Saturday, 19 July 2008

Counselling at the mamak

It is not easy to go for counselling. One needs not only make time for it, but one must also bring down one’s ego and admit that one needs help. It is a humbling act.

I was supposed to attend a counselling session last week due to various happenings in my life but couldn’t make it. Things sort of settled down this week and I thought maybe I don’t really need counselling anymore. I am glad I did not fall into that over-self-esteem trap.

I have never met Rig, the counsellor before. We have only spoken on the phone twice and he sounded like someone who is very old and wise. When I arrived at the mamak, I was greeted by a man who was totally opposite of what I had in mind. With his very typical Chinese uncle look (no offence to anyone), curry-puff styled gelled hair, short sleeve shirt and dark pants, he looked more like a typical Chinese taxi driver or Chinese triad more like a Christian counsellor. Of course, this is only my impression.

I ordered my drink and went to get my lunch and as I sat down, he asked me about my medical appointment and I gave a brief history about what has happened in the last few months. He went on to order his ‘maggi goreng’ and for about 40 – 45 minutes, he just kept asking me questions.

My condition in the last few months…
My worries and what have been affecting me…
How is my family like…
My siblings…
Relationship with my parents…
Childhood heartaches and moments of joy…
Disappointments…
Basically running through my history as detailed as I intend to review…

All the while, he was going like a broken record… “yes… yes… hmm… hmm… ya ya ya… hmm…hmmm… yes, ya, yes, ya…” I know this is an act to show that one is listening but I was doing so much talking, I wondered if he really listened and manage to register everything I said as all the while he was only going “ya ya ya…” and focusing on his ‘maggi goreng’.

After about 40 – 45 minutes, Rig took out his handkerchief, wiped his mouth and from that moment on, he showed me why is he a counsellor. For the next hour or so, he was the one doing the talking.

He reviewed to me the medical, psychological and social side of things and then he is able to wrap all of them from the Christian spiritual perspective. The way he spoke is totally opposite what his physical appearance projects. This is like a slap of don’t-judge-a-book-by-it’s-cover right on my face.

One may wonder that he has made this kind of speech many times but no, he was picking up all the things I have said earlier. He identified things that I have mentioned earlier during the question and answer session and explained them from a medical, psychological, social and spiritual perspective. I was totally amazed as some of the things he picked up, even I myself has forgotten that I have reviewed it to him earlier.

I was totally in awe and I felt like I was being hit by a heavy dose of wisdom. You know how when you speak to people and sometimes you tend to pause in the middle and go ‘ahhh… when you are ahhh… ahhh… tense… ahhh….”…that kind of figure of speech… it’s non-existent with Rig. Every sentence completes without any pause in the middle and there was not a moment that he ran out of words. And the amazing thing is that it was all about me and the connection between my current situation and my past.

I came out of it feeling refresh and burdens lifted from me. Sometimes, we refused to do certain things because we think we are too great for it or we feel we are too high up there to do it. But I thank God that I humbled myself and made time to attend the counselling session. I did not let my ego over-rule me.

It was a very enlightening experience and I believe it is was a time ordained by Him and I truly want to give Him thanks and praise for that.

23 comments:

Jemima said...

Praise the Lord!

Have a Blessed Weekend!

day-dreamer said...

It is good to hear that you were able to relieve yourself with a good counsellor like that. It is undeniable that such counsellors are really hard to find and you are lucky to land yourself with one. Cherish him... and I wish you all the best in life! *hugs*

bongkersz said...

talking to someone that is willing to listen is always liberating.. it's better if the person that listens understand you and able to give your some responses :)cheers dude!

littlepolaris said...

Sometimes we need someone to help us to sort out certain problems in our life. I didn't know where to get a counsellor so I went to psychologist. Easier to be found =D.

Carrie said...

hey there..
I feel truly encouraged after reading this post of yours. I believe the Lord has great plans for you and that He'll turn whatever situation you're in into opportunities for you. So hang in there. He will make all things good for you.

Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed and too annointed to be disappointed.

cheers!

Life for Beginners | Kenny Mah said...

I do know help does come when you need it, in whatever form it may take. :)

Terra Shield said...

This is the first time I'm hearing about counselling at the mamak stall.

Anyway, it's good to know that you feel slightly better now.

suituapui said...

Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness...Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

(Desiderata)

pavlova said...

i'm glad you went counselling.
i personally felt that they help too, most of the time.
in fact you learn more things about yourself, your situation and the people around you more.
i just hope that Asians as a whole can embrace this counselling thing more and not see it as such a taboo subject :)

keep up the good work and continue with the sessions. i believe you'll enjoy the experience ;)

Shanice Liew said...

