It was Alfred Hitchcock who said, “There is no terror in a bang, only in the anticipation of it.” If you have read my list of twenty-one things I’d like to do before I turn twenty-one, you know that on that list is going to counseling. I’m grateful that our generation does not see counseling as taboo, like generations before have. However, that doesn’t make it any easier to go.

First of all, I had no idea where I was really going. I found the actual building, but it definitely didn’t help that like three doors all had the same sign on the front. Do they think that bright blinking neon lights would be too much? Because I definitely think that would help. My palms were that kind of gross sweaty, and I was really just hoping that whenever I met my counselor she wouldn’t want to shake my hand. I’m not sure what I was so nervous about. I mean, I knew it wouldn’t be scary. It is just that feeling of not knowing what you are getting yourself into that freaks me out.

I arrived ten minutes early, which is just early enough to overthink things and want to leave. I was not sure about which door to walk into, and I even reached such a low point in those ten minutes that I considered asking the people next door who were having a Mary Kay meeting where I was supposed to go. But since people who drive pink cars weird me out, I kept to myself, walking around the hallway, probably looking like an idiot or a lost sheep. Or both. A lost idiot sheep.

It wasn’t too long after she asked how my day was going that I started to cry. I just kept thinking to myself, “I am such a mess.” Sure, it didn’t help that it was a Thursday (I don’t particularly like Thursdays) and that I had nearly shaved off my eyebrow that morning (don’t ask) and that I feel like a couple of my relationships and friendships are plummeting down a black hole. She only allowed me forty-five minutes, and I don’t think I made it past age twelve. I feel a little bad for the lady, she has no idea how much of a mess I am.

So why am I going? Well, I’m not going to get “fixed.” I know counseling doesn’t work like that. And I’m not going to feel better about myself, although she did say some things to make me feel better, I think. I am going because I recognize that I am a very broken person. It would be easy to let my brokenness be a scapegoat for when things in my life go sour, but I don’t believe that’s what we are called to as Christians. I believe that we can embrace brokenness, but we have to learn from it. We have to grow from it, not just sit in our brokenness.

It is like dirty silverware behind the fridge. It is possible to live with silverware that has fallen down behind a fridge, but that’s not a healthy way to live. I’m not the poster child for healthy living, but I am trying to become a more whole person. My true self is one that seeks wholeness, and seeking wholeness involves digging up some of the things that I have long tried to bury.

I’m going back in two weeks.


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