Something to know about me is that I have Bipolar Disorder. I was officially diagnosed with it in 2010, though it had been suspected for a few years before that. I have been able to keep it well managed for the last 6 years. I am lucky that it is not a severe case. However, I have been seeing counselors for nearly a decade, off and on. I am no stranger to counseling and know the benefits it offers. It doesn’t mean I’m broken. It just means that I recognize the need for outside perspective on things.
Shortly after we got the Down Syndrome diagnosis, I called up my counselor and set up an appointment. One of my biggest fears about receiving this diagnosis is that I will somehow fail my daughter and my son as a mother and that my emotional stability will suffer. This fear is why I started back to counseling immediately. I knew that I would need the outside support to help me. I did not want to burden Bryan or my friends or family with my need for mental support. While I know they will, there is more that a professional can do that they cannot. Things like see if I am getting better or getting worse, suggest different techniques to help manage the stress, tell me if my reactions/thoughts/fears are reasonable or not, etc. My counselor does not need to worry about hurting my feelings, only helping get better mentally and emotionally.
I know so many don’t like the idea of counseling because it somehow means they are broken. I disagree. I think it can help us get back to a state of mental and emotional health if we are hurting, and help keep us from getting to a point of feeling “broken”. I view counseling the same as regular doctor visits. My emotional and mental health are just as important as my physical health and regular checkups can keep me healthy.