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Today: Speaking from the Pit

By Jenny Beall, Therapist, MA, LPCC

©January, 2018 Threads of Hope Counseling

Today I’m just…  Today I’m just feeling overwhelmed and tired and defeated and like an imposter.

I am in my 30s, in good health, I have a thriving business, two beautiful children and a very supportive husband; there’s no reason I should feel this way. And yet, I look at the little things that are not perfect in my business, and the hiccups along the way in parenting, and the fact that we have yet to achieve that next piece of our family dream and I pile them up into a mountain of negative that somehow outweighs in the mountain of positive that everyone else sees. Fortunately, over my years of self-reflection, a little counseling of my own, and support from loved ones I have learned to recognize and name this feeling– It is depression.

 Some people think counselors are supposed to have their life all together. I teach the stuff right?! I help people walk through valleys and get to the hope on the other side on a daily basis. And yet when I’m in the pit, it’s really challenging to pull myself out and it’s really challenging for other people to pull me out. Sometimes I question whether God allows me to face depression in order to strengthen the impact of my work with others struggling with this intangible black cloud.

I still function day-by-day. I still get up in the morning, dress myself, take a shower, hug my children, get them safely off to school. I even go to the office and encourage clients who are struggling. Yet there is still this feeling of emptiness which few people know about and few people could truly understand. Depression is isolating not just because it creates a sense of hopelessness and removes the desire to connect with others, but also because people who have not lived through it—just don’t get it.

What can I do?

Today I’m too tired to speak positive words to myself. Today I can’t get the emotional help that I want from my husband. Today I don’t have the Motivation to clean my house despite the mess that adds to my feelings of overwhelming chaos. Today I may not even write this blog in a fully organized and coherent fashion because my mind is in a fog. Today I might try a tiny amount of self care– even though (today) I don’t believe that I deserve it. 

Today is not the worst day I have ever lived through; it is not even in the top 10! Today I will continue to function and do what I need to do to continue living, supporting my family, and at least minimally engaging with the world around me. But maybe that’s all I need to do today. And that will have to be okay. Today I will refuse to completely give up hope and I will trust and remind myself that I might believe and hope again tomorrow. Even if it is weighing me down today, Depression will not destroy me. Today I will have the last word and it will be a hopeful one. 

COVID-19  NOTICE

We at Threads of Hope Counseling care deeply for you, your families, and our community. As the concern regarding the spread of COVID-19 increases worldwide, Threads of Hope is prepared to reduce the spread of illness by following the expert guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the Minnesota Department of Health. MDH continues to stress common-sense illness prevention strategies such as sanitizing surfaces, covering your cough and sneezes, and frequent hand washing.

If you are experiencing signs and symptoms of a viral respiratory infection including fever, cough, and shortness of breath or if you or someone you have been in contact with traveled internationally in the last 14 days, please DO NOT come to our office. Instead we are happy to offer you telemedicine (online video) services.

Telemedicine appointments are HIPAA secure, do not require any downloads, and can be accessed on any device with microphone and internet access. Ask your provider or the administrative staff if this is a service you’d like to pursue.

Additionally, there is a lot of misinformation being spread regarding this virus which has inspired significant anxiety in many in the community. Look here for ideas on how to reduce your fear while remaining wise in facing the uncertainty of this disease.
We are here for you and there is always hope.