I mentioned a few months ago that I went to therapy earlier this year and that it really made a difference in my life. You can read the post here if you want.

And it has. But there were also things that I expected will happen but haven’t, and I want to honestly look at how going to therapy helped me and how it didn’t (and what I could’ve done to get the most out of it but failed at).

In December of last year, I finally found a great psychiatrist that helped me find a good therapist to chat with. I immediately contacted her and started the sessions as soon as she was available.

The only therapist that was available right away was a nun and it put me off for a while since I thought she would go all religious on me, but I was in such need of talking to someone that I decided to keep quiet about me being an atheist and just, you know, not judge her.

I was going to sessions for about 2 months and then she kind of hinted that she doesn’t see what more could there be to uncover since our talks were just not feeling productive anymore. We were going around in circles, trying to find something to focus on because we still had a few sessions left.

Anyway, I stopped going there in late March, I believe, and I felt like things were fine and that I truly experienced a life-changing phase. I kind of did, because she helped me understand a lot of things from my past, but I wasn’t completely honest with her and that came right back to kick me in the ass.

We mostly talked about my childhood and how it affects my current lifestyle. I opened up about everything that was happening and we looked at the patterns that keep repeating themselves and where they come from.

I learnt that I cannot judge my own reality by how other realities look like, because each person is on their own path and people I compare myself to had different childhoods and parents and experiences. I also found peace with everything I am not and became more focused on things that I already am.

She helped me understand where my people-pleasing comes from and that it’s safe to say no to people who expect me to do what they don’t want to do. I am much more understandable of people who criticize me now because I know that it’s not my fault if they believe I should be different to make their lives more comfortable.

But here is a little story that I want to share with you about something the nun said that completely shook me because it’s so logical yet I never realized it (and I pride myself on how logical I am).

I was worried that I had a specific illness because I have all the symptoms. I told her that every person on the internet says how people with it are just not prone to succeed in life because of everything they are dealing with emotionally.

I expressed my concern about my own life because I could see how my emotions (and mental illness) have destroyed my life and made me a statistic, and now hearing all these stories from people that were commenting on Reddit about their own awful lives, I was just upset that I will obviously be one of them forever.

The therapist looked at me and said: Have you ever asked yourself, what if successful people who have this illness don’t spend time commenting on forums about how it is affecting their lives but instead work hard to be successful?

It was like I got hit with a brick.

Of course, successful people don’t spend their time writing on forums about how they are not successful, instead they dedicate their days to working hard on their craft and their emotions (learning how to handle them and succeed despite all odds being against them).

This completely changed everything I thought about myself and what I can achieve. No, I am not a failure because I let my childhood trauma keep me back for 26 years, and no, not everything people with this illness say is true for them has to be true for me.

I am my own person. And btw, I do have that particular thing I was worried about but that was before I actually went through tests that proved what I was suspecting.

Therapy was good for me. It helped me uncover some really nasty believes I had about myself and make a small step forward, away from thinking I have to be someone I am not just to make others happy (even if those others are already dead).

But I wasn’t completely honest with her. I held back at times because I didn’t want to seem too weak, too attached and too mean when it came to certain problems. I see an enemy in most people and of course, she was my enemy number one when I was with her. She now knew what made me weak and if I opened up just a tiny bit more, she could become too powerful.

My automatic inability to trust people and think they are all against me stems from the fact that most people in my life have turned against me once I opened up to them. And what scared them away from me was all the nastiness that I have inside that I haven’t resolved yet. It’s just a fact that I am a very difficult person to be friends with because I have a hard time controlling my emotions and the responses that arise from them.

I am aware what I feel is not always true, but just because I know it doesn’t mean I am cured.

I understand that my thoughts about how others may see me may not be completely true, but it doesn’t make life any easier. So the results I could expect from going to therapy had a limit and that limit was how vulnerable I was willing to be.

Maybe she wasn’t the right person. There has only been one person in my life that had a strange effect on me where I felt almost forced to open up – like I was hypnotized. The nun was the opposite, I guess. I was telling her things because I felt I had to, not because she would make me feel comfortable.

Well, I was comfortable but it was more of a feeling that I have to talk since I don’t want to waste her time. It was confusing, basically.

This was my first time going to therapy and first times are almost never the best ones. I am looking forward to seeing how other types of therapy help me and what more I can learn about myself. I already opened up about being depressed and anxious, and one day I will talk about my diagnosis.

There are things I am not ready to talk about yet but I vow to never feel ashamed of seeking help and to always allow you to witness my journey because you might find useful information in my honesty.

Have you ever tried therapy? What was your experience like? Did you like your therapist?

Anyway, I would love to see you over on my Instagram where we can inspire and motivate each other to live better, kinder and more ethical lives. I post every single day, except when I am reading a great book and forget I even own a phone.

Tanja

therapy helped me