Therapy. It’s this thing that looms over many people’s heads. They want to try it, but there is a stigma attached. Perhaps people will view you as weak, or unable to deal with life on your own. Or your friends and family will think you’ve gone off the deep end because you are admitting you need a little extra help to deal with life’s ever changing environment and experience.
It took me awhile before I finally took a leap of faith and went to therapy. I’d just graduated college and moved to Los Angeles. I’d recently gotten out of a relationship with a man perhaps a bit too old for me and who maybe had a drinking problem. I was overwhelmed with the beginning of my post grad life, and was tired of making horrible dating choices. I knew I needed to change but I wasn’t sure where to start. It felt like I had years of bad experiences, bad choices, and negative emotions that had piled up high, and I wanted to learn how to deal with them in a healthy way.
Finding a therapist that is right for you can be work on its own. I was lucky that my first therapist worked well for me, but in years following her move to NYC, I’ve found it a bit more difficult. But this shouldn’t stop you from looking. There are a lot of amazing people out there, and learning healthy coping mechanisms is wildly important.
I came out of the therapy closet with friends awhile ago. I decided that I wasn’t going to be ashamed, and in fact, I was really proud of the progress I’d made and the new things I’d learned. It worked for me.
This is going to sound cheesy, but I believe I am a better friend, daughter, sister, girlfriend and everything in between because I go to therapy. It’s a constant look in the mirror on how to become of healthier mind, and my life changed drastically when I started. In fact, I found an incredible man, one of a good age and sans drinking problems, and I truly believe therapy helped him come into my life at the right time. If I’d met him before I’d done it, he may not still be dating me 5 years later.
If you are on the fence about it, I encourage you to jump in. Forget the stigma, don’t worry about what others may think of you, and give it a shot. You never know how it may help you.