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Revelations: Happy mental health

By BY JENNIFER PREYSS
April 12, 2013 at midnight
Updated April 11, 2013 at 11:12 p.m.


Every now and then, the past has a way of creeping into your present.

Sometimes, it's manageable and welcomed. Other times, it's not.

And when it's not, your brain has a way of disconnecting from your emotions. They operate independent of one another. It seems that way, to me, at least.

Some very specific past hurts have shown up in a blaze of glory in recent weeks, and my brain has been having trouble overriding my emotions.

After a weekend spent with my mother and sister a few days before my birthday, I realized there were things from my past I was determined to hold onto.

Without knowing it, I was letting these issues prevent me from forgiving and even worse, preventing me from asking for forgiveness from those I'd hurt.

In previous years, I may have attempted to ignore, accept or simply deal and push forward.

I'm excellent at putting on a strong face when I need to.

But this time, something clicked. I realized I'd been strong too long. And I needed to get over the hump.

So, instead, I chose to confront my emotions - and those ugly hurts from my past.

After much prayer and seeking Christian counsel, I decided to begin counseling with a professional therapist. Once a week, for an hour, we meet and discuss my life and life goals and those past hurts that are preventing me from moving forward.

This bizarre gift of mental health was my 31st birthday present to myself.

Counseling is one of those things many Christians and people in general, I suppose, shy away from. Often, it's because they're embarrassed or ashamed or think God and prayer should be strong enough to carry and heal all burdens.

But I realized that it was more important for me to feel mentally strong than to fear what others thought of my seeking counseling for issues I can't resolve on my own.

I do think God and prayer can be used in conjunction with counseling in some instances, even for relatively sane folks like myself, to sort through those past hurts.

I'm hoping it can help me find some clearheadedness, which will hopefully prompt me to continue seeking closeness and resolution with the Lord.

Here's to happy health this week. Yours and mine both.

Jennifer Preyss is a re porter for the Victoria Advocate. You can reach her at 361-580-6535 or jlpreyss@vicad.com

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