Getting To The Root: Things You Should Know About Therapy
Therapy is getting to the root of your problems, digging them up, and eventually letting them go. Therapy is not a crutch or a weakness. In fact, it is a huge reason why I am such a happy human being today. I began therapy my freshman year of college. After years of struggling with my anxiety and eating disorders, I simply could not take being so miserable anymore.
At first, therapy was pretty difficult for me. I’m never going to say it was some walk in the park where the minute I shared my feelings I instantly felt better. What I will say is, once I started to truly dedicate myself to my own wellbeing, my life changed for the better. People don’t often talk about therapy because there’s still a stigma around it. It’s assumed that because a person is in therapy they’re either too weak to deal with their problems or they’re just crazy. I surely am not those things. Neither are you.
It takes hard work
At the end of a session, I thanked my therapist for helping me get to the place I currently was. Her response, “that wasn’t all me, that was you,” made me truly reflect about the work I had done on myself. She facilitated a lot of my growth, asked great questions, and was my rock when I needed one the most. Thing is, I was the one who took what she gave me and made it into something that would change my life for the better. I was the one who went home after a therapy session, felt fine, and then felt even worse the next day trying to process what was spoken about. I faced my fears every week, still do now. I unpacked my emotions and made sense of them, for the purpose of my own healing. It has been difficult, it has taken work, but it’s worth it.
Prepare to persevere
I’ve been at this therapy thing for awhile now, and though I usually tend to walk out of therapy with a smile on my face and a feeling of clarity these days, it wasn’t always like that. For my first year, things usually ended with my therapist asking, “are you okay to leave?” The topics were heavy, and she knew it. Facing pent up thoughts and feelings is no easy task. It takes perseverance and the belief that you will get through it. Most days, what saved me from quitting was the knowledge that I would feel better. Your problems will not be solved in a few sessions, or a few months. Well, most people’s won’t. Therapy takes strength. It takes hope and understanding within yourself. It takes powering through those tough conversations so that what’s holding you back, won’t anymore.
Be patient with yourself
“Why am I like this?” The question would always ring out in my mind amidst trying to figure out why I felt the way I did. It can be tough to not beat up on yourself, assuming that there’s something “wrong” with you. There honestly isn’t, though. Throughout therapy, it’s essential to learn how to love yourself, through the worst and the best of it. You are “like this” because the Universe wants you to find strength to push past what plagues you and grow like crazy. You’re “like this” now because there’s a better future ahead of you and this is just the starting point. Don’t get caught up in the “why,” only the “how” of moving forward.
It’s only up from here
By seeking out help, you are stronger than most. Pushing down feelings isn’t a sign of power, it’s a sign of fear. Taking strides towards becoming a better version of you and shedding layers that no longer serve you are both wonderful, amazing things to do for yourself. A pro-tip that I wish I’d had when I started: keep a journal to reflect on each therapy session. It’ll help you get it off your chest when there might still be some things to unpack.
I encourage you to get help if you feel you need it. Not because there’s something wrong with you, but rather there’s so much life to live unbothered by things that might be haunting you. So take that first step.