It's great to know u r able to humble yourself to reach out and search your soul. That is God's way of humbling us every now and then, so we will continue being wiser, hold a bigger heart and love more. Be happy...

Shanice Liew said...

It's great to know u r able to humble yourself to reach out and search your soul. That is God's way of humbling us every now and then, so we will continue being wiser, hold a bigger heart and love more. May you be happy, always and be at peace...

Shanice Liew said...

It's great to know u r able to humble yourself to reach out and search your soul. That is God's way of humbling us every now and then, so we will continue being wiser, hold a bigger heart and love more. May you be happy, always and be at peace...

myop101 said...

hey there,

good to hear that. i hope your problems get sorted out somewhat.

Aoki said...

Hey zewt,

I've been your avid fan for the past 1.5 years since i was introduced by my colleague. Your post can be very provoking and bold. Well i guess i've been following your life ever since your mother's dismissal. All i can say is that you have grown not only emotionally and mentally but also spiritually.

The nights of fire in DC has certainly elevated your spiritual journey altogether. I hope you continue to press on and walk by faith for "faith is about trusting God's character when life gives you a reason not to". Man and evil may mean it for bad but God changes things around and mean it for good. Look at your issues as a blessing/lessons in life instead of a hidrance. God make all things beautiful in His time.

I pray for the best in your life :)

Lynnwei said...

wow..praise God for providing you with someone to talk with! it really show how much God can touch our life and heart thru people...just need to let Him do that! ^^

§pinzer said...

i would really like to be like Rig on day, as I can already relate to him in a way.

After going through many problems suffered by people (friends and strangers alike) everyday, and turning on the level of empathy in order to capture the essence of troubles (which would be cleverly masked in such a way to lessen the damage on the victim), one can really analyze situations to help see the whole situation in a different perspective, as well as notice things that might otherwise be considered as "irrelevant" when in fact, would be an unexpected contribution to the situation as a whole.

but for me, at the end of the day it's more awesome that we see people the likes of you seeking to be "naked" and actually make an effort to turn things around, to seek for solace and peace rather than to live with issues that you'd rather ignore and be done with it. that, my friends, is the bravest thing anybody can do :)

Huei said...

it's always good to have someone to talk to..someone to listen to you..someone to tell you what to do

know why i love animals so much? because whenever i feel sad..feel overwhelmed with responsibilities and burdens..they're there to listen to me..though they can't talk..but they cuddle up to me in the most comfortable way! =)

sharlydia said...

wat happened to u & how come suddenly u needed some christian counselling lar?

Ivy said...

I also have been an avid reader of your blog. Enjoyed reading your posts from the laments about corporate slaves to the sentimental posts about your mom. I just received news that my mom have been diagnosed with cancer. Have been shedding tears every now and then. Indeed it is a trying time, but will continue to trust in the Lord.

Here're some verses useful to be applied during difficult times:
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:10-12

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

zewt said...

Jemima - :) thanks...

day-dreamer - will certainly do. hope to meet up with him again with progress.

bongkersz - yeah... he was certainly a good listener... and good processor too!

littlepolaris - hahaha... for me, i cant lah... psychologist will cost money.

Carrie - i like your last line!!! :)... thanks for the encouragement!

life for beginners - i prefer the divine type :)

Terra Shield - yeah, he asked me if i wanted to go somewhere. i was hungry so mamak was ok. but we prayed in the car at the end.

zewt said...

suituapui - and i tot that was from you :P

pavlova - yeah, it was an out of the world experience and i am really looking forward to the next session. regardless of whether i need help or not, he is someone really wise to learn from.

Shanice Liew - yeah, indeed He works in mysterious ways... and i am enjoying all of it!

myop101 - problems will always be there. it's how we react and what we learn from it :)

Aoki - hello there. For all that, I only have one thing to say... Praise the Lord! And i suppose you're from DUMC too.

Lynnwei - surrendering everything :)

Spinzer - yeah, it is indeed stripping yourself free from ego and overly confident thinking and admit that you're weak and need help. it's a very liberating feeling.

huei - i guess we just need someone to listen to us... regardless of who or what they are.

sharlydia - ask your husband, he knows.

Ivy - May i share with you Psalms 118:17 .... I will not die but live, and I will proclaim what the Lord has done.... share it with your mom and ask her to feed on it.... that verse kept me alive. And now, may the mighty hands of God move through your mom and make her a miracle... God bless.

Jacss said...

ooh dear...ya,i'm one of d typical type that thought for someone to go for counselling he must be in very critical/serious condition... that i never ever imagine myself going too!! praise you & hopefully u had benefited from the session & move on optimistically!!

zewt said...

jacss - yeah, it takes a good level of humility to go and you know... it can be a really really good experience. words cannot fully describe it.