Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Self Therapy

A few years ago I started therapy. I kept it a secret when I started, it felt like it wasn't the kind of thing I could tell anyone. I felt like it was embarrassing, and I was kind of ashamed of it.

Mostly I was embarrassed because I felt dumb and inadequate. If everyone else could cope on their own, why couldn't I? As far as I knew, all of my friends and family did fine without help, and then there was loser me. But then I found out differently. When I started therapy, I began to tell my family and friends. I even told them that it might be helpful to them, if I thought that they had things going on that might benefit from therapy.

Guess what happened? As I started confiding in other people that I was in therapy, they started telling me the same thing! It was like once I told them that I would understand, it was safe to tell me. We didn't have to keep this a secret from each other anymore.

I heard a lot of memorable stories. One friend has been in therapy for depression since middle school. My hairdresser takes anti-anxiety medication for obsessive compulsive disorder. One person who is close to me was on antidepressants for a while, following the untimely deaths of both of her parents.

The people who told me these things said they felt relieved to be able to share the information. They were tired of keeping the secret! I felt like I had support in my struggles, and like I wasn't alone, just from hearing their stories.

Therapy has made me realize that none of us are perfect. Also, there's no point in trying to hide it when you are having difficulties. It's better to be open and honest. If you tell people when there are things going on that are difficult, you'll probably have people share similar experiences or give you support in other ways. This is very helpful, and really can make you feel a lot better.

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