Two weeks ago, I opened up on my Facebook about going to therapy. The response that I received what phenomenal and I was overwhelmed by the incredible support, love, reassurance and conversation that ensued. Given that today is Bell Let's Talk day, it seemed fitting to keep the conversation going.
I want to talk about a subject that can be really taboo in our society:
I've been seeing a therapist over the last few months as I worked through challenges in my relationship and now in the aftermath of our break-up. I have an appointment tonight and I'm so thankful to have someone outside of my normal life to talk through the way I'm feeling right now.
Before this, I hadn't had a very positive experience with going to therapy or working with a therapist. I tried once when I was in college and another time in my 20s. I didn't jive with the therapists and was basically told I was "fine".
As someone with a lot of feelings, I had an instinct that seeing a therapist would be a beneficial thing, but both of those experiences kind of rubbed me the wrong way and made me pessimistic about the potential of seeing someone else. I also felt like I had a good support network and that I was pretty good at handling things on my own.
That changed when things started to get hard in my relationship. We were working through some difficult things and I was trying to navigate through a lot of unfamiliar, vulnerable and scary feelings.
A friend recommended my current therapist and she ended up being a great fit. For the first time, my needs felt heard and I jived with her approach.
Asking for help can be really scary, but it's so important.
Going to a therapist doesn't make you weak.
It doesn't make you a bad person.
It doesn't mean you're "too emotional".
Or that you are incapable of handling your shit.
Asking for help and learning more about your feelings actually makes you really, really REALLY brave.
And if you're like me and didn't necessarily have a good experience the first or second go round, take your time and try to connect with someone else - who follows a different modality or comes with a recommendation from someone you know/trust.
If finances are a concern for you, there are programs you can access to find someone to talk to for a lower cost. It may take a bit more digging, but they're out there.
If you're not ready to take that step or it doesn't feel like the right approach for you, don't be afraid to reach out to a friend or family member.
You are loved.
You are worth it.
You are not alone.
There doesn't need to be a negative stigma around therapy or mental health or mental illness -- we're all just trying to do the best we can.
And you don't have to do that on your own.