I AM STRONG
There's always been a stigma and misconception that something has to be wrong with you to go to therapy. That you're weak if you go to therapy.
I use to hear people make jokes when I was younger that "crazy" people go to therapy. Before I started my healing journey back in 2012, I contemplated therapy. I was in college at the time and in my deepest depression, but I was afraid that someone would find out. I was afraid that I would look weak and as a man you can't be weak. I didn't want to be put in a position that I would have to cry. I also didn't feel safe telling someone my business,....I felt I would be betraying my family doing so. I tried my best to pray it away as I've heard many times before as a kid. So, I sat in my pain and it grew stronger and made me weaker. I continued to lose myself and grow the self destructive habits my depression and anxiety needed.
It took 10 years from the time I contemplated therapy in college until I finally went. I could say I regret that, but I possibly wouldn't have been in this moment right now. As I have stated before, "I got tired of being sick and tired." I'm so thankful for therapy....I look forward to it. I now go twice a month and it's a big part of my healing and growth.
Dwayne Wade recently came out and said, "I'll be in therapy, Seriously." Following his retirement he feels that he needs therapy to cope with the big change in his life....basketball has been his whole life.“I meant it is going to be a big change. This is what I know, like, my life has been this. it’s not all that I am, of course, but this is the main part of it,” he said. In comparison to my journey and others who deal with depression, anxiety, or some form of trauma and mental illness....that's all they know or have lived with it for a long time. Therapy has helped me as well as many others cope with the change of living a life dependent upon the pain of mental illness. Similar to what Wade said about the change of not being a basketball player, "You're walking away from the structure of your entire life." It's impossible to heal still living with an mental illness and therapy is there to help with making a change.
"I was against someone who don't know me telling me how to live my life," Wade said. I felt that way and have heard others who go to therapy and those who don't say the same. Therapy is a tool, a guide to help you live a life without pain, live the life you always needed, the life you want. Therapy helps you to find what that healthy life is for you.
We can all use Dwayne Wade as an example.....physically strong, millionaire, wife, family. In a lot of people's eyes he has everything you can ask for. Despite the picture perfect life, he knew the change coming would be difficult and he was strong enough to say, "I need someone to talk to about it."
Like Dwayne Wade, myself, and many others.....therapy was once not an option. Don't feel forced to go if you're not ready, but don't hold yourself back because you feel it will make you weak. Taking charge of your mental health is the strongest thing you can do. You're no longer letting your circumstances keep you caged and weak.