I Am Free
"Therapy breaks you down to build you back up."
That's what I tell people when they ask me about my experience with therapy. I figured out the "break you down" part after one of my first therapy sessions. That night I cried the whole 30 minute drive home. I remember discovering stuff from my childhood that I suppressed and never even thought of. To have those childhood memories pulled up out of me made me look at myself differently. Even though it involved other people from my childhood, I was the only one suffering and held captive by it. Releasing it that night freed me from the pain and hardship I was solely putting on myself. Every session was pretty much like that, an unlocking of caged pain and trauma that I was consciously and unconsciously reliving each and everyday.
I couldn't believe some of the conversations I was having with my therapist, but I felt safe in that space. Once that door closed behind me, I was free with absolutely no pressure and no judgement. I felt at peace after leaving each session, despite my emotional state. I didn't feel the need to carry so much of the pain from the past. I felt that I wasn't alone and that I didn't have to handle everything by myself.
Throughout the "break you down" phase I was able to build myself up by the things I started doing on my own. I started with affirmations and telling myself, "I Love You." Besides those things I was doing on my own, I was given tools from my therapist. Those tools help me to function differently in situations that held me down for years. I was able to look at things differently and be more self aware. With the shedding of pain and fear, I was building my comfortability and confidence. Not only with myself, but in my relationships and in everyday life situations.
I was going to therapy for about year and its been a little over 3 years since I last been. With me being laid off back in 2016 and finally getting settled at my new job, along with other personal reasons, I have decided to go back.
Since being out of therapy, I've realized how much of an importance it is. I've noticed how I missed being able to openly talk about things that people in your life wouldn't be open to receiving and understanding. I've noticed that I still have work to do! Interactions with the people in my everyday life have brought out things that I thought were healed. Things I don't understand about myself. Why I react a certain way to particular people or in certain environments. Understanding more and more I can't change or control people in my life, so my main focus needs to be on my continued growth and evolution.
As I'm writing this I am a couple days away from my first therapy appointment in years. I am excited because I know one of the first steps in healing and growth is getting help. I am invested in my continued healing and growth. One of the things I want most in my life.
There is so much stigma about getting help when it comes to our mental health. I challenge you to ask yourself, "Is there a day or days that I am not mentally stressed or in a bad/depressed mood?" "Is there a day or days I would love to talk to someone about how I am feeling?"
I want to be free of pain. I want to be free of insecurities. I want to be free of anger. I want to be free of the past. I want to be free of the old me. Therapy will free me of these. I believe that, I know that, which means I am already free. I AM FREE!
Derek M. Silver