Noun: A person with whom one shares a secret or private matter, trusting them not to repeat it.

Once trust has been broken, it’s hard to trust again. In anyone, really. With the amount of break-ups and broken homes, hearts and promises I hear about (through counselling and otherwise) honesty and truth seem to be ancient talismans. Lost in the sands of time.

Luckily, I have someone I can confide in, primarily because she is legally bound to secrecy. She is someone who I met in troubled times and have kept relations with for… maintenance purposes. To this day, I can send her a text and she’ll call me in or text me through my darkest thoughts. Usually, it’s tough love, never is it coddling or comforting. She calls me out on my sh!t and I appreciate her for making me a better person– a better me.

Counsellors need counselling too, sometimes. A safe space to vent. I’m often asked how I prevent bringing in my personal “stuff” into sessions with clients, well, it’s because of her. She understands and though I know there are times where she thinks my understanding is limited or restricted, she offers her experience. She doesn’t write me off, condemn me, or assume some lack of credibility. She understands that I am, that we all are (at least those interested in growing), “works in progress.”

It’s a safe zone.

This is something I do bring into sessions with me. Having been on the “other side of the chair,” I can understand and appreciate the importance and value of feeling safe and not feeling judged. When one of my clients said, “I feel like I’m going to overwhelm you and you’re going to run away…” I began to understand. The matter isn’t about not having someone to talk to– it’s about feeling safe enough to talk to someone. It’s a legitimate fear, but
counsellors are there for you to unload on– guilt free.

The first step is challenging, but it’s so incredibly liberating. The stigmas surrounding counselling and seeking “help” need to go. It’s taking lives. Don’t let it take yours or someone you love.