On Monday I went to my first therapy appointment in nearly four years. It was a big turning point for me and I thought the best way to start the year.
My statement for 2020 is slow growth. I cannot grow if I don’t sit in the moments that need changing and determine just how I plan to grow from them. So, here I am, sitting down after my first therapy appointment with some thoughts I wanted to share.
Therapy is often seen as something you do behind a closed door. It’s between you and your therapist and sometimes it’s done in secret without anyone even knowing. I want to change that narrative because I’ve seen the success of talk therapy in previous years of my life. I want this to be an encouragement to others to book a therapy appointment. Share with your friends and family that you either go to therapy or are interested in talking to someone. Feel the freedom in finally talking about it.
Therapy is hard work. You have to become aware of your thoughts both negative and positive and sit in them. Then, you have to actively work on bettering those negative ones. It can be scary, but so many positive changes can come from a therapy session.
These are my thoughts from my therapy chair:
People love you to the max of their capacity. In my session, we talked a lot about love from family. I’ve been dealing with ongoing grief from family not loving me in the way that I want or thought I should be loved by them. My therapist explained that people love at the full capacity that they’re able to love at. While I may think I deserve this specific kind of love from someone with specific gestures, that may not be possible for that person. I need to work towards accepting the love that people can give me and appreciate their capacity to love.
I love love. I’ve always said it and Matt jokes to me about how it’s impossible to love me more because it’s not possible to love the person who loves love more. While it’s extremely easy for me to get into a negative mindset about feeling like people don’t love me, why don’t I show the people that I love more love. Love to my fullest capability? It was just a statement that I said on the couch that really hit me in the heart. I can be doing so many little things to show everyone that I love them. I believe that I’m a thoughtful and intentional person and I want to make a greater effort on loving the people I love and sharing it with them. This way people can feel the love that I so want to feel.
Grief and depression are two different things. This is something that makes total sense, but something I really didn’t differentiate. Since I’ve been grieving the loss of Bill, a true father figure of my life, I’ve been feeling very down. I talked about feeling depressed. But, what I didn’t realize was I wasn’t feeling depressed. I was feeling sad. Broken. Hurt. Confused – All natural feelings when dealing with loss. But it was completely different than a mental illness. Grief tends to decrease over time and occurs in waves that are triggered by thoughts and reminders. Depression tends to be more persistent and pervasive. This helped me realize that everything I’ve been feeling is normal.
You’re simply thrown into grief. I’ve never wanted to feel these feelings. I wasn’t prepared and ready to have grief dropped on me. But, it was dropped and I have to just deal with it. It’s unwanted, but it can’t go away either. While I feel these things, it’s important for me to realize that life will forever be changed now. Those waves will hit me and my face will hit the sand and it won’t feel good. I have to get myself up. Dust myself off and keep going. I don’t want to be dealing with this, yet I have to. And there’s no solution other than going through it.
Acknowledging emotions are hard and it’s a fear of mine. I’ve realized that I’m really good at acknowledging something I’m feeling briefly in my mind and then I tuck it away and keep going. I don’t want to interrupt anyone with talking about it. So I don’t. But when I don’t, it stays in my mind, unsolved and not dealt with. My mind often tells me to journal but I don’t. I find a reason not too and I know it’s simply fear holding me back. Fear of acknowledging how I truly feel. Sitting in that emotion, feeling the fear. Last night I wrote in my journal for the first time in quite a long time and it felt so good. A true release. It was also just a nice way to get my thoughts out. The thoughts that peek into my mind and then I move them away without really sitting with them. Working through them. Unlearning. I’m going to sit with them now and not let my fear stop me.
Just as I want to write in my journal, I’m committed to sharing more truth on my blog. To become open and vulnerable with my experiences, life lessons and teachings to inspire others to seek freedom from their negative thoughts. To unlearn what we’ve been taught. To find the serenity that we all dream of having in life. Are you ready to sit in your messy emotions and do the work to change your mindset? Let me know in the comments how you’re committing to yourself this year.