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Therapy: To Go or Not to Go…My Story

Azaleas Blog

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Therapy: To Go or Not to Go…My Story

Odette

Therapy. Something I never thought I needed until now or should I say I thought I got over my emotions enough to not need it anymore. Despite my age, I don’t think anyone is too young to see a therapist or counselor and get help on whatever it is you need help on. Some may say it’s taboo and others may tell you, you just need to “pray,” but the truth is there are some persons just like me where prayer isn’t enough. There is nothing wrong with turning to God and actually speaking to a professional about what’s going on in that big head of yours. *giggles * With that being said… I think it is only right I share my experience and views on seeing a therapist.

Hello Everyone, I’m glad to see you all are back on the blog today. So, as you can tell from the intro, I will be talking about my experience going to my first therapy session. I know you may be thinking, “Why did you go to a therapist? What changed?”.Well, to be honest, the thought to go and see a therapist was always in the back of my mind, despite expressing how I felt if you read my blog post about self-hate. Just for background info… I had a conversation with two friends of mine who are sisters, and they basically wanted to know why I started blogging. I expressed to them in detail why I started, and they asked if I ever sought help from a counselor or therapist, and I had told them, “No.” I explained my reason why, and they felt as though I should still go and see one even if I feel like I had overcome my “problems.” Of course, my response was, “I will think about it.”  A few days later, one of my older cousins who speaks about mental illness, had a Livestream on Facebook, and I took part in the live conversation. As a young adult, I started to express how I felt about it and some of my personal thoughts and issues on the topic. Later, that week, my mom brought up some of the things I said and long story short, we decided that I should FINALLY go and see someone about it. So that is why I decided to go and see one, I wouldn’t say anything changed why I felt the need to go but like I said the thought was always in the back of mind to go and see one for myself. 

 The night before the big day, I was nervous, terrified, and sick to my stomach because I never saw a therapist before, and I didn’t know what to expect. Then I decided to speak to my best girlfriend about it, and she was so encouraging about me going and just reassuring me that everything is going to be okay just remember to have an open mind. So, I did just that. *sigh * THE BIG DAY IS HERE!! Let me just say this I don’t usually freak out in my car while driving to places but I sure as hell did on my way to my therapist, I actually made myself laugh. Anyway… got there went into his office and it was pure silence. I am talking you could hear a pin drop how silent I was, and for my therapist, it was weird for him because he is so used to me talking, laughing, and just acting a fool. Oh yeah!! I forgot to say I do know this therapist outside of therapy so that kind of made me less nervous. I didn’t know where to start with speaking it just felt like someone had crazy glued my mouth together and my heart was racing like Nascars. Eventually, we started talking, and semi started digging to the roots of my personal problems and emotions. I won’t go into detail about what was said, but if you want an idea of some of my issues, you can read my blog post about Self-hate. As I began to talk more and more and express myself, my chest got SUPER heavy with emotions that I had swept under the rug for a very long time. The best way to express this feeling was like looking at a mirror and talking to it. One of the main issues that I didn’t even realize I had within myself that he pointed out was that I use a mental defense mechanism to block out the majority of my feelings and I care too much for others than I do for myself. So, it is almost like putting up a wall to keep my sanity even when persons are pissing me off. I can’t deny it because it is true. Keep in mind people my chest is still heavy but I’m doing good at this point… not crying yet. PLOT TWIST!! Coming down to the end of my session, he started to do his own reflection of me. In the words of my therapist, he said, “Odette you are a good person, you know. Some people are watching who know this. You are a powerful young lady, and you don’t allow things to keep you down for long. You care about others more than you do yourself. But I am here to tell you that all these things that are happening in your life, especially all the negative situations, are happening to you for a reason. You have a purpose here, and sooner than later, everything will be okay, and you will know why these bad things happened to you. Like I said, you are a good person. I don’t think you get that too very often.” Instant tears. I am talking the ugly cry, even now while I am writing this, I still have some tears that need to come out. *wipes tear * 

