People have often called me their therapist. I probably could have become one, but I have too much empathy. What I mean by that is pretty soon I start to feel like whatever is happening to them is happening to me. So I have to limit my sessions to family, friends, and people I know that might need someone to listen to and give a little common sense advice.
Two days ago I went for a haircut. My hair stylist wasn’t her usual happy self and she had gain a lot of weight since I was there last in June. I no sooner sit in the chair and she tells me her father passed away. In less than a week it would be the 11th anniversary of my own father’s death. I can relate to what she is going through. She tells me she hasn’t slept since May. Of course she is upset over her dad, but now she is worried about her own health too. She has been putting over going for annual exams, like we all do. And then she says, all she wants to do is stay home. She is obviously depressed. I understand what she is going through and I start to talk about my own situation. She has never heard my story and as I tell her I can see she starts to relax a little bit.
Then, I start to give her some advice. I can’t even help myself. First I tell her thank God she has this business and cannot stay home. That would be the worst thing she could do. She needs to keep busy, let time pass, and give herself a chance to grieve for how ever long that takes. She is concerned about her weight. She has a pain in her ribs that has been aggravated by the weight gain. I tell her to get the 17 Day Diet Book. That will give her another thing to focus on and it will help her feel better. It works fast, especially the first 17 Days and she might get rid of the pain in her rib. I tell her I had just planned on using it to lose weight myself and then noticed with the weight loss the pain in my lower back disappeared and so did the water in my ankle. I tell her she will have to exercise. She makes a face. I remind her she only lives 20 minutes by foot from her salon. She can walk here in the morning and walk home at night, her exercise will be done and the cooler weather is coming. She agrees. She writes down the title of the book. I give her my phone number in case she has questions, wants to talk, or needs some encouragement. She seems so appreciative. I think I understand how she was feeling. It’s not just the loss of her father, but the feeling of being “lost.” She has a tremendous void, she doesn’t know how to feel like herself any more. She can’t help, but think about her dad and how her life isn’t the same any more. I think she could see that I understood, I had been through it too and more and came out okay on the other side.
She gives me a hug. As I walk out I tell her I will be passing by to check on her and see how she is doing. And I will. It really takes so little to help someone through a rough patch. She will be fine soon enough, she just doesn’t realize it yet. She just needs a little support, encouragement, and understanding. We all do.