Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Therapy Thursday: Go Through It, Not Around It

pocket therapist front cover small.jpgI have decided to dedicate a post on Thursday to therapy, and offer you the many tips I have learned on the couch. They will be a good reminder for me, as well, of something small I can concentrate on. Many of them are published in my book, “The Pocket Therapist: An Emotional Survival Kit.

Here’s a navigating tip to ensure that you don’t wander around in the desert for 40 days like Moses did because he was like every other man … afraid to ask for directions: It’s almost always better to go through the heart of an issue than around it.
Because no shortcut is without its share of construction.


If you disagree with me, spend a year in Chicago. There I learned that it is possible to repair every street at the same time, making it damn near impossible to arrive at work on time.

During my two suicidal years, my therapist must have pulled out her GPS navigating system two or three times a session.
“Through it, not around it,” she’d repeat.

I appreciate her logic now that I’m on the other side.

Because if I had looped around some of the issues that were tearing me apart inside, then I would have bumped into them somewhere in my future, or be trapped in a traffic circle like Clark Griswold in “National Lampoon’s European Vacation.” By going through the intense pain, I eventually surfaced as a stronger person ready to tackle problems head on. And the pain eventually lost its stronghold over me.


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  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Lena

    I read this in your book last year…it jolted me awake. It became the beginning of healing and responsibility. So far in this journey I have discovered that YES I have depression, YES when ‘visiting’ it affects my ability to be the best me I can be, YES there are places inside me that need to be healed, YES I need to take responsibility of what I can control in my neurotic brain, YES I need to let of go of what I can’t, YES I just might need help…

    I call it going through to shed…shedding the garbage created by others,mostly myself…leaving the best shell of me that I can to fill it with the tools to be the best me I am able to be…just in case the depression visits….just in case…

  • Therese Borchard

    Thank you, Lena. I like the term, “going through to shed.” Therese

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Renee C

    I read the Pocket therapist last week and currently am half way through Beyond Blue. I have major depression with substance abuse to boot. i am currently early in my treatment and still fight with my head on what seems to be every five minutes. I am opening my mind and at the same time trying to learn at the same time. I find such comfort to your booksand to know that I am not the only person experiencing this. In my black hole I can almost see the light. i feel like i should be able to touch it but alas I cannot. I am going to continue to fight for myself and your books have provided such an inspiration. Thank you Therese.

  • Beyond Blue

    Thank you, Renee. Hang in there! Therese

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Lisa

    Read a sermon on going through the valley of the shadow of death (Ps 23) Go throught= the vally not sit in it kind of the same thing that helped me get through a dark suicidal period.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Lisa

    I read a sermon while quite suicidal in a hospital it was on Ps.23, Though I go through the shadow of the valley of death I will fear no evil. The sermons comments were on how to get through the valley of death don’t just sit in the valley of death. This really helped me climb out of my very dark valley of death, have not been suicidal since.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Jana

    You all are SO great…I, myself, don´t suffer of depression, but do know some people around me who do. And I see this great difference – when you suggest some to do whatever (including reading the book) for feeling better, they only keep staring into their cup of coffee !!! and cry “aaahhh, but I am sooo much in depression…” I think, some even “love” this state some way…it is sad :´(

  • Dr. Julia Becker

    This was a beautiful reminder of the need to face and deal with the tough issues we face in life. It always brings a smile for me when I see others talking about the importance of mental health.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Marcela Garcia

    I have made this my motto for this year: go THROUGH and not around…, “PASS through”… it’s inspiring to read that this strategy made you stronger and ready to face and tackle reality…
    Dear Therese, I have been reading several of your posts and am very glad that there is someone like you making the connection between depression and the spiritual way. I was looking for a way to contact you and haven’t found an email or so, so I’m taking the liberty of writing you here, because I have a question and haven’t found any posts that would address it directly. I hope it’s ok to write this here.
    After several years of trying to counter a mild depression (fish oil, vitamins, yoga, etc), last year I finally started taking antidepressants (I had been very resistant). They worked pretty well, without significant side effects. But after a while I became eager to stop taking them, because (I thought) I don’t want to spend my life on medication, if I can do this on my own… So I talked to my doctor and he said, ok, give it a try. (I also went to therapy for the past two years and the therapist also suggested I could try on my own now, so therapy stopped). I’ve been taking medication only every second day, in order to slowly come off, and I do feel that life is more of a struggle, where I have to very consciously make an effort to stay on track of my work, order, sport, etc. On the other hand, it seems to me what I really need are some good habits, of sleeping enough, of discipline and daily routine… and I think during the year and a half on medication, I certainly felt better, more carefree, less worried and maybe also less guilty about my “melancholy” (thanks for addressing that side of the issue) but it seems to me that if I don’t build those good habits, I’m no better off in the long run. Feeling more relaxed and happy was ok, but I wonder if a little bit of “struggle” mentality is ok too. I’m wondering if there is anyone who can tell me what to do or if it is a decision I take on my own… it’s hard for me to tell because my depression was never very deep, I always kept functioning, but feeling like it’s a struggle to keep up, and somehow thinking I “should” have more energy and discipline… My doctor has said to me: “it doesn’t have to be hard”… but maybe I don’t really believe that. In a nutshell: When do you know you are in remission and can stop taking medication? I have been happier, I guess, but if I take an objective look and ask whether during the past year I was able to advance on my work (I’m a postdoc trying to get a gob teaching in a university), or whether I have come closer to making some decisions that are kind of waiting to be made… I don’t see much difference. Whereas the struggle-mentality makes me focus more and plan ways to be more mindful and aware.
    Sorry for the long comment and thanks again!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment spareparts

    Wow Therese! You responded to some of the posts… How do you have the time? I hope you are well.

    Your insight is splendid. Many thanks.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cw

    reminds me of that winston churchill quote “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

    thanks for sharing the things you’ve learned…so many of them pop into my email at just the right times…

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Christine

    That’s pretty much what God does. He takes us through the trial, not around it, but He is right there with us the entire time.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Kell

    Thanks you for been a voice and a light to guide me. This world seem so lonel t veryday. It’likeyou’ve fallen down a dwell, it’s ar, cold and lonely down there. You scream out for help but no one is there. So that’s is the reality of it. I know its a choice, no one can help you, but yourself. And sometime you win over yourself and sometimes you lose, that’s the reality of life. But I am trying to win, that’s why I keep on reading. So thank you.

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