Expressing my thoughts and feelings is not something I am good at. As much as possible, I want to keep everything to myself, even if it hurts. I don’t want other people to meddle with my emotions and tell me what to do. I don’t like to listen to suggestions that I genuinely know won’t help me. I am more hesitant to seek advice because I usually blame people whenever things go down the pit. I am not that confident to share my emotional crisis with others because I find their opinions useless in some ways. Luckily, all those actions are excused since I am a man, after all.
But somehow, things changed when I scheduled myself for a counseling service. Some of my friends told me to try clinical therapy. Still, I prefer a short-term interaction with a licensed healthcare provider than go through a tiring process of psychological intervention. Besides, at that moment, when I considered meeting a stranger for the first time, I knew it wasn’t the thing I need. It is more like trying to give in to my friends’ favor so they would quit bugging me about emotional healing and all that stuff.
Frankly, I don’t like it. There are series of questions that I often leave blank because I find it unnecessary to answer. Some questions do not make sense. The only thing I can see in that particular moment sitting on that chair is the counselor trying to push me to the edge. He wanted me to break down and give in to what he calls an emotional dilemma that I believed (at that moment) I do not have.
Denial And Lies
I understand that my loss is something I can’t control. When my family died in the car accident not long ago, I told myself that “It’s already their time.” Thus, there is not much need to soak in agony and misery. Death is inevitable, and I get that. Thus, I don’t have to mourn that long and feel bad about it. I also do not need to let sadness take control as it will pass. Isn’t that supposed to be nice that I didn’t allow myself to crawl up in bed and wait for my teary eyes to run dry? So what that my family dies? I can still have a lot of people to surround me. So, why make a fuss about an inevitable event?
But for some reason, my counselor told me that I don’t exactly see it that way. I thought to myself, “How is he even confident in saying that? Can he read my mind?” Frankly, I find it bullshit. What does this person know about me? Why is he trying to ruin my emotional fortress? Is he playing with my mental state? Honestly, at that moment, I thought that seeing a counselor was a total waste of time, money, and energy.
On top of that, he said, “You’re in pain. You just don’t want to admit it“. In the back of my mind, I was like, “the nerve of this stranger to tell me what I am going through. I am okay“. The fact that I can still manage to go through life without worrying about that incident is supposed to be something he should acknowledge as overall strength. I replied, “no, I am not. I wholeheartedly accepted my loss“.
The Unspoken Words
After that response, there was this awkward pause. There is a deafening silence in the room. I was baffled there, waiting for the argument to continue. But to my dismay, my counselor just sighs. It was not something I expected, but I find it satisfying. It meant that he accepted defeat and that particular reaction made him realize that I don’t need his service at all. Then he sat straight, directly stared at me, and said, “it’s okay, you are not alone.”
At that moment, something inside me shattered. I felt my body shivers, and my heart beats so fast. Tears fell from my eyes, and my mind screams for help. I couldn’t believe I never saw that coming. I was too focused on showing off and convincing people that I am okay when the truth is, I can barely make it. The lies I tell myself became my truth, and that ruined my reality.
That moment was hell. I was crying and screaming in unbearable emotional pain. I wanted everyone to know that I don’t want to be alone. Everything was pitched-black, and the memory of my whole family in the coffin is all I can think of. My counselor tapped my back, and that made me feel the need to cry more. I was holding his arms and clearly saying nothing but, “please, help me.”
When I think about that counseling day, I feel blessed. I realized that the only way I can deal with grief is by not skipping its process. I now know that I have to mourn as much as I want, cry as often as I need, and feel the pain so I can embrace it and move forward.