I went to see my therapist today. I started going to her about a year and a half ago. For the first year, I saw her often but after a year we both felt I could come in on a “need be” basis. It had been 6 months since I saw her last.
I initially started seeing a therapist because I felt I needed to stop the ping pong thoughts in my head that brings on the waves of anxiety. I know the word “anxiety” is thrown around like saying someone has a headache but I’m not here to debate how the word is used (I’ll save that argument for another time). For me, the anxiety can be physically painful and I needed an additional tool to help control it. I’m a strong believer in therapy, medication, medicinal marijuana, exercise or any other thing that can help someone stop suffering whether it’s physically or mentally. Help is help.
About a month ago I felt like I needed to go talk to my therapist so I made an appointment and went today. All day I thought about “what am I going to talk to her about?” I was feeling better than when I had made the appointment. Full disclosure: I didn’t cancel because I didn’t want to pay the $50 late cancellation fee 🙃. So I went. We talked about what had initially made me make the appointment, I was tearful a few minutes after being there. Which led into me talking to her about feeling so empathetic with people. I understand most decent human beings are sympathetic & empathetic towards other but I am EEEEEEMMMMMPAATHEEEETICCC. I feel like I take on other peoples pain. Almost as if I can feel what they’re feeling. I’m sure that sounds strange, I felt it was strange too. I wondered: was something wrong with me?
I believe if I had the means, I would want to help fix every problem in the world and be an activist- the stuff legends are made of. I kid, but it’s something like that. The problem is- I would help people at my own peril. But I’m also the person who will tell you to fuck off if I’m mad at you. No balance. For example: my husband & I went to Bob Evans. The check came and he says “Man they charge $2.50 for a cup of coffee!” I responded with some comment that made my husband laugh. He says “I never know what you’re going to say.” I said “I know…it’s either ‘$2.50 for fucking coffee?!!’ Or ‘Well, maybe it’s because it’s a fair trade coffee.'” (In a nerdy voice) We both laughed because- it’s true.
So today, I talked to my therapist about it. I laid out my examples and every reason she may need to properly diagnose me. I waited for the answer on how to gain balance in my life. I mean, what’s the freaking secret? I had hoped Eat, Pray, Love would help me find some balance- it didn’t. So if Julia Roberts couldn’t help- who could? My therapist. That’s who. She’s going to give me the key to life! I would be able to share it with all my friends and pass it off as my own advice 😌. After I explain to her all of the things I think are wrong with me, she responds by telling me that those are good things about me and the most important words I didn’t know I needed to hear. She said “Honor yourself.” I have spent most of my life, like most women, doubting myself, turning my strengths into weaknesses, and questioning who I really was. I never stopped to honor who I was and love her. I’ve always felt apologetic for who I am. I can’t explain it- it’s like you walk around with “I’m sorry” on the tip of your tongue.
When she said “Honor yourself.” I started to cry. I don’t know why? I just did. It was a relief, I think. After years of doubt and destruction, it felt good to know that after alllllllll that nonsense- I still managed to be a good person, with an empathetic heart and fire cracker temper. Maybe balance is something unattainable? Maybe it’s unattainable for me? Maybe somewhere out there there is a Balance Unicorn and I just haven’t found it yet. I don’t know but I’m ok being out of balance. Pun intended.
I didn’t go to therapy today expecting this to be the ah ha moment I needed. But that’s the great thing about therapy, they’re there for the black & white. There’s no gray. It’s someone who’s going to tell you the truth and guide you in the right direction. If you’re on the fence about seeing a therapist, go. Just try it. I know it’s not easy to sit in a room with a stranger and be completely vulnerable with your words and emotions but you’d be surprised how much you want to say when someone opens the door and let’s you speak without judgement. Every time I go to see her, I leave with something to help me deal with situations I’d otherwise be spinning my wheels in.
I could give you some motivational speech about no matter your faults etc etc etc. But truth is this: Most of us are caring human beings. And somehow along the way, I started to believe something was wrong with me. Why? Because I don’t always go to events, sometimes I’m unreliable because panic sets in and I freeze, sometimes I hibernate when I’m depressed and sometimes- I just don’t know what to say to people. Does that make me weird? Probably but I’m just me. And I like me.
We all have our quirks, we may not even know them but other people see them. So what? I know a lot of my insecurity comes from the ways anxiety can affect my life. I feel bad when I let people down or cancel last minute. I’m tired of feeling bad about that. Because there are a million other times I’ve been a best friend, life saver, there in an emergency and gave good advice. And thanks to my therapist, I feel ok shedding the coat of shame. Honor yourself- even if you’re a little weirdo.
Thanks for reading,