Lately I’ve been writing about ways to save your sanity. In the insane world in which we live it is sometimes hard to have quiet moments. In my last post, about claiming your space I offered some suggestions on how to make that happen.
This post is going to flip that idea and suggest you talk. Or listen.
I will refer to this as FRIEND THERAPY. It’s when you are able to share your issues with another person in a safe environment. Yes, we can pay for this and go to a counselor but most times that will never happen.
Friend Therapy happens all the time. It’s give and take. It’s the freedom to badmouth a spouse, regret words said in anger or words never said at all, and cry like a baby. In the presence of a friend, these words are not acted upon, they are not resolved, and they are not repeated. Often just the act of voicing our thoughts is the cleansing part.
In the presence of a true friend, there’s no judgment, just allowing.
Last week, in the presence of a friend I related a story about a time in my youth when i was in a bad car accident. In the ambulance and at the hospital I was holding my breath with the fear that when my mom found out she would ‘drive like a bat out of hell’ and get herself killed on the way to the hospital. In the meantime, my dad showed up and suddenly I was able to be a 15-year-old child again. I didn’t have to be the parent and could just be an injured kid. The relief came through in waves of tears and gut wrenching sobs.
While sharing this story, it was as if I was still holding my breath. My shoulders, muscles and throat were tight… all over again. What I received from my friend was a hug, validation and silence so I could continue.
When my story was over we discussed the topic of children of alcoholics and she related her story too. Even with friends it takes courage to share a piece of you. And yet, I’ve found when I put myself out there, I’m met with more understanding and openness from them as well.
There are times, however, when going to a therapist is the right thing to do. In therapy, you can dig deeper and express thoughts without worrying if you are upsetting anyone. A therapist can offer insights and help you remember what’s important. A therapist is totally focused on you and offers a place to lay down your innermost burdens.
Friend therapy or professional therapy? I’ve sat on both sides of the table and know there are benefits to both. If you need talk therapy a friend may be able to help. If you need intensive, long term help – ask around for someone you can trust and schedule an appointment. with a therapist. Knowing when you need more than your friend can offer is key to getting balanced again.
- What made us friends in the long ago? (margekatherine.com)
- Daisy Hernández Talks About Writing The Kind Of Book She Needed When She Was A Kid (huffingtonpost.com)
- Getting started: Talk therapy (www.webmd.com)
- No Stress Cafe (margekatherine.com)