Why I’m in Therapy and You Should Be Too
There are weeks when I think I don’t need it. Then there are weeks like this one. This week that hour long appointment is vital. It’s been the kind of week that makes my hands shake and my jaw clench. And it’s only Wednesday.
I started therapy three years ago in the midst of a total life collapse. In the span of six weeks, my parents filed for divorce after 25 years of marriage, my grandmother whom I was very close with and my horse, who’d been with me since I was 10 died on the same night, a six year relationship I had been clinging to ended and as the icing on the cake someone very close to me attempted suicide, several times. I was a mess, my life was a mess. It was all just one big mess.
Then someone suggested therapy, they pressed a list of names in my hand and urged me to call a number. Totally lost and looking for something to direct me, I picked one at random and I’ll never forget our first session. She asked if I knew what she specialized in. I said I had no clue. Grief, she told me. I started to wonder what the hell I was doing there. I was grieving for my grandmother, yes, but people lost grandmothers all the time and didn’t need therapy for it. Then we started to talk about what was going on in my life, and she said to me “Wow, you’ve got a lot to grieve for right now.”
It bewildered me. I knew that things were totally sucky at the time, I never considered that maybe I needed to grieve for what I had lost. It blew my mind, and started me on a journey towards myself.
Over the course of the next year or so I discovered that I had absolutely no clue how to process human emotions. As I started to learn how to feel things, and how to express those feelings, I began to learn about myself and to see myself in a different light. I wasn’t crazy, as that ex I had been clinging to repeatedly told me, I was sensitive and caring. Very slowly, I realized there were parts of me, damaged parts, that I didn’t even know existed. Even more slowly I worked on healing those parts.
These days I’m as functional as a twenty five year old can be. I still have depression, and I still endure anxiety, but I continue to evolve and learn about myself. I continue to get better, in a mental health sense, and as a person.
The thing is, why do you care that I’m in therapy? Aside from possibly keeping me from going off the deep end and going on a rampage my therapy doesn’t affect you. Except it does because I sincerely want to encourage you to think about giving it a try. Maybe nothing traumatic has ever happened to you, maybe you’ve got the perfect life and nothing ever goes wrong. In that case you might be a pretty easy person to figure out and maybe you don’t need a therapist’s help learn about yourself. For the rest of us, who are out here in this crazy world, I really think it could be a huge benefit.
Honestly, my favorite thing about therapy isn’t getting this craptastic week off my chest. Nope. It’s the absolute freedom I get from knowing myself on a psychological level. If I know exactly who I am, no one can tell me otherwise and therapy is what helped me achieve that level of self awareness.