Day 9 – October 10th
It seems so simple, therapy. Sitting in a room with another human, talking about the things that are happening in your life. In a world where we consistently sing our own praises and speak mostly about ourselves on social media, therapy seems so easy: No status’ to update, no filters to apply, no snaps to like. Nothing to do but just talk to another human for one hour.
For the first time in my life, I’m seeing a therapist. I’ve been going to therapy since my childhood friend Mikey committed suicide in June. I wish I could describe to you how that moment felt – the ice cold chill that fell over my body as his dad was telling me the news, the empty noise that filled my brain and drowned my ability to think, the lack of understanding about the finality of the situation, as if I could get in touch by just texting him – but all of these individual feelings pale in comparison to the total feeling of loss that hits you over the course of grieving.
And as hard at that moment was, it was a last straw of sorts in a very complicated and transitionary year for me – read about my 2017 mid-year retrospective for more information. Even though I knew where I was going professionally, I felt lost personally. As if I was being buried under events and situations that were largely out of my control but were trying to take me down with them. As if no matter how fast I swam, I could not beat the current pushing against me. As if nothing I did could break me out of the lull that had settled in my psyche.
I just want to tell anyone and everyone out there that has ever felt this way and knows the feeling of loss first hand – please go see a therapist if you can. It doesn’t matter how strong you think you are, or how far back in your past that loss has occurred, or how successful you have been since then – therapy can always be a guiding tool to help you cope with any unresolved trauma in your past.
At the top of this post I said that therapy seems so simple and easy. But anyone that has ever gone through therapy can tell you that it is anything besides. Being that honest with someone and having someone be that honest with you about moments and issues in your life that have shaped who you are, for better or for worst, is hard. Speaking about yourself feels selfish and egotistical, having to perceive yourself differently and being open to accepting who you are feels uncomfortable, confiding openly within another human and vocalizing thoughts you have only bounced around with your inner voice feels vulnerable.
But it is worth every second. I’ve only seen my therapist for a total of 8 hours. That fact, when she mentioned it, blew me away. Only 8 hours. I’ve only been talking to someone about my concerns, feelings, motivations, anxieties, excitements, goals, dreams – all of that for only one standard American workday. But those 8 hours have been some of the most productive of my life. In that time I’ve gotten closure on a lot of loose ends and have been able to understand and process many of my deepest thoughts, internal struggles, and environmental pains. I know I have work to do yet, but I am living proof of how far one can come with only a few hours of investment.
Therapy can and will change how you look at the world, and yourself in it. If you’ve ever considered going but haven’t yet, please do reconsider. It is the investment in yourself that you deserve.