A couple of weeks ago, I started seeing my counselor. No, I’m not depressed. No, I’m not homesick. I just wanted to talk to someone that I know will listen to me and help me figure out my life—dassit.
The stigma is still alive and kicking in regards to mental health in the black community. More people have changed their opinions on it, but some still think mental health isn’t real. But you can say whatever you want about me. What you can’t say is that I’m some wimp afraid to see a counselor because of what people think.
EVERYONE, no matter how “normal” you feel, needs to go talk to a stranger every once in a while. And here’s why I started.
1) I give advice on Snapchat.
If you don’t follow me on Snapchat, we’re not friends. you’re missing out on financial advice, Dragon Ball Super complaints, and life lessons all wrapped up in one social media account.
Depending on the theme of the day, I give advice or tell my followers what I’m currently going through. Whatever the case, I’m a huge advocate for self-care, and my followers know that. I work a lot, but when I’m not working, I make sure to post that as well—in the form of writing, listening to Lil Uzi Vert, or watching Dragon Ball Super. These are activities that ease me. They’re activities I make time for no matter how many assignments I haven’t started on.
Yet, they’re definitely not the entire list of things I should do to keep myself sane. So, I put counseling in the mix. Counseling might not feel like a form of self-care because it involves another person. But if you’re making an effort to make time for a counseling appointment, that’s self-care in my book. You’re putting your health first before your busy schedule. You’re making your health a priority.
2) Just like Sway, I don’t have all the answers.
Even though my Snapchat might offer a few solutions to college students’ everyday problems, I gotta admit, sometimes I don’t have all the answers. I can’t possibly give someone advice on something I’m struggling with myself.
Social media is all smoke and mirrors for some. People can flex and put on a façade persuading us to think they’re life is fine.
But I don’t want to be like that. Especially not on Snapchat.
Snapchat shows the behind-the-scenes moments of my life, and it’s not always pretty. Of course, you won’t see me crying on there constantly, but I refuse to pretend I’m living a copacetic life when I’m not. So no, I won’t cry, but I will hit you with a disheartening caption of my day followed with a takeaway message to never give up. That’s why I use social media.
And “never give up” to me translates to, okay, Blossom, what’s the next move? Sometimes I don’t know. I don’t know and then I get fed up because I repeat the same mistake again. So to prevent repeating mistakes, I go to a counselor.
3) Strangers are not as biased as friends.
You ever have that one person you’d give advice to but that person never listened? I WAS THAT PERSON THAT NEVER LISTENED.
Friends, I love you, but sometimes your advice sucks. C’mon, if you like someone else more than you like me, you’ll put that person before my feelings. And in the same vein, maybe you like me more than you do that other person!
Also, some people just don’t need to be giving advice. That one friend that’s gone through several breakups and doesn’t sneeze into her elbow? Yeah, she don’t need to be giving advice.
If birds of a feather flock together and I’m lost, you’re probably gonna be flying with me, just as lost too!
And you know, sometimes your advice is spot on, but I’m too much of an egocentric brat to admit that I should listen to you. So I get someone professional to tell me what to do. Because they’ve got credentials.
4) Mothers aren’t always helpful.
I felt like a 2-year-old in the land of people ten times older than me. Everybody was doing everybody.
So I moped and complained to my mother about feeling left out and socially awkward. And all this lady told me to do was face my books and don’t be like everyone else. I mean, it’s good advice, but it’s advice that’s easier said than done, especially in this time period when hook-up culture is an actual thing.
I’ve gotten urges, but as quickly as they came, so did they leave. Not because of my mom, but just because of the situation I put myself in. You tend to not care what others do when you’re trying to build a business.
But not everyone carries that same attitude and determination. Also, not everyone can take their parents’ unsympathetic advice. That’s where counselors come in handy.
5) She not gon’ be free in the future.
This is probably a terrible reason to use counseling services, but it’s the truth! After I graduate, I’m going to have to PAY for someone to listen to my problems and help me solve them!
This year is the year I squeeze the life out of college to get all the resources I can before it closes its doors on me. So I ventured into getting consoled by a counselor and haven’t looked back yet. My counselor is only a couple steps away from my dorm, and not to mention, her service fees don’t come (directly) out of my pocket!
(But if you think about it…I already did pay for her services. So why not GET MY MOM’S MONEY’S WORTH!)
I don’t understand people that go to class, join a club, and then go back to their rooms wondering why they’re so stressed or feel so empty. You can’t always rely on yourself or your friends or class to make you feel better. Sometimes it’s best to seek professional help. Doesn’t mean that you gave up or are about to give up. It just means you’re walking on a brighter path to self-help.
In honor of suicide awareness week, I decided to share with you guys my counseling experience. So far, it’s been grand. It’s a little addictive, I’m not gonna lie. But I’m happy I found out the joy in going to counseling sooner rather than later.
If you’re on campus dealing with all sorts of drama and negativity and demons in your life, I recommend finding and scheduling the next appointment with your school’s counselor.