Updated: Aug 29
I started counseling in school in the 9th grade and after 10th, I shifted to therapy. It has been 3 years now since I started to go for therapy. Therapy has made me grow as a person. It has made me come face to face with so many things that I subconsciously avoided or ran away from. It has given me a safe space and a safe person to talk to. My emotions are being released and a lot of toxicity has been released, too! When in therapy, my opinions are valued, my thoughts are gaining way more clarity and most importantly, I no longer feel numb. I have got all the support and the satisfaction that I am in safe hands. The thought of opening up to someone with whom I have no emotional ties is very comforting. Being a judgement-free and confidential space, therapy has genuinely been a source of light that guides me through the dark.
Being in therapy is filled with many obstacles, like facing the stigma to seek help for the mind, finding the right therapist and most importantly, being consistent for your sessions. There were a lot of times when I thought that I wanted to discontinue therapy because it made me face a lot of things which I was avoiding subconsciously, all the time.
Imagine this: You are about to board a train. You get in with all your baggage and wait for your destination to arrive. Unable to wait, if you board off the train before your destination arrives, you won't reach your destination. Similarly, you go to therapy with the aim of getting better. If you don't wait patiently till the end of your journey, reaching your destination can be difficult. Therapy hit me in the right spots. But in the end, I knew all the efforts were worth it because I wanted to get better.
Consistent therapy leads to consistent growth, it helps you to rigorously work on yourself. On some days, that in itself is very tiring and on those days, it is important for you to rest and to just 'be'. Even if there are times where you feel that therapy isn't helping you or that you aren't able to agree with your therapist, remember that you need to trust your therapist, communicate what you think is happening and wait patiently. A lot of times you won't even feel like going for therapy and it is in these times, that you need to push yourself and motivate yourself to go. I did, too. You can't delay mental fitness, right? Being in therapy has made me realize that therapy is an on-going process. It takes different amounts of time for different people to see a change because therapy requires you to have patience.
My Journey in Therapy
Initially, I was really hesitant to go for therapy because I had already opened up to my school counselor with great difficulty. Going to a new therapist meant opening up, again. There was a voice in my mind that said my counselor wouldn't have suggested I go to a therapist if she didn't feel I needed more help. With great difficulty, I went to one for almost a year but to my dismay, it didn’t work out. I had given therapy time but I felt that somewhere my therapist and I had reached a dead end where neither she understood me nor I understood her. I left therapy and continued going to a psychiatrist. After a while, my condition was worsening because medication alone couldn't help me get clarity in my thoughts. My psychiatrist asked me to visit a therapist side by side because otherwise, my condition would worsen. To be honest, I had given up hope. At first, I was against it because I just felt so tired, mentally. I just went to a new therapist for mother's sake and my first sentence to her was that nothing was going to help me and I am not going to open up, again.
Fast forward to now, I can't wait to go for therapy every week. Every week makes me feel that I am a step ahead, towards becoming mentally fit. Therapy has given me an insight into myself. It has given clarity to my thoughts and has made me realize so many reasons for my mental health concerns and that I have so many unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with them. Therapy is helping me become the girl I always pictured myself to be. It definitely opened my mind. Sometimes, it does get overwhelming but in my heart I know that everyday can't be good. On some days, some things will hit me hard and I need to give myself time and stay with the feeling. I need to trust myself and my therapist. I have grown so much as compared to what I was last year. Therapy has given me reality slaps, but it has also made me capable enough to deal with them! I have learnt so much and I think going to therapy was one of the best decisions I ever made. I couldn't be prouder of that!
Going for therapy teaches you a lot of things. Here are some lessons that I learnt in therapy:
Accepting my true self, even the parts I don't like about myself.
Accepting difference in perceptions.
Not being judgemental to myself.
Keep checking on myself, like I check on others.
Prioritizing myself and my needs.
Learning to manage things when I can't control them.
Not giving up on myself.
Handling things that used to shake my daily functioning, healthily.
Creating healthy boundaries.
There is always a way.
Finding the middle ground.
Agreeing with someone else doesn't mean surrendering to them.
Facing consequences of my actions and taking responsibility.
Expressing myself, having a mindset which is open to everybody's views and opinions, even if I don't agree with them - Agreeing to Disagree.
I can become stronger and alter emotional parts of me, the way I want.
I can find my own way to do things.
Taking a step back if I don't have the mental resources to do something.
Rest my mind, too.
My mental health is above everything.
To 'be' with myself.
Help is always there, you just need to reach out to the right person.
Your mental health matters as much as your physical health. Don't hesitate to take a step towards your mental well-being. If you’re looking at talking to a professional, book your Initial Consultation with The Mood Space on https://www.themoodspace.com/freeconsultation or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Take a step towards bettering your mental wellbeing because you deserve it!
Written by: Mahika Solanki
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