Phelps says therapy saved him. “I’ll be the first to admit I was scared as hell when I went for the first time,” he says. “I didn’t want to walk in and tell some random person the things that I was feeling—that’s hard.”
I’ve known people who waited for years and years before seeking help or changing their external circumstances. One man told me, “I knew I had situational depression, but I thought when I finally left my toxic marriage, it would go away. Unfortunately for him, it had gone on for so long that it had turned into Clinical Depression, which is much harder to treat. Most people wait six years before seeking help.
Another man saw me at the health club this week and asked, “Are you the marriage counselor?” I said yes. He’s been married for nine years. He told me he doesn’t know how to bring things up with his wife without it turning into a big deal. He asked, “Am I supposed to just compartmentalize it and go on?” I told him he (they) need tools to communicate so they can bring up anything and have a useful, productive and ultimately, emotionally connecting conversation.
I’ve had clients who struggled with telling anyone what they were going through. One feared he would be pitied or feel humiliated. Others thought everyone else has it all together, what’s wrong with me? Nothing. We all need to grow and work on issues.
In the end, or shall I say the middle, they’re doing great, and looking forward to the future with so many tools under their belts.
Please, don’t let your fear (of stigma, of the unknown, of the potential outcome, or whatever type you carry with you) keep you from seeking a healthier life. Reach out to someone today—maybe it’s a friend or clergy person, or yikes, even a therapist.