2265 North Clybourn Avenue    Chicago, IL 60614    P: 773.296.6700     F: 773.296.1131

How Did I Get Here?

This week’s Health Tip is from our newest WholeHealth Chicago practitioner, Christine Savas, who is a clinical mental health counselor. We asked her to write about her approach to a new client. Because one day that client might be you, I thought this would be a helpful piece for the new year.

David Edelberg, MD

Time and again I hear variations on the theme “How did I get here?” There’s often tremendous defeat and sadness hanging in the silence that follows, a reminder that perhaps this was not how you felt life was supposed to go.

You can speculate about exactly when the twists and turns of life began to get difficult. Perhaps in grade school, when you painfully sought acceptance, tried to not be a victim of bullies, or wished for a home life that as happy as those of your friends.

Or maybe it was the first time you heard the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We can’t help but smile at our choices, impossible to appreciate back then how our constricted view of the world was powerfully limiting our options. We looked at life as if from inside a mailbox. Today, if we’re honest, we’ve all thought “If only I’d known then what I know now.”

At some point, we become participants in real life. Here’s a quick exercise: think of yourself at age five. Then, move forward to your current age. You might be 25, 30, 40, 50, or older. All those years! Think of everything that happened. Choices about education, relationships, career, and your place in the world. You might have moved to a different city or to several new locations. The thought of that serious relationship in college that was supposed to last forever brings a chuckle or possibly tears.

Who you thought you were in your 20s may have little bearing on who you are now.

Scratching the surface
A helpful idea to keep in mind is that your life is anything but straightforward. And when you recognize that things are more complicated than you assumed, you’re just scratching the surface. Your head swims as the layers of complexity that form you become exposed to the clear light of day.

If you find yourself asking, “How did I get here?” and you realize you’re not happy with your life and need some help from a professional counselor like me, know that moving forward is possible.

By understanding yourself, gaining some insight into the why and the how and the “what can I do,” you can make real progress. The answer to many of our struggles might be found in the popular Serenity Prayer, which has appeared on everything from T-shirts to cocktail napkins. Yet the idea behind it is really quite profound:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

The answer to finding acceptance is to look inward. And sometimes, to truly turn your gaze in that direction you need the help of therapy. We therapists are trained to challenge the preconceived ideas you may have about yourself, ask questions you may have been reluctant to ask yourself, offer new perspectives, and listen to what you’re saying…as well as what you’re not saying.

Being a part of the WholeHealth Chicago team allows me the opportunity to use therapeutic tools that are simply unavailable to most therapists. The mental health profession is generally woefully ignorant about the effects of good nutrition, regular exercise, sunlight, and the clinically studied usefulness of so-called alternative therapies such as Chinese medicine, herbs, homeopathy, and energy therapies like Healing Touch and yoga.

And while psych medications can be very helpful, the medical profession itself acknowledges that these drugs are vastly overprescribed (15% of Americans over age ten are taking one or more of them).

Please, if you’ve been experiencing emotional pain, if your psychic get-up-and-go seems to be circling the drain, schedule a visit.

We’re all here to help.
Christine M. Savas, M.Ed, LPC
Clinical Mental Health Counseling

 

Leave a Comment


  1. Bad Wolf Girl says:

    The most important element missing from the serenity prayer might be the addendum needed that might make the difference between remaining stuck in a rut and freeing ourselves from blind expectations and a myopic view of unknown possibilities:

    “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference….

    … and the willingness to take action!”

    Not to make this into a soundbite, but the Eagles couldn’t have said it (sang it?!?) any better…

    “So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains,
    And we never even know we have the key.”

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, delicious and time-saving recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

BIRTHDAY

Health Tips

Dr. Edelberg’s Health Tips contain concise bits of advice, medical news, nutritional supplement and pharmaceutical updates, and stress relief ideas. With every Health Tip, you’ll also receive an easy, delicious, and healthful recipe.

When you sign up to receive Health Tips, you can look forward to Dr. Edelberg’s smart and very current observations arriving in your in-box weekly. They’re packed with helpful information and are often slightly irreverent. One of the most common responses to the tips is “I wish my doctor talked to me like this!”

Quick Connect

Get One Click Access to our

patient-portal

The Knowledge Base

Patient education is an integral part of our practice. Here you will find a comprehensive collection of staff articles, descriptions of therapies and nutritional supplements, information addressing your health concerns, and the latest research on nutritional supplements and alternative therapies.

Join our Newsletter

Get health recommendations, recipes, medical news, supplement reviews, birthday discounts, and more!

Upcoming Workshops

**Pain Relief with Myofascial Balls
Tuesday, October 29, 6-8pm
With Renee Zambo, C-IAYT Yoga Therapist

Course Fee: $65.00
(includes WholeHealth Chicago Myofascial Release Kit, $40 value)

Does that same spot in your neck, shoulders, back or hips seem to bother you every day? Do you have joint aches and pains in the hands and feet? Would you like to learn ways to alleviate that pain and tension?

Join WholeHealth Chicago’s Yoga and Movement Therapist Renee Zambo for an evening of muscle tension release with myofascial therapy balls.

Space is limited and registration is required.
Please register online.
Call the Center for additional information at (773) 296-6700
More>>

Recent Health Tips

  • Dandruff, Fungi, and Cancer of the Pancreas

    It’s an eye-catching title, I’ll admit. But the links are quite real and further research may guide medicine in new directions of cancer prevention and treatment. It all starts in your gut microbiome, the totality of microorganisms–bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi–present in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, mouth to anus. Until recently, researchers and clinical physicians alike paid virtually no attention to the microbiome and the Read More

  • New Hope For Sinus Sufferers

    When osteopath Dr. Rob Ivker moved to Colorado in the 1980s to set up his family practice, he had no idea that when he stepped off the plane he’d succumb to symptoms of chronic sinusitis that just wouldn’t go away: stuffy nose, thick mucus, pressure behind his cheekbones and above his eyebrows, dull aching headache, and thick goopy drainage in the back of his throat. Read More

  • Director of IV Therapies Katie McManigal, BSN, ANP

    Most people at some point in their lives have had an intravenous (IV) line. An adept nurse warned you about the tiny pinch of the needle as it was smoothly inserted and taped in place.  Then the  fluid dangling above your head slowly started making its way through a tube and into your body. IVs are all over the place in hospitals. They’re seen in Read More

October Sale – Save 20% off UltraMeal Rice

UltraMeal RICE is a tasty, non-dairy, nutritionally fortified, powdered meal replacement for those who want to support healthy body composition but may be sensitive to soy.

Click here to take advantage of this month’s promotion!