This past June my second book, “Everything That’s Been Waiting”, was published and brings up the topic of what we are waiting for. Sometimes we wait for things to get better. Often times we waiting for someone else to change, which leaves us with a lifetime worth of waiting. The one thing that gets in our way of change is fear. The one thing most people wish for over the holiday season, especially New Years Eve, is the hope that things will get better, we will get healthier, happier and most of all have life give us what we have all been working so hard for. Alas, all of us who have been waiting have been living in fear of things actually changing. So what are we so afraid of?! My first book, “Am I Going To Be Okay?”, is the question we ask ourselves, sometimes all throughout our lives, with a heavy dose of ‘What if…?’ after any wishes of change. Fear says to us, “What if things get worse?”, or “What if I lose more than I gain from changing?” These are the two questions that go on within us that do the
most damage and leave us paralyzed in fear of taking action to have life be different, better, even worth it. For instance, some of us are plagued with high levels of anxiety. In this day and age we have been told the best way to relieve ourselves of our chronic anxiety is to seek outside help. If members of our family could help us, we would be better by now. It is, often, the family dynamic that creates the multitude of “What ifs” in our lives. With no one to blame and everything to gain we can take action by finding a professional to talk to and share the worries and fears that bind us to people and situations long overdue for a major change. By reaching out and making the phone call for help we can experience what it feels like to empower ourselves even just by doing that one action. The most important message we can give each other is “no one can get better all alone, one their own in their own minds”. Albert Einstein once stated, “No problem was ever solved by the same mind that created it.” This means our own answers to our own anxieties would have helped us by now. The basic answers to Am I Going To Be Okay and Everything That’s Been Waiting are in reaching out, finding the person or group (quite possibly
recovery), where there are others struggling with the same fears and sadness. Having people around you who can relate to your struggles
is key to recovery. Change means going through our fears and finding the answers on the other side of it. Whatever “it” is, we have all been there. Every single person on this earth has anxiety/ depression in one form or another. Most deal with it by staying angry or empty. That is all about fear. I am an Empath, which means whatever other people are going through I understand completely because I have, most likely, been through a similar situation or have felt the same way. Professional Counselors and Therapists who are like this can assist others to make some of the most impactful changes in their lives. Unconventional? YES! Scary? Absolutely not. Instead of going to a therapist/counselor who asks you “Tell me more about that” and “How does that make you feel”, who writes constantly throughout the session and announces “Time’s up” without considering where their client is emotionally. Boundaries are there for the client to be safe and have no harm done to them. It is not about their parents, spouses or significant others who feel their own fears when they might lose control over their loved ones as they change and get better.
Therapists and Life Coaches are, hopefully, willing to share of themselves, without putting undue stress on their clients, as an example that the client is not alone in their thinking, anxiety and depression. Isolation and being misunderstood are the main reasons people fear seeking help. Being able to say, “Me too” in the realm of mental illness (anxiety, depression) addiction (to anything or anyone) and grief (we all have it) is where the therapeutic connection and bond can begin. Without it a person might as well have therapy with a cardboard cut out. There are groups I facilitate called, “Pleasers” which focus on those of us who say YES when we really mean NO, “Grief Club” for those of us with healing to be done around the loss of a beloved from long ago or recently and “Leave It Here Before You Go Home” which is a group for those wishing to release the cares of the work day or college stresses before heading home to family or the dorm.
You can reach me through my website, email or call directly to find out more about the hope for change. Let’s talk about it.
Debra Whittam, LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor), CCDPD (Dual Diagnosis)