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Why Starting Therapy Is One of My New Year’s Resolutions

I will begin therapy this January. I wish I could blame 2020 for my mental health, but the truth is my struggle started well before I can remember. Having struggled for so many years, I found myself questioning why I did not find help sooner. With some introspection, I came to see denial as a huge reason. I hope by telling how I decided to go to therapy, I could help others. 

I believe I have undiagnosed anxiety. I mean, hopefully, sometime soon, I will get to the root of my struggles, but I have always been anxious. When it comes to anxiety surrounding school and work, I am relatively high functioning. I have a very high GPA, and I work 40 hours a week; however, I am always worried that I will fail out of school, be fired, or worse, die on the way to one or the other. Socially I am much more anxious I cannot be in crowded places, including dance floors. I cannot meet or talk to anyone without questioning their intentions or if they secretly hate me. I do not know where I collected an infinity for worrying, but I would be much happier without it.

For many years I denied my struggle. I have to admit the removal of distractions during isolation in March led to a lot of introspection. I was unemployed; however, I am spoiled to death by my parents, so I rationally had nothing to worry about. Two spring classes and no responsibilities, and yet I had uncontrollable spouts of anxiety daily. My parents, like they have my entire life, told me to “suck it up.” I do not blame my parents for anything, but because my brother has always been a wild child diagnosed with various mental illnesses, I was not allowed to acknowledge my own struggles, nor was anyone else. I was to be perfect, and I have to admit I appear damn near close from the outside. I mean, I was a cheerleader in high school who is still with her high school sweetheart and am working towards a law degree. So, for many years, I coped with my anxiety by being too busy to feel anything. Isolation allowed me to feel again, pushing me closer to getting help. 

Denial is hard to overcome, especially when identifying your struggle is part of finding the right mental health professional. I chose to ask my friends and family what they believed my struggles were. My boyfriend and my best friends both informed me that I overfill my plate and build up possible negative consequences in my head. It shocked me that they all saw what I spent so long denying. I am in no way suggesting you go around asking people what they think is wrong with you. It is more upsetting than I thought it would be. However, I do think that if you are feeling an emotion and think hiding it is better than feeling it, therapy might be something you should consider. With student Care therapy will cost me $30 a session. I do not know how many sessions I will go to, but hopefully, it will pay off. 


Megan Pratt

U Alberta '21

Megan is in her third year at the University of Alberta. While pursuing a law degree can seem like her entire identity at times, she considers herself a horror film critic, as well as a fitness and food enthusiast.
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