“In any given moment we have two options: To step forward into growth or to step back to safety.”- Abraham Maslow
When starting this article this quote spoke volumes to the topic I will be discussing. After my cancer diagnosis every doctor I saw told me I should be seeing a therapist or at least attend a group meeting. My first gut reaction to the thought of seeing a therapist was a resounding, NO!
In my teen years after confessing I had been raped, my parents immediately got me into see a therapist and it was a horrible experience for me. Reliving what had happened and talking about all the feelings I wanted to bury was overwhelming and I ended the relationship with my therapist abruptly. Years later I sought out hypnotherapy to help my nightmares and bury the deep soul wrenching hurt I carried with me. For a while that helped but after my cancer diagnosis I went into a depression and wanted nothing to do with the mental heath field.
It wasn’t until my husband and I started to have communication and marriage problems that we sought out therapy together. To be honest it took us a very long time to find the right therapist for us. At one point in our search we saw a therapist who would say nothing in our sessions. She would just let us talk and talk with no input. The only thing Dave and I could agree on was she wasn’t for us.
It wasn’t until we found the therapist we are with now that I have been able to let my guard down and really face my demons head on. I see her on my own and we see her together. Her input and professionalism has been a huge step in my healing. I am realizing that I wasn’t mentally ready until about 6 years ago to step into my growth on this journey. I wasn’t ready to actually heal the scars that have saturated my life for so long.
Most people don’t speak about their mental health but any growth you do in your life starts from within. It starts by saying yes to the really hard soul searching growth. I am not ashamed to say I see a therapist. I am proud I decided to take my healing into my own hands and start the emotional journey to better health. I will never regret putting my mental health as a priority. I no longer repeat the inner dialogue of self shame. I no longer feel broken because I know I am breaking through. I no longer believe therapy is just for other people. I believe therapy is for all people.