I finally took the leap and made an appointment with a therapist for this afternoon! As I discussed in my post about being afraid of success and failure, I’m hoping it provides support for me on my journey to improve my life and address some longstanding issues that I feel have been holding me back from being who I am supposed to be.
One thing that has been running around in my mind is how to answer “so, why are you here?” in a succinct way. I have done a lot of reflection and research, and now identify a lot of my behavior as originating from being an adult child of an alcoholic, or being a highly sensitive person, or any number of other things, but I felt like all of that is just information. Just details around what must be a central theme. So I thought and thought and thought and finally realized that my true goal is to break out of deeply ingrained, heavily repeated patterns.
I feel good having a thesis statement, if you will, to go into therapy with. I’m very analytical and structured, so having a clean, concise goal in mind to helps my thoughts organized and makes me feel more in control. When I’ve been in therapy before, it was for general stuff, like “feeling depressed.” Which is a totally acceptable reason to start therapy, but for me it meant wading through everything that’s ever happened to me and being utterly drained by every session, without any evidence of improvement. Having a clear focus in mind and better self-awareness, I feel like I can make progress this time around.
I was talking about therapy with a friend last night and she said that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a useful type of therapy for breaking patterns. I did not sign up for this type of therapy (I found a traditional therapist who specializes in families, self-esteem/body image issues and eating disorders, among other things), so I may look into CBT at some point to help deal with specific behavioral problems. I do tend to have the hamster wheels, as my friend calls them, running in my brain all the time and I hear CBT is perfect for breaking compulsive thoughts.
I’m excited. I feel good, generally, happy, but strangely I also feel very stuck. I hope therapy helps to grease the tracks on me really putting myself out there and living. I’m being vocal about entering therapy because I feel that it’s something that still has a some stigma attached, like it’s acceptable to do but you’re not necessarily supposed to talk about it or be proud of it. I hope that by being unashamed and open about it, I can be a loud and proud Owning-My-Shit-And-Working-On-It ambassador, so others feel like they can talk about and work out their stuff openly, too.