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  • Writer's picturepsbycarrie

Let's talk about counseling.

Wanna hear about my first experience with a counselor? It was great. I was in about 8th grade, and my parents were in year three of their ridiculously messy divorce. The courts decided my brother and I should go to counseling, so off to counseling we went.

At the time, I had those reflective sunglasses that were all the rage (picture below because I'm not actually cool enough to know what they are called). I wore them into the appointment and didn't take them off. I'm not sure I said 30 words during the whole miserable hour I was stuck in that room. I distinctly remember the old bat saying to my dad, "We didn't make it past the sunglasses today. We'll get there next time." But, apparently, my dad was smart enough to realize that "next time" probably wouldn't be any better (Doyle genetics are strong, yo), so I didn't have to go back...

.... to her. I didn't go back to that (probably) very nice lady. Instead, I went to Karen.

Karen met me the same day I lost my barrel horse, Cisco, to colic. So you can imagine what a great emotional state I was in. I didn't wear my sunglasses, but I did shed a few tears. I still remember her asking me, "If you were an animal, what type of animal would you be and why?" I answered, "A bird, so I could get out of here."

Over the next few years, Karen helped me through all the things. After I moved to Elgin in October of my freshman year, I quit going to counseling (probably not the best move, parents). But Karen did call me on Christmas of that year to check in. I will never forget her kindness.

Fast forward 10 years, and I'm a newly married woman. We did the pre-marriage counseling, but I couldn't quite convince Bailey that "maintenance" counseling was a good idea. So we didn't go.

And for awhile, that was OK. We made it through the first year. Probably didn't 100% knock it out of the park, but we made it. Year two and three were pretty good! Then year four comes. We decide to sell our first place and rent while we look for what's next.

Our place in Pawnee sold quick, so we expected God was going to provide a place near Guthrie in just a few short months. We rent a cute little place from some friends and wait. Those few short months come and go; there is nothing, literally nothing, that fits what we're looking for. So then the questions start coming... Are we looking in the right place? Where are we supposed to be? I know this will be a surprise, but we definitely weren't on the same page with those answer. Honestly, we weren't even in the same chapter.

I started asking if we could go to counseling, he started saying no. This crazy cycle rocks and rolls for about four months (that's a long time, let me tell ya). Then, one day, we're driving down the highway, having a "discussion", when he says, "We just need someone else to hear these conversations because we are clearly not hearing each other." My response? "Done. We'll be in counseling next week." (Pretty sure he hadn't actually thought through what he said... Oh well.)

And we were in counseling that next week. And you know what? I think it saved our marriage. Were we headed to a divorce? Not right that day. But I can promise you we were not going in a good direction. God gifted us the right counselor at the right time; she helped set us back upright and wished us good luck.

Now, Bailey tells all his friends that they need to go to counseling. We still go. Sometimes for maintenance, sometimes because life is really freaking hard.

So, you can guess where this is headed.


I love you.

The end.

P.S. Not every counselor is meant for every one. Just like the first old bat I had to sit in a room with wasn't for pre-teen me, not every doctor is right for you. Find the one who is. It may take a few, and that's OK! You'll know when you find them.

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