I am probably the most stubborn person you will ever meet. I don’t like talking about myself or my problems. I tell myself that nobody cares or wants to deal with my issues. If people ask me how I’m doing, I hit them with the automatic, “Good!” and move on, even if I’m doing not-so-good. It’s just how I am. Until I began my journey with therapy.
Before therapy, I closed myself off, bottled everything up, and chilled with my thoughts until I would have a breakdown of the overwhelming emotions I locked away. It was a bad cycle, and unfortunately it was how I lived for most of my life until my sophomore year of college. My second year of college provided me with a lot of growing moments. But, where there is growth there is pain and boy, did I experience pain. In the first two months of my sophomore year, I spent half of them crying and the other half distracting myself from the issues I had been ignoring. From a failed relationship, to past trauma I had experienced, to insecurities, everything was piling up overwhelmingly.
At the moment, I did not like life, and I would throw a smile on my face during the day and then go back to my dorm and just be forcibly lonely to avoid talking about everything going on.
However, I had good friends in my corner who knew I had been putting on a facade and knew that I needed to go to therapy. It’ll never leave my brain when my pals, Ryan and Emma, said they would walk with me to the counseling center if that’s what it took to get me to go (remember I am stubborn so it took a lot). I was so appreciative but felt embarrassed, weak, and ashamed that I couldn’t solve my own issues.
But as time went on, those feelings went away.
I saw a Furman counselor for a few sessions before deciding that an off-campus therapist would be in my best interest and that in itself was hard for me to grasp. I had opened up to someone about everything pertaining to my life and all of a sudden I had to tell someone new about my life? Hell no. I rejected the idea for months and stopped seeing a therapist.
Then, COVID-19 hit and I found myself struggling in more ways than one and finally found a therapist (once again, shout out Rhonda!). Right off the bat, we hit it off and I have been seeing her ever since. It was the best decision I could have made for myself.
It’s frustrating that there is a stigma against therapy. As I write this, I feel inclined to let every reader know yes, I go to therapy, but I am also happy, thriving and living my best life, too. That shouldn’t need to be said. Going to therapy should be just as normalized as seeing your general doctor, meeting with a professor, or talking to your coach. Therapy is good for guidance, for ranting, for having a safe outlet, and most importantly, therapy is simply good for your soul.
I cannot even tell you how many ways therapy has improved my quality of life. I communicate better, I am more confident in myself, I am less anxious, and I am more aware of how past issues affect my current life and how to work through that. There may be tears shed throughout my therapy journey and it may be hard, but it led me to where I am today: happy, healthy, and more vulnerable to express my weaknesses to my friends, family, and even people I don’t know (hence this article). My journey with therapy won’t be over anytime soon and I hope this inspires you to start yours too.