Hit Bottom

 

I do want to talk about the “head game” involving with dealing with work and

work-related issues that can set us back. But before we delve seriously into it, I want to put in a plug for something I CAN’T  do-licensed professional counseling.

I had some issues growing up, they carried over into my adulthood and they

spilled over into my work life. They included anger, perfectionism and self-

absorbtion and they wrecked a couple of early jobs I had in the broadcasting business.

 

In 1982, my, let’s say, mercurial ways, led to my getting into trouble at yet

another job. I had a talk with my GM, and while nothing was said specifically, I got the feeling that some changes were going to need to happen.

 

So I thought about seeing a counselor.

 

Thirty years ago, attitudes were a bit different about the need for

Psychological help. Go back even further and they were even less enlightened.

I remember fighting with my dad as a youngster. He’d threaten, “If you don’t straighten out, I’m going to take you to a psychiatrist.” No doubt some Frankensteinish-scene involving electroshock therapy was playing through his mind.

 

Not that they’ve changed THAT much. About a year ago, a friend at work was having anxiety attacks. I gave him the name of my therapist. About a week

later, I asked if he had called. His reply? “I’m still trying to nerve myself up to

do that.” Yes, in the eyes of some, it’s not very “manly” to delve into the workings of the mind.”

 

Back to the early 980s: I was taking classes at Wichita State, and there was a campus counseling department. One day after my Meteorology 101 class I steeled myself, walked across campus and made an appointment for the following week. I literally had no idea what to expect.

 

The day of the appointment, I was introduced to David Katz, a graduate student working on his master’s in psychology and counseling. He settled me into a chair, we made some small talk about the weather and Wichita State Basketball. Before I knew it, he had guided me into talking about  my departed staffers. That first session, it was little more than a venting session. I talked, he listened and made

notes. Confession is good for the soul. I walked out feeling better than I had in weeks.

 

In the next few weeks, we started delving into my anger. What in my background led to it? Why was I stuffing it, only to mostly let it out occasionally in some

over-the-top explosion? How could I step back and be an observer, to pull back

one step when a tough situation hit and be able to say “Why am I feeling this way right now?”

 

All to soon the semester ended, I took a break from school and I was forced to

end the sessions. David commended me on sticking to it, making some progress

and urged me to make an appointment with a private counselor. He gave me

some names. I didn’t follow up on it for years, until after a really awful bout of

depression. But at least I had made a start.

 

If you feel the time and the place is right for you, I’d suggest you made a start. It’s not unmanly to seek help. Things sometimes are beyond our control, and we can’t fix them. If I break my leg, I sure as heck am not going to try to set it myself. And

if depression or relationship issues come up again, I’m going to someone who can

steer me through.

 

If your life is depressing you, stressing you , or just not feeding your soul-talk to the professionals. It was like turning the Queen Mary, but I did turn my life

around.