Friday, August 03, 2018

Therapy.


So, hi...I haven't sat down and written a post on this blog in a hot minute, it almost feels alien to me at this point. I've been blogging since around 2011 and in recent years, I put a lot of pressure on myself to stick to a schedule, ensuring to put out three posts a week and I almost didn't even care how good they were anymore, I just needed to stick to that bloody schedule.

In the last few months, a lot of things have changed for me in so many great ways (mostly to do with work, which is v. exciting!!) and as a result, my thought process is completely different and I came to the realisation that I didn't want to force out content anymore. Instead, I'll use this blog more so when I actually have something to say. I think more and more bloggers are doing this and are no longer worrying about sticking to schedules and I am now doing the very same. If you enjoyed my true crime posts, these will now be over on my second blog - Gloomy Corner

So, today I wanted to jump back into my mental health series and discuss my experience with therapy. Before my break, I wrote two posts about therapy which you can read here & here and they're both pretty positive because that's how I felt at the time. I always said I'd do an update but life got in the way and it never happened, but I thought I'd finally do that today! 


Therapy was always something 

I knew I needed... 


I've experienced a great amount of trauma in my life and as a result, I suffer quite badly with my mental health and so therapy was something I always knew I'd have to endure. 
Whenever I see tweets about therapy online, it's always in such a positive light, it's an almost romanticised view. For example, today I saw a tweet that said if you went to therapy, you would finally only have healthy relationships, be happy with yourself and stop toxic coping mechanisms, which if we're honest, is quite a statement and I guess the point of it was to encourage people to finally bite the bullet and try therapy out for themselves, but at the same time, it leaves those that have tried therapy and not found it all that helpful feeling a little bit broken. And I get it, the statement is probably true in the long game but it's also an incredibly high expectation.

At this moment in time, I've tried therapy twice with two different therapists and both times, I've hated the experience and mostly, I think I'm to blame for it not working out. Now don't get me wrong, therapy did help me in a lot of ways. It is a very exposing experience that makes you view yourself in a very harsh light and you do kind of feel like "who the fuck is she? who is SHE?" You finally become aware of who you are and how some of your behaviours have been toxic and pretty damn gross, but this is a good thing because it's your first stepping stone to changing and becoming the person you're meant to be. This what is they call growth and I am so here for it!

I have BPD and quite frankly, I feel quite embarrassed about it a lot of the time. I feel guilty...like I'm a constant burden.



My therapist taught me a lot. And made me realise that I've been through a lot of loss in my life and loss isn't only defined by death. Loss is extremely difficult to overcome and it is SO VALID to feel hurt by it. She also explained that experiencing loss and trauma in early childhood, kind of sets us up for how we'll deal with it in later life. She made me realise that you need to accept who you are and the traumas you face daily and healing isn't linear, there will always be struggle. Her views on grief and moving on after your world has been tipped upside down was extremely helpful and reassuring and I may write a separate post on that sometime because I think some of you may find it helpful! 

...but I think my problem was that I fell into this trap of romanticising therapy and recovery and I thought that it would be a lot easier than it actually was. In my mind, I would go to therapy, have a few sessions and be automatically cured and never be sad again. However, it didn't work out that way because therapy is a lot harder than sitting down and telling a few self-deprecating jokes. 

You have to tell them about pretty much every small detail of your life, even the bits you try and erase from your memory and for the first few sessions, I didn't mind doing so. I was fine with being open because, at this point, my life was very much up in the air. I was experiencing so much change that I wasn't even aware of who I was anymore or what was happening and if I'm being honest, I was very lonely. I couldn't stand being left to my own thoughts, I was so heavily dependant on other people and going to therapy made me feel so much less alone.


I started to change, without even realising it. I was becoming more independent and actually mentally stable. I started to depend on myself and didn't need people to hold my hand anymore. I have my own hand to hold now, bitch lol.

But I then started to find it a huge struggle to carry on attending therapy. I didn't want to go and sit in an uncomfortable chair for 50 minutes discussing every single time I've been sad in the last 23 years. I'll pass, hun. However, since becoming more independent, I realise that I internalise a lot. I don't feel comfortable discussing the things that hurt me the most, especially at 9am on a Friday morning, Now, if I could WhatsApp her at 3am, she would get THE REAL TEA but that was out of the question, so I closed off. 

It's kind of a really weird set up if you think about it. There's a complete stranger that knows all the intimate details of your life and I didn't even know her bloody middle name. In the end, I just got to the point where it didn't feel like it was helping me anymore. I think my therapist felt it, I felt it and it started to feel a little bit weird and left me feeling worse after each session. The last time I ever saw her, the only new suggestion she had for my anxiety was a colouring book or a walk. It felt like the end of Nanny McPhee, I didn't need her anymore and that was that.

My feelings about therapy have made me feel like I'm a little bit broken because other people are always saying how it's the best thing since sliced bread but luckily, I'm not alone in this.  The other day while I was working, I was listening to one of Shane Dawson's old podcasts and he has had a very similar experience. He's been to multiple different therapists, he tells them all of his issues and then he starts to feel uncomfortable around them because they know EVERY SMALL DETAIL about his life and so he quits, finds someone new and starts all over again. And I get that. I really do. 


From my experience, this is how it goes... 

Step one: You meet a therapist. 
Step two: You tell them EVERYTHING.
Step three: They tell you why your trauma has fucked you up so much lol (this is low-key validating and it makes you feel a little less crazy) 
Step four: There is a lot of crying and awkward silences 
Step five: They don't tell you how to get over said trauma and they expect you to be okay and then you get sad and confused. Like GIRL, you're the professional, you tell me. HELP ME OUT!!!

But I guess with some things, there are no quick fixes. No healing magic or easy way out. The biggest healer is time and it's the most frustrating thing of all, but wait it out. It will all be okay someday. 

So, in conclusion...

Therapy is an EXPERIENCE. It's very hard and exhausting. If you manage to stick it out and find someone that supports and helps you, in the way that you need, it will be a life changing experience. You will find healthy coping mechanisms and you will get to a place in your life, where you feel good and content and you won't experience any toxicity but always remember, Twitter lies. It's so much harder than sitting down for a few sessions and crying about your shitty childhood. It takes TIME AND PATIENCE.  

I definitely wouldn't rule out going to therapy again and I hope one day, I find the right therpaist for me but even though it didn't work out in the long run for me this time, that's okay because I'm in such a better place than I was. I never thought I'd be in a position such as this and that is more than enough. I am so proud that I changed my life for the better.


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