There’s a still-prevalent idea out there that you must be a little unhinged, lack the emotional skills to sort your own self out, or have a strange complex in order to seek out a therapist.
But having just had a beauty of a therapy session, I’m here to tell you it isn’t reserved for those few wackjobs among us – it’s for everyone.
Think about it for a minute.
How normal is it that you feel stressed day-to-day, waves of anxiety and panic sometimes flowing out of you as quickly as they came in?
Feel bogged down by challenges at home, work, family, finances or your health?
SO, SO NORMAL!
Fuck, sometimes if I truly take a moment to reflect on what balls I’m juggling at any given moment it’s a miracle the padded truck doesn’t come to pick me up and put me in this seasons most flattering straight jacket.
Yet, I still get on with my life and outwardly function as a normal human. As do you, I imagine.
And recently I’ve discovered the wonders of sharing this burden with someone other then my lovely husband. I know he’s in this twosome for the long haul but I’d be remiss to assume he’s not walking this world carrying around his own shit and really doesn’t need me to expect him to carry mine around too.
In fact, after a recent nuclear, anxiety-ridden meltdown he looked me straight in the eyes and said “I support you but I really do think you need to speak to someone who can help”.
In an attempt to de-stigmatize breaking open your fragile mind to a stranger, let’s chat therapy and why it’s a damn good idea, shall we?
You are a living, breathing superhero
You know why?
Because going to therapy is actually strong AF and carving out that time to deal with your inner turmoil with an actual EXPERT (not your poor husband who was probably having a really nice day until he heard you throw yourself through the door in a rage-panic) is a beautiful gift to your sore, battered soul.
Speaking to a therapist gently forces you to be open and peer into those dark corners of your mind that are actually quite frightening. And they do it without judgement, bias or a ferocious need to interrupt and offer up an opinion.
It takes strength to explore your own emotional boundaries so start that journey to becoming a magical, emotionally stable unicorn!
It is actually worth the money
In fact, it’s also entirely possible that it’s free.
I’m lucky to have a benefit program at work that includes limited therapy but I also will happily be throwing the contents of my wallet at them once I’ve exhausted that.
Because it’s taken me 38.5 years on this planet to appreciate emotional stability is equally as important as my physical well being. And lord knows I spend enough on gyms, yoga and marathons.
The difference as I see it is prioritizing your inner best self as much as your outer best self. Taking some of those hard earned dollars and putting them towards a future where you can still do downward dog with the best of them AND handle all of life’s challenges with equal grace and flexibility.
Talking with your therapist is not the same as having a whinge with your GF over a glass of wine
Nor should it be!
I found very quickly it’s not a two way street with your therapist – we are not ‘having a conversation’.
Guys, I talk.
And then talk some more. And the beauty of therapy is they ‘let silence do the heavy lifting’ meaning in those little gems of quiet when you’ve finished a long, meaningful thought – when a friend would now jump in with advice, opinions, commiserations – your therapist lets the silence hang there in between you. Which, believe it or not, encourages you to tug at a different angle or thought that floats to the surface and off you go again.
It’s like mind-magic!
It’s really quite incredible what intentional silence can do.
You will likely share intimate details of yourself with your therapist, and they will not be responding in kind. The one-directionality of all this sharing is not intended to be harsh or unkind – it’s just helping it to be all about you in the present moment. It’s a wonderful learning exercise where your chosen expert sets unspoken limits around when they’ll offer feedback and to help you make sense of your own assumptions and limiting beliefs. It’s really quite incredible what intentional silence can do.
Now, ladies, I love you and I love having wine with you but I also love laughing with you, gossiping, trading advice and updating our lives. A tangle of wine fueled interruptions and belly laughs. I adore it and because I adore it I’m not going to put pressure on you to be my defacto-therapist when we hang out.
Be brave and outsource
These are just some of the reasons why people decide to outsource their mental and emotional well-being.
Just know that you’re not alone in following this well trodden road and and it’s not a decision to be made lightly. Ultimately, It’s an investment in the Future You. An invaluable one.
So do me a favour, toe those scary waters of vulnerability and see where it takes you.