Last July I sat on my bed, heart pounding as I waited for a call from a therapist - the free discovery ones where you can decide if they’re right for you. I was scared and in denial that I had found myself at this point regardless of the fact that there were so many people who I admired for doing this exact thing. I’d spent the previous month or so spiralling into an anxious rut that felt different from its predecessors. I felt paralysed in this state and any decision to get me out felt impossible to make. My usual avenues of getting myself out of said rut hadn’t worked and so I came to be exploring what felt like the best way out.
There is a common perception that you must be at a certain level of helplessness or despair to seek therapy and I think it’s this societal idea that often stops so many of us from taking a step towards therapy. It’s talked about much more openly in the US and the more people talk about it, the more we normalise it as part of what keeps us all sane in this crazy, chaotic world.
When you experience a period of suffering with your mental health you often lack the clarity to see it’s shadow until you’re out the other side. As I made that call I doubted whether I was ‘bad enough’ to be going to therapy, thinking surely others were in a much worse situation than I. But at 26 it’s been the best investment I’ve made in myself and I feel so grateful of the fact that I could afford to go privately and not wait months on an NHS referral list. It’s cultivated my self compassion and empathy towards others and I think any degree of self reflection and accountability makes you a better person to those around you and yourself. It’s provided a space where I can take my worries and discuss them with someone unbiased who can ask questions to get to the heart of my concerns and where I have learnt to feel more into my body than my head. When I started therapy I struggled to connect to where I was feeling emotions within my body and found it impossible to listen to my intuition when my mind quickly jutted in at every opportunity.
It’s completely transformed who I am and I imagine that I would be repeating a lot of the same patterns that got me into that rut in the first place had I not started. Of course, I still have bad days and weeks but I find that I’m in and out of them much quicker and they feel less overwhelming.
I hope this might make therapy seem less intimidating and more like an avenue to explore your curiosity and the possibilities it could hold. There won't be a newsletter next week and possibly the week after as I'm hopefully going to Lanzarote today for the first part of my breathwork course. Take care and let me know your thoughts on this week's topic!
Originally published in my newsletter 04/07/2021