I’m still trying to figure out why there’s such a stigma around going to therapy.
I’ve been in therapy for almost three months now, and it’s definitely one of the best things I can do for myself. I think we all know that therapy has a negative stigma around it, but honestly, that’s the furthest thing from the truth. First off, I know how lucky I am to be able to realize that I have anxiety, and not letting it truly overcome my life. I started therapy because I didn’t want to ever get to a bad place, and I think I’ve become so self aware over the last few years. I know my anxious thoughts are quite literally JUST thoughts — so why wouldn’t I try working through them with someone who is trained to help people with anxiety?
Therapy doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you.
Sure, people probably feel most inclined to find a therapist when they’re in crisis or during a specific stressful life event. But everyone is so different. We all have our triggers — some more severe than others. I came to realize it’s okay to start therapy just because you think you need a little extra help. It’s also okay to not fully understand why you need a little extra help.
So, why did I start therapy?
Well, there were actually a few reasons.
because my ex said i needed it
While that sounds really bad, it’s very true. Although I didn’t have the best relationship with my ex, I will say he is the reason how I started understanding my behavior. My anxious behavior. I started recognizing that my feelings and thoughts weren’t totally normal — they were all signs of anxiety. I would think about my behavior was when I was younger…and they all pointed towards anxiety as well.
So yes, I really do think I’ve been living with anxiety my entire life. I just didn’t realize it. And when I did, that’s when I realized I needed some help.
because i was experiencing a different type of anxiety
I’ve always been a very anxious person in my relationships. While I’m very secure with myself, I was often not very secure in most of my relationships. This was due to a variety of factors. I attributed my behavior to being “the crazy girlfriend”, and just played into that sort of role. And I was that way until I met Rob. I was very much just kind of thrown into our relationship (and I mean that in the best way possible). I was very content with being single, and when I wanted to stay single…that’s when I met Rob. From the beginning, Rob has always been very aware and respectful of my anxiety. I’ve always felt very myself around him, so I had no problem opening up to him.
I quickly began to realize that I was getting all of this anxiety from things that were not and should not be part of our relationship. I was anxious from things I’ve experienced in the past. I was anxious over screwing up a really great relationship. I was anxious over “the worst case scenario”. And that’s when I actively started looking for a therapist.
because i wanted to work on myself
When I started therapy, I realized I also wanted to understand myself better. I wanted to be able to cope with my anxiety on my own and in a healthy way… instead of how I always dealt with it in the past. I used to just let anxiety overcome me. Not in a way that was debilitating, but it certainly affected my mood, my days, and my relationships/friendships. I also wanted to prepare myself to manage all difficulties in my life that will inevitably happen in the future.
I’ve learned a lot about myself, and right now I still think I’m in that period. I’m not quite ready to make any severe changes, and I know it won’t happen overnight. That’s why I’m not rushing it. I’m actually enjoying working through different areas of my life, my personality, etc. I’m kinda just going with the flow. Going through each session and kind of word vomiting whatever I’m thinking (or going through specific instances that came up throughout the week).
when i found a therapist and why it took so long
So there were a couple of months between the time of my break up to when I actually started therapy. It was mainly due to fear over going to therapy. Not because I was afraid of the idea of therapy. I was more nervous to have to deal with my fears and anxieties head on. I felt like I would always feel like this, so why would I constantly talk about it.
I started searching for therapists in May, and it took me quite some time to find a practice. When I found one I thought I’d like, I reached out to them and started the insurance conversation. When I hit my deductible, my weekly sessions will be around ~$30. I’m very thankful that my insurance covered a decent portion of weekly sessions. I know getting access to healthcare and the cost of healthcare is usually the reason why people DON’T go to therapy. If you can, I recommend it. If you are struggling, I would exhaust ALL options. Putting yourself first (not just physically) is the most important.
why i recommend therapy
I’m very much enjoying seeing and FEELING the progress. I’ve realized that my anxiety will never go away, but I’ve already learned how to use different tactics and methods for different situations. I probably could stop going to therapy, but I really don’t want to. I enjoy talking to someone, feeling like they’re listening, and learning new things about myself. Oh and of course learning about different ways to deal and manage with anxiety.
My biggest piece of advice is to remind yourself that getting help is probably the bravest and smartest thing to do. I promise that you’ll feel better after connecting with a therapist. I sure did. While it seems so scary at first, it’s SO important. Even on the days where I haven’t been anxious, I STILL go to my weekly session. It allows me to think about my problems and my anxieties while I’m in a good headspace.