Mental health. I know this has been the focus of a lot of conversations, especially this past year with most of us having our lives turned upside down in some way or another. And that’s a good thing. Continuing the conversation, keeping it alive, keeping it flowing, helps others feel comfortable and safe enough to talk about it, too.
Everything is always a ripple effect, and especially when it comes to topics that tend to have a stigma attached to it…like, MENTAL HEALTH…speaking about it helps dissolve the fear around it. Speaking about it helps NORMALIZE it. Which is exactly why I’m writing this.
This past year was the first time in my life that I got a therapist. Before that (even though I definitely could have benefitted from one since, well, BIRTH) I just thought that a therapist wasn’t something I needed. That I was strong enough to handle life without help. That I could process all my shit by myself and be fine.
And yes, much of that is true. I’m fully committed to a lifetime of daily personal growth and development. Daily self-improvement. Daily learning. Daily upleveling of myself and my life. I read a fuckload of self-help books. I listen to podcasts. I journal. I work with business coaches. I do more non traditional shit like psychedelics. I’m spiritual AF and believe in a higher power, which I believe guides me through my day to day. Needless to say I do a LOT for myself to make sure I’m actively being the best version of me I can possibly be, and contributing to the world every day in the best way that I can.
I consider myself to be a really, really strong person. I’ve been through a LOT in my life. I’ve dealt with a lot of scary stuff and bullshit and come out the other side of it all strong as fuck.
But even though that’s true, 2020 opened my eyes. A LOT. To the fact that not only is it OK to seek help, but we SHOULD seek help. Even if we don’t think we need it.
To me, now, seeing my therapist is like any other doctor appointment. I stay on top of my teeth cleanings. I stay on top of my checkups. I stay on top of my eye exams. Why the fuck would I neglect my MENTAL HEALTH?!
I mean, the state of my inner being…the state of my mental state…is what’s guiding me through day to day life.
When my mental health is clogged up with stress, anxiety, and overall chaos that builds up from all the different circumstances that life throws at me…at all of us…I cannot possibly expect to make THE BEST decisions for myself from this space.
I cannot possibly just “leave my problems at the door” because they’re STILL there when I leave.
I cannot possibly just “brush things off” (which is what I used to do, without processing them) and expect that by doing so, my problems will magically disappear. It’s like putting a Band-Aid on a cut that keeps coming back no matter what…until I do the work to discover what’s creating that cut in the first place.
I decided to get a therapist in 2020 because not only did I want to be able to unpack all my goings-on in a safe environment, but I also wanted to do so with a trained professional involved who could give me unbiased insight, as well as the tools and resources necessary to process them.
Of course, talking it out with friends helps, too, but I also didn’t want to be unloading all my issues onto the same handful of people all the time.
While I did part ways with my original therapist from last year, I just found a new one who I really like and who I’m going to keep around for the foreseeable future. I just think it’s really, really important to have help when it comes to unpacking and processing whatever it is that’s happening in my life, working through it, and moving forward.
I truly believe that EVERYONE can benefit from therapy. I no longer believe that therapy is for people with “big problems.” I mean, who am I to say what’s a big problem and what’s not, anyways? We all live different lives. What one person might consider a “big problem,” the next person might find it to be trivial. And it’s ALL OKAY. We are ALL on different paths. We are ALL experiencing life at a different pace, through different lenses of experience and worldviews.
Therapy has already helped me SO much, and I look forward to spending a lifetime maintaining my mental health by consistently showing up for myself at my appointments and doing the work. Just like going to my physician’s, dentist, (or hell, even my Botox!) I am making my therapy sessions just as important. And normal.
P.S. If you’re thinking about seeing a therapist, I currently use Better Help. I love this app because it matches you with the best therapist for you and what you need help with, and gives you a bunch of different ways to communicate, whether it’s via text, phone or video chat. It’s been a game changer for me <3
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