Thursday, April 26, 2007
I was sure I didn't need it.

1) It seemed like a waste of my time.
2) I had friends to talk to.
3) I didn't want to dredge up the past.
4) What was I going to go for? To sit on a couch with some Ph.D. who would probably tell me that I was fine and why did I come to him/her, anyway? After all, my problems were so silly, so insignificant compared to what his/her other patients were dealing with.

Seriously. This is what I thought about therapy.

And then I had a nervous breakdown.

They don't call it that anymore but it definitely conveys the shape I was in better than the newer term; "major depressive disorder." Quite the difference!

So, I went to therapy. Here's what I found:

1) A waste of my time was so far from the facts, it is almost embarrassing. I am living, whereas prior to therapy I felt like I was wrestling through every day.
2) Although I had plenty of people in my life to talk to, there are some of us out there with things in our heads that no one, and I mean no one, needs to have shared with them. Not my friends, not my family. No one. These are the kinds of things you share with a paid professional -- frankly, I'd feel guilty sharing these things with her if she wasn't paid and trained to hear it.
3) As if the past was over. Done with. As if I hadn't learned everything I knew in the past. As if my past never affected or informed my present. As if the past wasn't haunting me like an uneaten donut...
4) Wrong! My first therapist was not massively helpful. I didn't know that because I hadn't been to therapy. Turns out she was on the verge of retiring and was totally phoning it in. It happens to the best of us.

My next therapist however was amazing. He had his moments of brilliance and his moments of ... maybe not so brilliance, but he was great. He made me believe that I belonged there and that I wasn't being silly. He also referred me to my current therapist who is, as the kids say, bomb-diggity.

She calls me on my shit. I'm able to be honest with her without feeling like she's going to say that I know better. She pushes me, but not too hard. She never, ever asks, "How does that make you feel?"

When I started, I planned to go for a few weeks, skim the crud off the top and get back to my life. Three years later, in recovery from an eating disorder and happier than I EVER have been in my entire life, it was worth it. Every dollar, every ugly cry, every painful admission, every exercise. Totally, totally, 100% worth it.

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Blogger Frank said...

I admire your honesty and your determination to be who you are. xo

Blogger Fluffycat said...

A lot of therapy is being in the right space to be open to it. And finding a good therapist.

Blogger miss kendra said...

i had a good therapist, and several not so good ones.

i believe in the power of therapy.

i am glad you are happy.

Blogger Elizabeth McClung said...

It takes courage to go against popular belief and seek out a therapist (an emotional risk too), and even more to blog about it. Like you, I had lots of reasons not see a therapist and now I have lots more life because I did. Huzzah!

Blogger Susan said...

I think I need to send this post to several people in my life. Like the sister-in-law who doesn't want to take time away from other people who need therapy far more than she does...

Blogger msempower said...

again, you does therapy. people who go to therapy always tend to be a lot more interesting. well...perhaps i'm a tad biased;)

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