Fresh perspective.

August 23, 2017 7:00 am

The single best thing I did for myself this year was work up the courage to go to therapy. My entire life I’ve heard the stigma that surrounds it. I’m here to tell you that you don’t need something to “be wrong with you” to go to therapy. You don’t need “a reason” and you don’t need it prescribed. Friends had recommended it to me over the years but for some reason I never took the plunge.

I finally mustered up the guts to send my information in to arrange an appointment in January. I remember writing “I’m just looking for some fresh perspective in my life.” Things weren’t–and aren’t–bad. I had/have a few deep-rooted issues that I’d boxed away and no longer give attention. Really I wanted to give therapy a try. I had lingering questions and goals I wanted to reach. But I needed someone to talk them through with in a new way. I needed someone who wasn’t “in it” with me on the daily, and could look at any situation through a different lens.

Ironically my first appointment was during the inauguration. I had been reeling since the election for reasons I’m not getting into right now, and it was by pure coincidence. By the time my first session was over we had a new president. I had cried for 20 minutes over things I didn’t realized bothered me. And I had another appointment scheduled for one week later.

Fast forward to today. It’s been eight months of therapy and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. It it something I look forward each time my next appointment comes around. I’ve talked about a slew of things and gotten the perspective I was looking for. Sometimes it wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but it was something I needed. Some days my sessions can be emotionally exhausting. They’ve turned over stones of the memories I had grown over and forgotten about. Other times I leave so excited to get to work and focus on what’s next until our next discussion. I’ve been goal setting and I’ve been healing.

In fact, therapy has been instrumental in processing my grief from miscarrying earlier this summer. Because of it I had the tools to process what I could until we met after it happened. Even though we could have met earlier, those tools gave me space. When my appointment arrived, therapy allowed me to be raw and open and broken outside of my own home. I had placed tons of pressure on myself to put on a happy face. Like so many other women do when they suffer the same thing unbeknown to us. But my heart was at war inside my chest because I didn’t want to be silent. It was on the advice of my therapist that I chose to write a post on Facebook announcing what had happened. At first I was completely overwhelmed by the thought. I was scared of what people would think: what if they thought I was looking for attention? I was exhausted thinking of having to repeat the story over and over again. I was worried about how it would affect my husband. Cacy is grieving too.

I walked out of that room and called my husband. He told me he thought it would be a good idea for me, if I felt like it would bring me healing. So I posted, asking for privacy and guiding the conversation. I requested comments and condolences remain with that post. I asked those who saw it to refrain from calling or texting. I later learned the last part was both praised and was very hard for so many I love to do. But they did it out of the respect of my request. Therapy gave me that power, and doing it allowed me to begin to heal.

With my whole heart had I not filled out that form I would have processed (or not) this life event completely differently. Grief still catches me off guard in the most random of times. But I know what I can do to allow myself to feel those feelings and still strive to be the person I want to be. Each time in therapy is different. Today we’re working on some of the things I’d like to do before I turn 30. Tomorrow we might talk about how the state of America sometimes brings me to my knees. Next week we could talk about how the book I recently read challenged my thinking in a positive way.

I’m sharing this because I want you, whoever you are, to feel like you don’t need something wrong with you to go to therapy. You don’t need a reason to learn more about yourself and to dig into goals or issues you have. Therapy is a wonderful and beautiful thing. Far undermined than it should be. I truly believe if more people gave it a try, we’d all be a bit gentler–to ourselves and with one another. We’d be more loving, and would all feel a little happier.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  • Wonderful post! I offer you all the support for taking care of yourself. I love that your husband encouraged you to go public with the miscarriage. I was really grieving and Jeremy (my husband) suggested the same thing. I also struggled with sharing, but for different reasons. I was awash in shame and my thoughts about what might have caused it. “Did that one Pepsi (before I knew I was pregnant) mean that I am not pregnant any longer? Could it have been that extra mile I ran been too strenuous? You torture yourself so much thinking of all the things that could have caused it, and you are also afraid to talk about it, because you don’t want to hear all the platitudes because then you are in the position of having to comfort others or having to know what to say to take care of yourself while taking care of others. Thanks for your bravery in sharing what is difficult or uncomfortable! So many people will read this and be happy that you did, but may never say anything or comment…. but you will have helped so many by being real.

    • boucksy says:

      Thank you for reading, Jennifer – I’m sorry for your loss.

      I was different, I suppose; I never blamed myself, I just felt this overwhelming, unsurmountable feeling of sadness. It was huge and it was hollow at the same time. I specifically mentioned the platitudes in the post I wrote, because I just couldn’t bare to hear them. Especially those about it being “God’s will” or something like that. I was angry enough with Him as it was.

      I do hope that I’ve helped anyone, even just one person, with this post. <3

  • Lynn Mills says:

    Thank you for sharing. I have found therapy to be life changing for me and I continue to learn more about myself as I enter a new phase in my life. Thank you for opening up and sharing your life, I find it inspiring.

  • Lisa Teet says:

    You’re such an inspirational person, and I appreciate how you’ve shared your stories. Therapy was instrumental in helping me aid my mother in her battle with cancer and helping me and my family cope during her final weeks alive and after her death.
    After a few visits, I realized the therapist wasn’t the right fit for my needs. Despite that, her advice was still beneficial in helping me understand that I had opportunities to take action and “do something,” even in the face of overwhelming obstacles.

    • boucksy says:

      Thank you Lisa, that means a lot. I’m glad that you had the chance to attend therapy, even if the therapist wasn’t the one for you (which happens, too!). I’m happy you were able to take something away from it.

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