…And I think for the better. I remember someone telling me…. eons ago it seems, that when one member of the family is ill the whole family is affected. I think I always knew and understood that on some level but now, after years of confronting a disorder that so many tend to see as lesser and often ignore the significance of, I feel like it has been etched into my very essence.
Depression, anxiety… these are terms we use in our home as everyday discussion. Echo really has never known a time when she would ask where Daddy is and the answer was never at therapy or an appointment. Therapy is a fact of life in our family, and the opportunity to go WITH Daddy (generally when I am indisposed) is quite sought after.
Ken has two people he sees on a regular basis and the one time I was out of state (seriously the ONLY time since I moved here…) Trinity and Echo go to see the therapist… when I got back I was told that she had TEDDIES! and comfy chairs! It was soooo much fun.
Emanuel has a different opinion, he had to go with and then head to a hair cut after… it was fun… except all they did was talk a lot. Apparently this was met with derision as it would have been much more fun to draw or play video games instead of blah blah blah.
I feel right there that we are on the right track. Therapy is seen as fun, it is necessary and good to go to. I want to raise a generation of people who see therapy as something to brag about. Seeing them with Daddy is something to hold your head high about (although, truth be told, the teddies on the first day REALLY set the tone).
Ken’s other appointment meets at a Caribou and is Echo’s new favourite person. Emanuel and I had a date (gotta spend those moments with one on one) and so Echo went with Daddy… They are sooooo nice, oh and she got to play Minecraft on the laptop… but above all, and what she brings up now EVERY time Ken goes without her, is how nice his employment counselor is.
I have seen how my generation (at least the vast majority I talk to) are so secretive about seeing a therapist. I remember in my youth (during my parent’s divorce) how negative it was to see a therapist. It meant you were broken or challenged or that there was obviously something HUGELY wrong with you. This is a stigma that I have worked hard with my children and those receptive around me to remove.
Medication can only take you so far with a mental disorder, finding the source, the reasons, sorting out the feelings… this is so crucial to a future that is not a roller coaster of healthy and unhealthy life. The ability to speak to someone without a connection to your problems or your personal life is often life saving. So BRAVO you are working on you and BRAVO you know that just talking to those you love is not always enough. And to those who say it makes you lesser, well then they really have no idea how much stronger you are going to be at the end of all this.
This is a very timely subject in my life right now, friends, friend’s children, family… there are many people in my like (and the lives of my children) who REQUIRE help, who WANT help, who have SOUGHT AFTER help… this is something I feel should be celebrated. It is easier to be sick than to get well. That is the scary part. It is easier to give in then fight back. I have always felt victories should be celebrated, no matter how small… and trust me, at times all there is is the tiny victories to cling to. That step into the therapist’s office is huge and the continuing trend of going and being honest and truthful should be celebrated. You have chosen to get well, and in turn, your family will be better for it. What is, at first, a private battle is honestly a wonderful success story for the whole family.