5 lessons I learned about going to therapy

Hello Sunshine! 

How are you? I hope life has been treating you well these weeks.

I know that before last week’s brief post, I had disappeared for a while. That’s because I’ve been busy with work, had somewhat of a relapse with my mental health, and have been dealing with some difficult family situations. But I am back… again! And no one is as happy as I am that this relapse hasn’t been a huge step back in my recovery journey. 

Since I am getting back on my feet from this relapse, I thought I’d use the opportunity to talk about something that has been a great help during my journey: therapy.

Going to therapy is probably the most significant leap of faith I took this past 2020, considering I grew up in an environment where mental health was never an issue. There was always someone doing worse, so there was no need to overreact

If you have been thinking about therapy for some time now, I want to leave this post with the 5 lessons I learned about going to therapy. You might find something useful in these words, which could help you decide where you want to go next in your self-care journey.

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It is good to have someone to talk to

After so many years of bottling up my feelings and putting up walls to keep everyone at arm’s length, it is good to have one person to confide in. The best part is that a therapist won’t be a friend and tell you what you want to hear, but instead will be a professional and say what you need to hear. 

Sometimes the truth will be hard to swallow, but I’ve found I prefer it over sugar-coated lies. 

Trust your gut when choosing a therapist

My current therapist is not the first person I try to confide in. She is my sixth therapist and the one who has lasted the longest time. 

The reason why that happened is that something didn’t feel right with the previous ones. There was always a nagging feeling that I wasn’t completely honest with the therapist in turn, which ended with me abandoning any hope of recovery.

With this therapist, it’s different. The uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach is gone, even if sometimes I want to crawl under the bed because I feel way too vulnerable.

The road to recovery is not a straight line

Probably this is one of the most important things I’ve learned during my five months of therapy. 

The road sometimes is ugly and bumpy with lots of ups and downs. There are sunny days, as well as rainy. I can’t expect years of neglect to disappear from one day to another. That’s one of the first things my therapist made sure I understood.

But the biggest lesson regarding this is that I need to take everything one step at a time. There is no need to rush. When I feel overwhelmed, it’s okay to take a moment to catch my breath.

No one’s opinion matters in your decision to go to therapy

People will always talk and say what they think is the right thing to do. For me, the most important thing to remember is that I am the only person who will live with the decisions I make. So there is no need to worry about people’s words. 

This was a tough lesson to learn because mental health is never an issue in my family. I’ve had to learn to ignore the fact that my family sometimes thinks I’m wasting time and money. 

Go to therapy when the time feels right

You will know when the right time to seek help is. Everyone reaches that point at different times. 

I had to hit rock bottom and find myself in a very dark place to realize I needed help. I was convinced I couldn’t get myself back on my feet on my own and knew it was time to ignore what I was made to believe since I was a kid.

That’s probably one of the reasons why none of my previous therapists lasted. I wasn’t convinced it was my time for therapy. I wasn’t sure of the choice I was making. But now I am, and that’s what matters the most.

Wrapping this up

The choice of going to therapy is one that comes from our most vulnerable selves, and our opinion is the only one that matters when taking that step.

Dear Sunshine, I hope you find something helpful in the words I had for you today about therapy. Remember, you are brave and smart enough to make the best choice for your well-being.

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