A Letter on Therapy
I get it. The idea of therapy is, let’s all admit it, kinda weird. How are you supposed to unload intimate feelings of your life on a stranger?
I started my therapy journey 10 years ago after experiencing a trauma that numbed me. Despite being an emotional person, I could not emotionally connect with anything anymore. I was in such a state of disconnect, that I could only mentally beat myself up. And that was when I knew I needed more support.
So yes, I recommend reframing how you view the idea of therapy. We are social creatures after all and therefore we need to unload. That’s why solitary confinement is such an inhumane act. We weren’t meant to do this life stuff alone. Think of your therapist as “the wise old person” in your hero’s journey. Harry and Dumbledore. Bilbo and Gandalf. Katniss and Cinna. All heroes have a person of wisdom aiding them in their journey. Your therapist is meant to support you to become the best human being that you can be.
I’m a fairly private person and the thought of sharing intimate thoughts that I possess with another is frightening. Maybe it’s because if I speak certain thoughts aloud, that means they’re real and I have to face it. But please, for your own healing and growth, speak up and speak out. Why waste your time if you’re going to withhold from your therapist? I’ve learned that when I’m scared to admit something, it reveals another area of healing that I need to work through. My mental healing comes from the consistent and steady massaging of these fears and sentiments that I have. Eventually, I am able to look back upon a person or situation or heck, even a reaction and not only separate myself from it, but admit where I could have avoided or improved something. It’s when I speak my story to my therapist that I physically feel the unburdening. And let me tell you, that messy feeling is also one of the most freeing that you will continue to experience in your journey to healing. It’s always going to be worth it.
There is no shame in seeking help. It actually is an indication of you realizing where you need some more help. It’s a wise decision to make. So whether you continue and receive a diagnosis or even realize that you need more assistance through modern medicine or alternative medicine I must say this: please own the fact that you value yourself (or maybe someone out of love steered you here) to learn how you can set boundaries, release emotional tensions and frustrations, be your own advocate, and also honor where you are in whatever the “this current stage” is. The truth of the matter is, this one professor said something along the lines that it’s okay to want to help change the world for the better, and it’s okay if the only person you end up truly helping to change is yourself. I invite you to welcome this healing in and discover that this is about the most important relationship you will ever have, the relationship you have with yourself. Embrace it.