continue my sessions with Luna. I’ve only been to one session and I already feel a greater sense of hope. It’s not like the anxiety or my inclination to enter a depressive episode have suddenly disappeared, but I do see a more practical way in which I can avoid panic attacks which helps a lot. 


If you have been thinking about seeking out the Counseling Center but have been dragging your feet, here is your sign to just get on with it. You will have to attend one intake session where you fill out paperwork about your habits and problems, then possibly you will need to be a part of a THRIVE group where you are introduced to the goals and reality of what counseling is. After that, you may find your own Luna. You may find your own practical techniques that help you through moments of anxiety. You may find hope in a place where you didn’t think you could.   

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