Most houses have a junk drawer. I have one in my kitchen. Also one in my office. And if I am truly honest, I also have one in my laundry room. It’s where the random items are stored, out of sight. When life gets busy, when the item doesn’t have a permanent location or it just seems convenient at the time, I hide items in the drawer to be dealt with another day. Eventually “another day” comes along, and it’s usually due to a ridiculous little frustration: the drawer won’t open anymore because there is a roll of duct tape that got turned sideways, or I obsessively search for an address that I was too busy to put in my phone that is on a Target receipt and I am positive I put it in this drawer. The frustration hits a boiling point and the drawer gets dumped out to be sorted. The garbage is tossed, the useful tools find a home and those bizarre random items that probably have a purpose, but you can only guess what that purpose might be, get placed in the “I have no idea” pile. This last pile usually takes consulting with the myriad of individuals that also contribute to my junk drawer. Then I organize that drawer and take some solace that the quick search that turned into a 3 hour project has created some sense of order in my otherwise overly energized life.
Going to see a counselor is similar to cleaning out a junk drawer. There comes a time when the emotional junk just doesn’t fit in the drawer anymore and there is a burning deep down that indicates it is time to figure out how to create some sense of the chaos that is raging. A counselor can help you create a safe place to dump out all the disappointments, emotions, transitions and confusion to make sense of it all. Together, the old coping mechanisms that no longer work can be thrown out in favor of new, healthy behaviors that actually move you forward toward life goals. Past regrets and disappointments are processed in a way that empowers you to impact the world in a positive way. The process might make a mess for a time, just like dumping out a real drawer. And it might take some time. But it also might create some peace and order in an otherwise overly energized life.