I remember thinking, when I was younger, that “troubled” kids went to therapy – back then, it wasn’t “for me”. I was born in 1980, it was a different time then. Or at least it’s the impression I got.
Myself, I started going to therapy in my early 30s.
Prior to that, I just thought I was different.
I didn’t realize that anxiety was even a “thing” and always just thought that my reactions to the events around me were out of my control, and that I was just more sensitive than the average human.
I had accepted the fact that this was me, and that was my truth.
Boy, was I wrong.
I was about 30-31 when I first called a therapist. I was offered a referral through my EAP at work, so I thought, it’s free, why not. Let’s try and see what this person can do to help me. Can they help?
I wasn’t sure. I was nervous, but excited at the thought of understanding why my body turned itself inside out when I was nervous about something, or why I would cry on a dime. I was tired of it.
My first experience was great. I cried, and cried, and cried some more.
Why not? This guy gets paid to listen to me talk about my life.
He has a Kleenex box sitting right there, so I am going to let it out. And I did. I cried. A lot. I completely let go of every emotion in that moment and just broke down completely.
It was a weird feeling, but at comforting one all at once. Wooooow.
I get it, folks. Some feel it might be weird to cry to a stranger, and I felt that way too. I was anxious about going to talk to someone… until I got there and realized that this person has no judgement of what I’m doing or saying. They are just there to listen. Purely there for me in that moment. That’s when I realized that it might help. That’s when I let go… talk, cry, talk, cry, talk, cry, talk, cry…
That was my first official therapy experience. I was officially pro-therapy.
Over the years, I met with a few different therapists for a few different reasons. Don’t forget that you don’t need to go see only one, weekly, forever. Sometimes a few visits might be enough to help heal what ails you, and sometimes you need a good steady weekly date to work out your brain clouds.
Not all therapists will “fit” either —- some I’ve met with several times, and some I knew 5 minutes into it that it wouldn’t click. I have tried men and women therapists, to see the difference in their approaches.I just wanted to see what options were out there, much like for a family doctor, dentist, or hair dresser, you have to try a few until you find the one that fits just right, or a few good ones.
My advice? Try it. It can go one of two ways:
Worse case, you get a chance to get stuff off your chest for a day and walk out feeling at least a few pounds lighter, even if you never see that particular therapist again!
Best case – you find a therapist that you really enjoy and go back at least for a 2nd session. You don’t need to commit to them for life, just try it and feel it out after every session.
Listen to your body and brain, you’ll know what’s right.
I’ll tell you, my dear readers, looking back, I wish I would have started therapy as a child. I really do.
Looking back at my life, it would have helped me so much: dealing with parents who argued, being bullied at school, having a lot of trouble with acceptance and always feeling like the uncool kid.
A lot of the anxiety I’m trying to heal now started then, I’m realized.
How did I realize that? Therapy. It’s where some of my best answers have come from.
Therapy, my friends, is NOT a negative thing. If you ever thought to yourself “maybe I should talk to someone”, then I suggest you do it. Why not. There’s nothing to lose with an hour of healing.
Now’a’days, in Canada at least, there’s a lot of employers offer EAP services or cover therapy through insurance. And if that doesn’t work for you, most cities have a government Mental Health program that’s covered under medicare where you can get a referral to a government funded therapist. There’s help out there in so many forms. Don’t hesitate to at least try it out – it might actually save your life.
It probably saved mine, in many ways.
And for those still hesitant, picture this:
You meet with someone who studied the mind, and human behavior, who can offer you advice and guidance about the imbalances you feel in your life, without putting the burden on a friend or loved one. While I have great friends and an amazing family, sometimes there’s opinions within those too close to us. A therapist will have no opinion of their own. They just listen and help you make sense of your thoughts. A third party view to what you live everyday, someone literally paid to listen to you vent. I find that fascinating, someone who wants to listen to “my shit” on purpose. HAHAHA!
I hope this post may help you see therapy in a different light. And keep in mind, while I didn’t build a lasting patient relationship with all of these therapists I have tried, I did learn a little something about myself in every single meeting. And that’s the goal, don’t you think? You can’t learn everything about yourself all at once, it’s impossible since we change and grow everyday. But you can learn the tools to get to know yourself, manage your fears and anxieties and be your best, most authentic self. : )
Remember, folks, behind the fuzzy clouds, there’s always clear skies.
Love and light,