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on therapy

tldr; i love therapy. society tells us you must be in crisis mode to be worthy of help. challenge your own thoughts on this. reach out for help if you need it.

i'm always very open about the fact that i see a therapist; in fact, i'm feelin' good as hell (you better sing that #lizzo) that i see a therapist (randy isn't such a fan as you can imagine ;) ). for the past 5 years, each month i dedicate 1 hour to this form of self care. it is coveted time that i look forward to and i never cancel even if i think i don't have anything to talk about. it is 60 minutes where i can say anything i want. i can ask questions. i can cry. i can vent. i can talk about how great my month has been. i can seek advice on a challenging situation i need to address. it calms and grounds me and keeps my headspace organized. for me, it is a non negotiable.

as i scream and hype about therapy, i realize not everyone is such an open book about their experience with it. maybe you're in therapy and you prefer to keep that part of your life private. or maybe you'd like to be in therapy but you don't think you're "bad enough off" to be in need of help. both of these are so valid and i've sat with both myself. this may not be true for everyone, but i'm going to offer that these thoughts and feelings on therapy stem from a belief system that has been forced down our throats for years. our society has done its very best to insert its grossly unsolicited feelings on mental health & therapy, what "asking for help" says about you, and what this support should look like. according to some of these outdated and close minded ideals, stereotypes and generalizations were are a few.

in order to need therapy, one or more of these must be true:

  • watch out: cliff jumper --> i must be in crisis mode

  • unstable mable --> i'm unable to care for myself or make sound decisions

  • i'm weak --> i can't handle everything on my own because i'm not strong

  • i've lost my marbles --> schizophrenics and mentally ill people need therapy

  • turn that frown... --> i'm depressed. i'm sad. i'm unhappy

  • my childhood was fucked up --> my parents screwed me up and i'm still suffering

it's ok if you have thought these things about therapy, people who receive therapy, or yourself - we've been told these stories for a long time. but we've outgrown them, haven't we? just like so many other obsolete 'truths' we have come to reexamine and reframe in recent years, it is time to expire these unfair, blatantly incorrect theories. i think it starts with sharing and educating.

check in: if you've been with me from the beginning, i'm hoping you're like, "yasssssss!!" at this point. but if you've got one foot onboard and you're like, "hmmm go on, tell me more"...i encourage you to challenge your thoughts and question 1) where they came from and 2) if you truly believe them. what's that saying? "you don't have to believe everything you think"...there it is.

ok, so you knew it was coming. here is my suggestion for the reframing of therapy.

in order to need therapy, one or more of these must be true:

  • send halppp --> i'm able to recognize when i need help

  • i'm ready to level the fuck up --> i'm interested in self improvement and growth

  • ok, give it to me straight --> i'm willing to hear a different perspective

  • better together --> i'm capable of accepting support

  • ahhh, it all makes so much sense --> i'm focused on understanding myself

  • i'm in a glass case of emotions --> i'm inspired to learn how to better process feelings, reactions, & thoughts

OF COURSE items on the first list may still feel true for you. you might be depressed or experiencing a crisis or had a challenging upbringing. but this also means you are inspired to better process feelings & thoughts, you are recognizing you need help, and you are focused on understanding yourself. my goal in reframing is to highlight the fact that we all need to nurture our mental health no matter what "urgency of need" we perceive we have. therapy doesn't slap a label on your forehead (ie. weak, unstable, depressed). instead, it invites a willingness to open up, to accept help, and an opportunity for growth. we all need it. we all deserve it. if it something that you have access to, try it. what's the worst thing that could happen (that's a carmen-ism for ya...but more on that in a different blog)

in closing, shout out to carmen, the master unpacker, for being my cheerleader. for offering genuine support and unbiased advice. for helping my throw the double bird at randy. for truly listening and enhancing my life.i often wish i had recordings of her ideas on handling certain situations so that when it came time to implement them, i could simply press 'play'; she is that good at her job and i'm so grateful.


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