Mental Health Awareness Month: Therapy Forever Changed Me
I never really considered going to therapy until I had a bad break up in college. To my surprise there was student group therapy on campus. I tried that out a couple times, but I wasn’t consistent. After college I realized I really needed to talk to a professional. I had major life changes from moving, trying to find a job, being diagnosed with an illness, family drama, the list goes on. I was feeling overwhelmed with life and the pressures of adulthood.
My first therapist was a white guy in his 40’s. He was laid back and easy to talk to, but sometimes his comments made me uncomfortable. However, working with him helped me identify issues I was facing, such as anxiety. Fast forward to me moving out of state…I had to stop working with that doctor and started to work with a counselor in my new city. She was a white lady probably in her late 50’s. When I tell ya’ll I could not relate AT ALL. lol. She would talk to me about her fine jewelry and her daughter who’s a doctor (& I’m thinking look lady is this your therapy session or mine lol).
I stopped working with her, but I’m glad I didn’t get discouraged. I found my new therapist on www.psychologytoday.com and she’s nothing short of amazing. She’s black and maybe like 5 years older than me. She’s helped me to really do the WORK on myself. I feel the healthiest that I have in a long time. My outlook on life is way more positive. I feel more confident, happier, and equipped to be successful in life. I’ve let go of so much baggage and can say that I’ve grown a lot since working with her. Doing the work isn’t just going to the sessions either; I’ve picked up good habits such as meditating and saying affirmations, and I’m more aware of when my thoughts are going down a negative path. I’m truly a better version of myself. Below are 5 main ways therapy has changed my life:
1. Gave me a better sense of my patterns that were hurting me and resulting in an undesirable outcome.
2. Gave me strategies to cope with my anxiety, anger, and negative emotions.
3. Helped me have more fulfilling relationships, where I can share my feelings in a way that is respectful.
4. Helped to build my confidence by letting go of the negative narrative I had in my head about myself.
5. Helped me to forgive others. & release the pain that I’d been holding on to for years.
I’ve seen a strong difference since seeing a therapist that I can better relate to. I’m so happy that I found her and I’m looking forward to continuing to work on myself. My advice would be to not get discouraged if you don’t find the right therapist right away. Keep looking for the right fit. If you have any questions about my experiences or going to therapy feel free to email me. I’m glad that the narrative around mental health is changing. It’s just as important as taking care of our bodies; we must keep our minds healthy.