Coming in to the light

No, I have not emerged from three years in a religious retreat in a desperate bid for conversion.
I have, on the other hand, come out from a dark place that involved bullying (welcome back to high school), intimidation, aimlessness, powerlessness and depression. It’s good to be out, and I had some great help.
The bad situation was at work. It was ugly, and I felt completely trapped. In the end it was resolved when the bully was removed. Mine was not the only complaint, but I’m told it helped. What helped me, along with the love and support of the people around me, was professional counselling. It’s not something I imagined putting my hand up for, and I didn’t do it for a long time even after the bully was gone. But eventually I did. I found myself sitting at my desk, angry, frustrated and feeling completely ineffective. Nobody (at work) told me I was no good, but few people told me much different either. Amazing how the human mind will jump to, assume or at least consider the worst when left to its own devices.
The counsellor (a psychologist I’m pretty sure) was great. She allowed the conversation to wander a fair bit but showed insight and directed the discussions when it was helpful to do so. She didn’t insult my intelligence with sweeping generalisations, and she put forward confronting ideas that I just had not considered.
Moral of the story – don’t be ashamed of the help. It doesn’t matter how smart or strong you are. We all fall and certain hurdles and rejecting the help just delays resolutions.
I’m stronger than I was, and I’ve learned things from the experience. Hopefully enough that I will never again end up in that shadowy place (“you must never go there Simba”).