When seeing today’s daily prompt, I was reminded of a time before I understood what happiness was. If you dared read through any of my poetry, you would know I was a very subdued teenager. A poor poet to boot, but also was diagnosed as manic depressive/borderline suicidal. I’d been instructed by schools guidance counselor to speak with a psychologist for evaluation. Someone with a degree in understanding the workings of the minds of those who are mentally perturbed. He tried to give me some helpful tips of how to cope with whatever it was he thought bothered me, trying to give my emotions rational explanations. It wasn’t until after I started seeing my high school guidance counselor, Mr. Ellis, that I actually made headway in breaking free of the subdued personality that had become the norm.
Strangely enough sometimes all it really takes is having someone who you can talk to, that understands you. Someone who wont judge you or interrupt you when you’re trying to express yourself. It often works best when they can actually care about who you are as an individual. He really listened and paid attention, he didn’t do that selective listening while jotting down notes about trigger words and such. He genuinely cared and talked with me about problems and was able to empathize with me. Honestly, Mr. Ellis became more than just a guidance counselor and I don’t mean in a weird creepy way. My guidance counselor became my friend, my confidant, someone I could go to when I was experiencing times of difficulty. I could talk to him like most people talk to a best friend, kind of how I talk to my mom now. If it hadn’t been for him, I don’t think I’d have the bond I do with my mom. He helped me realize that even if I felt I wasn’t being fairly treated, my mom was doing the best that she could.
While the realization may not have been complete at that time, as time went on I began to understand the truth of his words. It took until I had children of my own to realize that my mom’s children had been the most important thing to her, just as my children are the most important thing to me. She and I both had our faults, our own shortcomings, I was a total snobbish brat who acted like a pretentious know it all who was owed something meanwhile she was trying to get me to respect her like I ought to of. My mom helped me overcome my subdued emotional outlook by showing me every day that she loved me, which took me way too long to realize.
Now days, even in adult life, whenever I have a problem, I find myself more comfortable talking to my mom about my day. Whatever issues I might be having, even asking her for parenting advice because I know that she did everything she could for my sister and I. Sure there are things she might regret, but if she hadn’t done what she’d done, I doubt I’d be half the mother I am to my girls that I am today. I owe a lot of who I am to my mother, with some help from Mr. Ellis.
My suggestion to those out there in the big wide world, when you’re feeling down, find someone you can talk to and connect with on a mental and emotional level. Someone who can empathize, help guide you in the right direction. It will help more than you think.