I get it, you saw the title and either thought, “yes! I agree!” or “don’t tell me what I need. You don’t know.” Or maybe you had a reaction that included both sentiments. Either way, I’m here to tell you that you do, in fact, need to go to therapy.
First, though, let’s talk about what therapy isn’t.
- It’s not a place where someone is going to take over for you, and make all your life decisions.
- It’s not a place where you are shamed for how you feel or what you’ve done in life.
- It’s not a place where you are pumped full of pills and left in a zombie state.
Now, let’s talk about what therapy is.
- It’s a place where you can talk to someone that isn’t family or close friends, and someone that has the tools to help you cope with whatever you have going on that is preventing you from living your best life.
- It’s a place where you can dissect situations from your past, and hopefully change your perceptions of them.
- It’s a place where you can learn the tools you need to cope in stressful situations.
- It’s a place where you can identify what triggers you (whether you’re triggered into panic, sadness, or anger), and learn the tools to overcome the trigger.
- It’s a place where you don’t have to take medication unless you want to (not all therapists can prescribe medication anyway)
- It’s a place where you can get a solid sanity check and ensure you’re not holding onto any harmful information or perceptions.
A majority of us spend our time constantly moving through our days without so much as one mindful moment to see how we are feeling. We take in so much information and messages from those people and places around us, and we don’t take the time to decide for ourselves if they are true and worth keeping.
Have you seen those stories over the past couple weeks about the sewer systems on the east coast that are blocked by these huge gelatinous masses of fat/grease, flushable items, and God knows what else? That’s what we have going on, but in our brains.
We get stuck. We take and take and take all this information because IT IS EVERYWHERE. We are constantly being told how to feel and what to think, and we just accept it without knowing it.
We are given messages as children that we take with us into adulthood without a second thought.
We are given messages as adults that we carry around with us like an old sweater, and never take the time to determine if it is worth carrying.
Each of us would benefit from taking the time to do some self-evaluation and determining what burdens we no longer need to carry, and work on those perceptions we need to fix.
Should you decide to go to therapy, be aware of those around you that will try to talk you out of it.
They say going to therapy is a sign of weakness; that you don’t need to go.
The truth of the matter is they are afraid you’ll talk about them. They are afraid you’ll decide to no longer accept the messages they’ve spent years telling you to accept.
They are afraid you’ll become a better and stronger you.
Honestly, they should be afraid, because you will become stronger. You will have had the courage to stare down those things that weigh down your heart and your soul, and you will determine if you want to carry them around any longer.
You alone will do this.
You won’t be asking for permission.
You won’t be seeking anyone’s approval, because they’re approval doesn’t matter.
With the help of a professional, you will be given the tools you need to become the best you possible.
The process is never easy. Initially there will be more pain than you expect. However, if you persevere, you will be amazed at how far you’ve come.
So, whether you know you have some issues to address, and you’re actively avoiding doing the work, or if you think you’re doing fine and don’t need any support, I am telling you to seek help.
It takes far more bravery to seek help than to avoid it. It takes strength to say “enough is enough” and actually do something about it.
Who knows, you may just end up being the example to those around you who need to take better care of themselves too.