We had a wonderfully (not) sleepless night thanks to some very loud music being played in our Nairobi neighbourhood. So it gave me lots of thinking time for this blog.
I just read an article that says that nearly 20% of Americans have seen a therapist and 20% are on some kind of medication for anxiety or depression.
Don’t worry, I’m not either depressed or have overwhelming anxiety. Sure, there’s plenty here to keep you awake at night (besides loud music), worry about finances, wondering about the future, kids that are struggling. It doesn’t matter if you’re here in Kenya or in a developed country we all have those sleepless nights.
Over here there are lot of ways to de-stress. Join a very expensive club (one has a $3,000 joining fee). Go for a run or walk (trying not to get hit by a car in the process). Get some retail therapy (that’s if you have the money for it). You can go to a safari park (but how many animals can you look at over the year). Some choose to fly to the beach at Mombasa for the weekend (hmm, we usually work on weekends).
Me, my therapy is to go to the movies every now and then.
You see, my therapist is cheap as chips. He costs only $6 per session, in comparison to $18 we were paying in Sydney. I think it’s value for money.
My therapist has lots of options for the challenges I face. Sure, a movie might come out a month later but we get them eventually. Right now, I’m waiting for the next Star Trek movie to come out, apparently it’s in June, it was available 6 weeks earlier in Aussie. Sometimes, you just have to wait until your therapist is available.
My therapist shows me that it’s not all about poverty here. When you’re working with some of the most disadvantaged youth, are sitting for endless hours in front of the computer looking at projects or wondering where your next dollar is coming from, my therapist gives me choices. When I come out of a movie I feel refreshed, nothing changes, but it does. I feel better, relieved and recharged. For a brief moment I can forget everything else and just enjoy being entertained.
My therapist makes me laugh. I choose my therapist wisely, I don’t want to hear crappola from him, sometimes I just want to laugh. One of our kids (Hannah) is like me, a bit of a movie buff. I think her therapist is definitely movies – and chocolate. We don’t always have the same tastes, but it is really good to have a conversation with movie quotes in it. We have a multitude of favourites, but it’s the humorous ones we love the best. I definitely laughed out loud during Iron Man 3, it was fantastic. It’s not often I want to watch a movie twice, but that one was definitely on my list of future DVD purchases.
I am not ashamed of being in therapy. I’ve recognised I have weaknesses in my life and need a bit of assistance every now and then.
I’m not dependent on my therapist for getting me through – that’s what God is for. I can’t fix all of the problems in the universe (let alone in my own world) but He sure can.
That doesn’t mean I have to totally deprive myself of a few indulgences while here though.
I like my therapist. I’m going to keep my therapist. I will keep seeing him from time to time for a bit of social adjustment.
Hi, my name is Sharon Crean and I’m in therapy. Why not join me.