There’s a lot of stigma around therapy. Some people hate it, other people judge it, other people think it’s a novel idea but isn’t very effective and others even yet think it’s all just hocus-pocus, but for me, for me it was my life blood for 2 1/2 years. Every week I spent one hour with my therapist and in those minutes just 60 short minutes I solved problems in my head and in my heart and my soul that had been festering for years and years and years. Lots of abuse. Lots of doubt. Lots of self loathing. Troubled relationships. You name it I was going through it. So when I started therapy I didn’t really know what to expect from it and I didn’t know what I was going to get but in more ways than one it saved my life. It is the best investment in myself that I’ve ever made. 2 1/2 years, one hour a week and I never missed a session. I did better in therapy than I do in the gym but I was dedicated to my wellness at that time. I knew that if my mind was right my body would follow and that it did.
I bumped into my therapist tonight at a celebration party for my new counseling position at a local high school. I haven’t seen my therapist since my last session in December 2010 and so it was a very happy reunion. She was out celebrating and enjoying time with friends and family while I was celebrating with my friends and colleagues for my new position. I happened to look across the pavilion and there she sat so of course I got up and I walked over and I gently touched her arm and I said hi, she immediately got up and just embraced me of the greatest hug and she exclaimed my name and told me how she was so happy to see me, how often she thought of me and the 2 1/2 years we spent in therapy together. I gave her a brief rundown of all my successes recently and many accomplishments since our time together and she was just overjoyed. I could see in her face that she was happy for me and she told me she was proud of me. Out of all the people in the world who know me and proclaim their love for me or affection for me or even that they like me, I feel like my therapist, even though 10 years have passed since we sat across the room from each other and had a conversation she knows me, the true me, better than anybody. I would love to have that type of trusting relationship in my day-to-day life that doesn’t have to happen behind closed doors and doesn’t have to be relegated to just an hour a week of undivided attention and dedicated time to listen to what I have to say and really hear me. I look forward to a day when I have a partner in my life who I can talk to at any given moment, someone I can share my dreams with, someone I can share my passion with, someone I can wonder about all the wonders of the world with, and they’ll just listen and hopefully talk to me too but listen with a smile on their face and not be irritated or put off or annoyed by my brain. I have a lot of ideas and sometimes writing them down in this blog only goes so far. Yeah I have the international readers that are joining me from places like Turkey and Bangladesh and Scandinavia but really I need faces and I want dialogue and I want relationship between people. I miss that deeply and I feel like the further and further away I get from true relationships with other people the more isolated I become and the harder it is to bridge that gap.
So maybe I’m at a point where I might be facing time in therapy again. I might need to go and some kinks out in my character and sort out some misconceptions that maybe I have about myself or what my strengths are and where my weaknesses are. Maybe it’s time for the proverbial “tuneup”, if you will. That might actually be a really good idea. Maybe while I’m at it, maybe I’ll put just as much effort into my physical health as what I’m willing to put in for my mental health.
Therapy is powerful. Therapy is effective. And as Dr. Ray Wooten, one of my professors said, “all counselors are wounded healers.” Maybe I’m a little wounded right now so maybe I need to go get some healing of my own.
What a serendipitous meeting of two kindred souls tonight. I thank God for this encounter. And I thank God for all the many blessings I have in my life. As well as all of the many opportunities I’ve been given at every stage of my life and every person who has helped me grow and become a better version of who I am today. My therapist was a critical contributor in helping to shape who I am today and I will forever be grateful for that time and for her insights to help me be the best version of myself that I can be.
The Repressed Peach