Counseling, The best choice I made

After my mom died I was so distracted by many things.  Work, helping my dad, school, then my dad having surgery and a bit after becoming handicapped. It wasn’t till  3 years later when I realized I needed help.  Fortunately through my job I had an EAP contact (Employee Assistance Program)  If you aren’t familiar with this, its a 24 hour service some companies provide where you can not only receive free sessions of counseling, but they also help with other things. They also give you lists of counselors who are contracted under the EAP, which is great bonus. I’m grateful for this program since I really haven’t had to pay for much counseling over the past 16 years.  I, like many people was skeptical about going to counseling. After the first couple sessions, I knew I needed to be there.   This counselor I had was outstanding.  She was very understanding and got me through the most troubling times.  She is one of those people in life that you just wont forget.  I was going to see her at least 2-3 times a week and than it was scaled back based on and 2. How I was responding to the service.

I went to her for about 6 years in person. Years 2-3 was really when I  felt like I needed to go often. Each time I went I felt like a new person. As you know by now if you have been following along. I moved out of New Jersey and onto AZ. I kept in touch with the same counselor and we did our sessions over the phone, which after a while started not working out,  It just wasn’t the same.  After about a year I found another person to go speak with.  That didn’t last to long. I’m big on first impressions and we weren’t on the same page. Its one thing to get someone you like, but you also have to work well together to get anything out of the sessions.

Through all this counseling, I would always tell myself I didn’t want to go to counseling for the rest of my life. After so many appointments I thought I can just get through it myself, turns out I really cant.   I wound up finding another counselor through EAP and he really brought the light to why I couldn’t handle it all myself.   There seemed to be an underlying issue that wasn’t being dealt with and when something bigger happened that underlying fire was lit. It wasn’t until then I realized I needed to deal with the underlying issue. More on that underlying issue at a later time…. I’m forever grateful to this counselor, for he called me out on my shit and was absolutely right about it.   Some people need that, Don’t they?  Now I’m here in this great City Of Wilmington, still going to counseling periodically and trying my hardest to deal with the issues at hand. I have come a long way, and I truly believe that without the counseling I have had and will have I wouldn’t be who I am now.

The main reason I chose to write about this today is because I know there are plenty of people out there contemplating counseling.  I know there a people on my twitter feed that are on the fence about going also.  You can’t force someone to go, but if you are reading this and you are one of these people I would strongly consider it.  It could be a life changer, as it was for me.

If you have gone to counseling and or going to a counselor, I would love to hear about your experience it doesn’t have be personal. I love to hear about how others are bettering themselves.   Thank you for the continued support, I’m off to my counseling session =)



Good Grievings is support in extra innings

I found a blog online earlier that really hit home.  He wrote about how when someone passes, the influx of support is insane. The phone calls, messages,visitors etc are in abundance.  Then after a couple weeks, poof its gone besides a selected few.

The day I found out my mom died I was at school. I received the page on my beeper (that was a thing 19yrs ago) I called the number back and my dad said he was at the hospital and that he needed me there, but didn’t tell me what was going on. Since I had taken the bus to school his friend who was a security guard had someone pick me up.  The guy who picked me up didn’t say a word, which made the drive even longer. It wasn’t like the driver could tell me, Even if he did know what happened. We arrive at the hospital and there stands My Dad, my sister, my sisters godmother and godfather, The security guard and a nurse who was another friend of the family.  I get out of the van and my Dad says Tom, your Mother had an episode and she didn’t make it. What does an 18 year old feel after hearing those words. Everyone grabbed me not knowing if I was gonna run or what. I wound up punching the brick wall outside the emergency room. This caused me to have a dislocated knuckle and the doctors wanting me to get a tetanus shot.  I’m like what else could go wrong…..

We were at the hospital for a while, I don’t remember much after that. What I do remember vividly after leaving the hospital  is us getting home and the people that were already at the house.  My mom was a 911 dispatcher and she knew people (anyone from New Jersey knows people)  #igottaguy #iknowaguy lol.  I had friends already waiting for us. My godfather was already at the house in the kitchen. My godmothers brother is a cop in the town that we used to live in, that’s how I’m assuming he found out.  That day my mom died was so surreal. The amount of people coming and going was a gift that you never expect to happen. We had endless food, endless hugs, endless support.

The funeral was set for a Sunday, two hours in the afternoon and two hours at night.  The stream of people that came to pay their respects seemed to take forever. It just shows how much my mom was well respected, and how many people wanted  to be there not only for us but for themselves.  The next day was the service at the church. We get to the funeral home and a lot of the people returned to pay their final respects. We had a little service and on to the church, it was with a police escort of course.  As we walk into the church my Dad and I looked at each other and said WOW.  The amount of people that were at the church was jaw dropping.  The church had 4 sections to it, and it was packed.  The main seating area was packed full with everyone we know. It felt like half of the high school that my Sister, Mom and I went to was there.

After the church service we proceeded to the cemetery and then on to the re-pass, which is where most people would come to eat and decompress and talk.  We had whoever wanted to go to the  re-pass come back to our house to eat.  I don’t even remember who helped set that up, but I’m still grateful.  As the Re-pass started to wind down, and people starting leaving. Real life started to set in, the house felt empty, even though we still had some friends there. There was No MOM to be called anymore.  This is when we just wished people wold stay and never leave.  They had to leave though, Others had to get on with their lives and get back on track.  As John Pavlovitz says and I quote

Which is so true,  I’m not saying no one was there for us after the dust settled. You do  really learn who your true friends and family are after the fact.  There were some people who fell off the face of earth.  They either didn’t know how deal with my mom not being here or didn’t know how to communicate with us like they used to.   Its OK, I know it happens all the time.  People act strange when people die. Its apart of their process.   The weeks and months and years after was interesting to say the least…. I’ll leave that for another session.  Until next time.