The sad thing is I am not perfect at all which I am completely fine with. I can be mean at times and get out of character if something or someone makes me upset enough. But to actually hear somebody, especially an older adult, say to me that I am a good person and I don’t deserve some of the things happening to me, but it just has to happen, and that’s how life is… unexplainable feeling. Just shocking. Mute. Quiet reflection. That ladies and gentlemen equal game changer. After I left the office and I got in my car and drove off, I blasted my music and let every single teardrop for about an hour straight. That there made me realize that this entire time me thinking I didn’t need to see a therapist I was totally wrong, and I feel stupid for not going from the beginning of me feeling the way I have for the past 2 ½ - 3 years. In all honesty, I feel like a part of my problem was that every time I opened up to adults when they use to ask me specific questions, they would either shut me down, treat me like a child, or think that I’m just making up excuses and judge me. That is the worst feeling in the world… like how could ask me all these questions and then when it’s time for me to open up you are shutting me down or trying to make it seem as though I'm dramatic and I am too “soft.” That is never the case, as a matter of fact, that is complete bullshit to me. Like honestly.  And it hurts. The comments I have had older adults say to me is like a door being slammed in my face. I don’t care how long you’ve been working for; it does not matter if you’ve been on this earth longer than I have. For the age that I am (the 20’s), I don’t think it is normal for me to feel and think the way I do. Simple. You aren’t me, and you most defiantly don’t have the same mindset as I do, so of course, you wouldn’t understand. This is one of the reasons I didn’t want to see a therapist, I was scared that he would treat me like how others have when I try to open up and basically crying for help. Prayer alone, I realized it was helping, but I needed more.

 Unfortunately, where I’m from especially and in the black community, generally I’ve noticed that people think things like this are a joke. Like it’s taboo to seek professional help from someone.  I know plenty Caribbean parents where their child would say how they feel basically a cry for help and parents would say “go pray”or “you will get over it”and that is NEVER OKAY! Sometimes, I feel like there are some situations where it’s better to be safe than sorry. I remember one-day scrolling through social media, and I read a mini-article saying that there are more black folks, especially teens and young adults committing suicide than the white community. Now I am saying it should be vise-versa; I’m merely showing you how serious it actually is in the black community. In the black culture I think that we are raised to suck up whatever issues we have because our parents taught us to be strong and pray. Honestly and truly, this is a new generation where yes, we can be as strong as a natural disaster, but we all will have breaking points, and it will be a disaster. It sucks to say, but it’s the truth. That’s just my five cents. 

 As I look back at this experience and reflect on it… I feel like so much weight, and the burden has been lifted off of me, it’s crazy. Even though this is just the beginning, I think I did pretty good for my first session by just opening up about some of my issues and just having a listening ear who actually isn’t judging me. Seeing a therapist, I would say has helped me a lot even though it was only one session. It placed a lot of things into perspective for me. I actually see things differently now, and I’m learning to give myself more credit apart from the other things I need to do from the session. Will I or am I going back to another therapy session? Yes, I am without a doubt. I already have my appointment booked!! Even if I have another ugly cry moment and snotty as hell.  Do I feel like everyone should see a counselor or a therapist if only once in their lives? 110% Yes. You will be surprised about what emotions you’ve been hiding for so long that you think it is normal to feel that way when it is really not. Here are some of my personal reasons why I believe you should see a therapist:

1.    It is truly an eye-opener; you view different situations and past situations from a different perspective

2.    Friends and family can only help you so much. They cannot be your only outlet all the time

3.    It is a form of self-care

4.    It can actually help you understand your purpose in life

5.    It will teach you to learn how to let go and forgive others who may have hurt you in the past

6.     The focus is YOU. You don’t have to worry about someone telling you about a similar situation they had and what they did to overcome it and before you know it the conversation is about them and not YOU.

7.    Therapy is a place to practice expressing your emotions and not being judged for them. Like I have experienced, it’s like looking at and speaking to a mirror.

8.    You will eventually start to heal even better!

Listen to me and listen to me well even though you are actually reading not so much listening… if you or anyone feels the need to visit a therapist or counselor just go and do it. Put your pride aside and know that there is nothing wrong with you seeing one. If you feel like you cannot do it alone, take a friend who you trust with all your might to go with you. As for you younger adults and teens if you think that you really really need to go, and your parent/s don’t believe it is necessary then ask a family member or family friend to take you. Too bad if your parents find out later. If you feel like you cannot do that either you can shoot me an email, and I will be more than happy to help you get through this roller coaster because you are never alone. Trust me. I have had my close friends be there for me, so I open my door to you. Keep in mind I am not a professional. 

Now I know you guys may be able to tell I am not my goofy happy self as you read this post, but that is the point of my blog. To open up and be real with everything I put out to the public. I will be okay; I am taking baby steps to make sure I put myself first before others. I will be back to my usual self soon enough. However, I felt like you all my supporters deserve to know a little bit about what is going on but not everything some of you are too nosey. I love you all!!