THINGS: WhatShouldWeCallMe Is (kind of) Like Therapy Lite

Lately I’ve been in several discussions with other college students about the importance of being understood and of understanding ourselves. Inevitably this conversation leads to the stigma about counseling or therapy or some kind of professional mental help. The wonder of being in college is that counseling is free! But, in case you are not so fortunate to find yourself in this position, I have good news for you. There is a little URL that can comfort you day or night about your mental and emotional state.
Chances are if you’ve been on the Internet anytime in the last two years, you’ve heard of WhatShouldWeCallMe. This beautiful specimen of a blog is the answer to your question, “Does anybody understand me?!”
Yes. Yes, they do. And anybody’s name is…well, apparently they haven’t decided what they’d like to be called.
WhatShouldWeCallMe is home to a collection of emotions or moments that most people have probably experienced which can only be expressed visually. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then I highly recommend you invest in WhatShouldWeCallMe because they’re loaded. WhatShouldWeCallMe reminds us that talk is cheap, but a two-second video clip is priceless. While I admit some of the images are completely irrelevant to me, for the most part, WhatShouldWeCallMe reads my mind.
Solving the problem of “you-kind-of-had-to-be-there,” WhatShouldWeCallMe has the perfect video clip for every kind of catastrophe of daily life.
Maybe you and I are in the middle of the same experience.
Maybe you’re struggling to adjust to being a real grown up.
Or maybe you have relationship problems.
            Whatever the case, WhatShouldWeCallMe has you covered. Welcome to the 21stcentury, where human empathy is virtual instead of in-person. And that’s not a stab at this fabulous invention. When you simply don’t have anyone around you who understands what you’re going through or you just need reassurance that you are not alone in whatever kind of problem you are facing, the feeling of “I guess I am normal” is just one click away!
            I happen to be the offspring of a pastoral counselor, which translates to “I had real, in-person therapy.” You see, when you’re mom’s a counselor, every dinner table discussion turns into an opportunity to understand yourself or those around you better and then express how you feel in words. That might sound like a disaster, but it’s actually been a huge gift. The only tough part was finding those words, the ones you needed to articulate how you felt about not procrastinating on your paper.
If only I could have showed her this, then maybe she would have understood.
            I’ve learned to find those words over the years. It hasn’t been easy or comfortable. And part of it involved a few appointments with a professional therapist.
Ah! Why would you ever do that? Or admit it on the Internet?!
Here’s how I think of it:
            How much do we know about the human body? Quite a lot, from the tiniest synapses and building blocks of DNA to the overall function and ability of the body.  So when we think there’s something wrong with the body, we go to a person who specializes in knowing about it. And even when we don’t think there’s anything wrong with our physical body, we still get it checked once a year just to make sure everything is working properly.
How much do we know about the human brain? Very, very little. It would be as if all we knew about the human body was that skin came in different colors and there was something that went boom-boom in our chest. So when we think there’s something wrong with the mind, shouldn’t we go to a person who specializes in knowing about it? And even when we don’t think there’s anything wrong with our mind, shouldn’t we still get it checked once a year just to make sure everything is working properly?
In an ideal world, every person would have an on-call therapist. There would be some kind of mental ER in case you had some kind of issue or breakdown and needed someone to talk to at 3 in the morning. In an only slightly less ideal world, everyone would at least have a good friend to share their struggles with.
But our world is not ideal, or even close. The reality is that most of us are afraid to share our darkest confessions or scariest thoughts with our friends. More frightening is the truth that we ourselves do not want to admit those corners of our mind exist, let alone delve into them. As Anne Lamott put it, using an analogy of her own, “My mind is a neighborhood I try not to go into alone.”
So don’t! Don’t go alone. WhatShouldWeCallMe will make sure you have a buddy to go with. Whether you need someone to empathize with your attempt to wear less makeup or you want to justify complaining about your first world problems, WhatShouldWeCallMe is like the on-call therapist you never had. (The best part is that you don’t have to make an appointment, pay them by the hour, leave your house, or even use words to try and articulate your feelings!)

Also, just for kicks, Vandy caught on to the trend. 

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