How therapy changed me for the better
The idea of needing therapy can feel daunting and confusing, and lead you to wonder what went wrong. I once thought of therapy as a waste of time and money, and perhaps more damaging was my belief that seeking therapy means you’re a weak individual. I’ve since realised this couldn’t be further from the truth.
When I was first offered therapy sessions, I felt overwhelmed. I hated that seeking help made me feel weak, and I felt I should be able to fix my mental health alone.
At the time, I had huge sleep issues - getting 3 to 4 hours sleep a night and barely functioning. Initially, I didn’t think I needed therapy, and felt the issues would resolve on their own. However, it came to a point where I found myself not enjoying anything. I no longer felt like seeing my mates, playing my guitar, or even watching TV. I had no interest in doing anything, and that’s when I realised I needed external support.
I was incredibly nervous for my first session. It being a phone call though, I felt more at ease opening up about my emotions - it felt more anonymous than a face-to-face interaction. Knowing that my therapist had no idea who I was made the situation slightly easier.
I went into the session wondering exactly what I wanted to discuss, and contemplating how I’d bring it up. However, I remember she asked me what was bothering me, and it was like a floodgate had opened on my emotions - I surprisingly found myself going into depth about all my issues.
My therapist was calm, listened to what I had to say, and provided great insight. However, that nagging sense of weakness kept creeping in, even though I knew she didn’t perceive me like that. I finished my first session feeling embarrassed at what I said - I had barely touched the surface of my issues yet felt I’d said too much.
A few days passed, and I still felt uncomfortable about the situation but narrowed it down to the fact I’d never been in a situation where I felt I could freely talk about my emotions. A sense of lightness came about after a while, a weight came off my shoulders. Weight that I didn’t even realise was there. That feeling convinced me to carry on with therapy.
After a few more sessions, I found myself telling my therapist when I felt like this. And every time, she would reiterate what I was doing was not weak whatsoever. She would tell me she believes that people are stronger individuals if they’re able to talk about their emotions freely.
Now looking back, I agree with her.
Continuously going to these sessions has helped me become a better person. I find myself understanding my emotions and the reason I react the way I do to things. I’m also better at managing my mental health when I feel stressed and overwhelmed. I now sleep better, enjoy things again, and surprisingly, it’s raised my self-confidence.
If you’re struggling like I was, please don’t let feelings of shame or weakness get in the way of you getting help. Just take the leap and see if it helps you like it did for me.