In school, they teach us geometry, mathematics, PE, history and even some religious studies remixed with modern day meditation. We learn how to cook, a bit of woodwork and a dash of tax planning.
It’s like we’ve got a set of solid basics to start off from.
Last week, I caught up with a dear, darling friend of mine.
She’d been up till 3am.
She was hanging out with a dear, dear friend of hers.
Who tried to commit suicide.
This friend of mine is gorgeous.
She’s a lot younger than me.
Beautiful, expressive eyes, wild, ruthless hair and a spirit that V would have crushed on 10 years ago. She reminds me of the younger me, but with better hair and more make-up confidence.
I was worried. She shouldn’t have to go through this alone.
I felt I didn’t have the right words.
31 and I still don’t have the right words.
I said to her, I’d love for you to meet my counsellor, Kaylene.
I’ll cover it, all you need to do is show up.
And I even dulled down the talking part – I explained that it was just getting a “toolbox” for your brain. Helping you figure out what you might say and unpack how you might be feeling.
This beautiful, confident lass resisted.
She smiled with a “no, thank you, but no”.
I tried again, 3 more times before I let it go.
So. I was thinking. If that was me, 10 or so years ago, what would I have said? Probably the same thing.
It took V to convince me to go to counselling.
Not the other way around.
She could have been me.
I could have been her.
You tell me.
Did they teach you in high school how to cope if your grandma died?
What to say to your friend if they offered you drugs and you wanted to say no without losing your friend?
Did primary school have any classes on divorce?
Or perhaps they covered rape at uni?
How about what to do with a Dad who was never around?
Did they teach you why people can get angry?
Did they teach you why you get angry?
Or how to recognise a girl in trouble before you label her a slut?
Or how to deny the boy who keeps hitting on you at the bar?
It seems not. Nada. Nothing.
Then why the fuck did they bother with home economics?
There is something missing in our psyche.
It’s missing in our community.
It’s missing in our families.
It’s missing in our friendships.
It’s the ability to know when we need to seek help.
It’s the ability to assess our minds – and know that a friendly chat isn’t enough.
Why do we think we don’t need help?
That we’ve got this shit sorted?
What is so wrong with help?
With making that phone call?
A 911 is the real deal.
Hitting your child is the real deal.
Cheating on your lover is the real deal.
Slitting your wrists is the real deal.
Walking for 4 hours in the dark of the night alone in a massive park is the real deal.
Getting wasted every other night is the real deal.
Saying “shut up” to people you love and yelling at them is the real deal.
Losing someone you love is the real deal.
Fighting for months on end about the same issues – is the real deal.
Having a baby is the real deal.
Having another baby is the real deal.
Heck, getting married is the real deal.
Hating your kids is the real deal.
Maxing out the credit card is the real deal.
Lying over and over and over is the real deal.
Struggling as you watch your parents get closer and closer to divorce is the real deal.
Falling in love is the real deal.
Getting road rage is the real deal.
Arguing about the toilet seat is the real deal.
Cutting off a relationship is the real deal.
How bad or intense does it need to get before we seek help?
Or do we just think life is meant to be like this
– because home economics is all we need to get by?
Ask yourself – why am I so resistant?
Why is this help thing so hard for me?
Is it expensive?
Can I find someone cheaper?
Is it clicky?
Don’t tell anyone about it.
Is it embarrassing?
No one needs to know.
Does it make me less manly?
No, it makes you a rockstar really, trust me on this one.
But I should be stronger than this?
Hey, when you need help with your taxes, do you tell yourself you should be stronger than an accountant? When you want to do yoga, do you tell yourself you’re better off without a teacher? When you start bolting up your emotions, do you know where to start unwinding?
Or. Do. You. Just. Suppress?
The world has been getting it wrong for aeons – so don’t rely on it to tell you whats right for you. Don’t rely on me either.
But do – rely on someone. Learn from someone.
Just chose the right someone. Because we weren’t born here to do it all alone.