Therapy. What are your thoughts on it? Do we have a preconceived idea of what it is and just how much they can do to help you? Does it actually help you?
It's an interesting debate that should be broken down into many questions.
How would you describe therapy? I would love to hear your thoughts.
In truth, it can take shape as almost anything. Retail therapy. We have all used the term. We have all done it. And it can solve the immediate solution we crave. Art/craft therapy. Its proven and it's wonderful. Whilst therapies like those help and quite often dissipate a situation that can escalate, I want to talk about professional therapy.
Have you ever reached out for help? What was your experience? Whilst I appreciate it's different for everyone, I would like to share a few snippets of my journey with you.
Mental health has a stigma attached to it. And it's up to us to dispel it. There's no shame in being a sufferer. It's recognising it and having the faith to reach out and ask for help without being judged. Be honest, how many of you have had those periods of time, and it can be anything from a few hours, where you feel low and that everything is stacked against you? I honestly believe that we have ALL experienced some level of mental health issues. And there is no shame in it. Hopefully you are able to solve those problems alone or by talking to someone to makes things clearer. So why does that suddenly take a different turn when you can't sort something out alone? Why does it become taboo, an issue, a label, when you can't sort the problem by yourself? What then happens if the problem isn't just a social problem and its a medical problem? Ah yes. You become a danger, a head case, someone to mock. Tell me. Why is a medical mental health problem any different to a migraine for example? They are both not visible. You can take medicine to help them both. Both can create visual disturbances and both can make you feel your brain could explode!
I walked into my primary appointment, not knowing who I was seeing or what to expect. I knew I wouldn't openly talk and although it was me who had reached out, I am not sure I believed it would help me. Because. of course, I am different to everyone else....
I sat in a chair opposite this woman 20+ years younger than me, and I thought to myself, how on earth can she help me? I felt despair. I seeked this and I have wasted everybody's time. Oh boy was I wrong. She was gentle but strong. She searched without questioning, and before long I was telling her things I never thought I would ever say out loud. I cried. No, I sobbed. Never did she make me feel I was just another patient. Never did she make me feel rushed. And never did she make me feel I was wasting her time.
About halfway through I went into panic. She was laughing at me. My problems were stupid. Or Am I wrong? Am I worse than I think? She is going to take me away from my children? My dogs! I stopped talking. My guard went up and I couldn't hide my mistrust. I looked her in the eye, an image that stays with me even now, and I asked her, are you going to lock me up? Are you going to make me leave my children and dogs? I saw nothing but concern. No. Of course I am not, was her reply. What have I said to make you think that? And in truth she hadn't done or said anything. It was my own preconceived ideas.
At the end, about two and a half hours later we sat together and had a plan. A plan we made together. And of which I was in total control of. I had seen a doctor, who had given me some medicine and for the first time ever I think, I saw a little sunshine. And so my journey had started.
It is so very hard to believe when you are metaphorically on your knees, but there are people out there who want to help you. Who can help you. You are NEVER alone.