The dark clouds and fierce wind seemed to be gaining momentum and width as I watched from my wheelchair in the parking lot. It was my first session with my counselor.
Her smile was bright and welcoming as we went through the intake questions. Though my eyes couldn’t help but wander to the storm surrounding us, especially with the stifling heat making it difficult to breathe.
Although as I reflect on that day nearly a year ago, I cannot help but cry sweet tears of joy, for it would later be the perfect parallel of my journey to healing.
Like a brewing storm, my past haunted me at every turn for years. The nightmares and anxiety attacks grew more frequent. Still, it was far easier to ignore and deny, telling everyone “I’m fine”. (Or so I believed.)
However, my body and its rapid digression spoke of the lie. Therefore, after my second stroke at the age of twenty-five, I finally mustered up the stamina to call and schedule an appointment.
After the first few sessions, my nervousness began to dissipate and I grew more comfortable with my counselor Though the deeper we got into the dark, I feared what we would find buried beneath the subconscious of my mind.
It seemed never ending as we pulled off layer after layer of the “fairy-tale” I had construed. Still, I will never forget the day when one question turned to multiple, causing my brain and heart to spin. It was as if my counselor pulled off a blindfold as I awakened to reality.
The hot tears and rain poured for weeks. Still, my counselor entered into that space of grief and brokenness with me. Holding the umbrella to deflect the water and triggers when needed, she listened and began to discover the origins of the storm, journeying back to the very beginning.
With her help and allowing myself to feel again, we faced the pain. It was not overnight. Yet, little by little, the darkness began transforming to light.
I could look back on the storms and remember their events, though they no longer carried weight or power.
Instead, it propelled me into the arms of my Heavenly Father and the courage to share my story for I am not alone and neither are you.
We all have storms we have walked through. If they aren’t dealt with properly, I have learned they will continue brewing and before long, go like a tornado through your body.
Therefore, the biggest piece of wisdom I could give you is to find a counselor. Getting help is NOT a sign of weakness, like I believed for the longest time.
We were not created to weather the storms and winds on our own.
Hence, counseling is one of the greatest investments you can make. It is unquestionably hard work. There are so many days and weeks I just want to give up.
Although if you stick with it, its benefits are endless, not only for the immediate here and now but for generations down the road. You can be the ONE who breaks the cycle.
If you are in need of help in finding a counselor in your area (and that is covered by your insurance), please feel free to reach out to me via email firstname.lastname@example.org, social media or comment below! I would love to help you! Also, feel free to share any prayer requests!
Much love and prayers always, Alisha