Girl, Take Care Of Your Mental: My Therapy Experience & 4 Things I've Learned So Far
Hi Loves! In honor of today, being #WorldMentalHealthDay I thought it would be perfect to share my experience with going to therapy. Yes, the “t” word...therapy.
So last month, made it 6 months since I’ve been going to therapy and it’s been one of the BEST decisions that I’ve ever made. Woohoo!
Let me be real though. It was a scary decision to make. Going into an office, putting everything all on the table, and sharing your life with someone you barely know can be intimidating. Heck, even writing this blog post sharing that I’ve been going to therapy is a bit scary.
I honestly I had been putting off going to therapy for years because I had so many ignorant thoughts of what going to therapy would be mean. Thoughts like it would mean something is “wrong” with me or that I would be viewed as “weak”. But honestly, going to therapy voluntarily is STRONG.
I was even scared of what the therapist may think of me or what their response would be to the things that I shared. Proved wrong again.
Plus, I always had this thought that therapy would be crazy expensive. And that’s so not true. With insurance, my appointments cost less than it does to go to the nail salon. (Big S/O to my LS Butta for informing me about the pricing of therapy). Having this thought that therapy wasn’t affordable was a huge factor in why I stalled to go.
So what made me decide to take the leap?
Honestly, I was just at a point in my life and realized that I needed the proper tools and guidance to help me navigate through some situations and just understand myself better. Everything starts with the self. I realized there were some things that I needed to get right within so that I can be better to Asia. Once, I was better to Asia then I could be better for my loved ones and others around me.
Another reason is that I want children one day. I don’t want them missing out on any blessings or going through anything because I didn’t take the responsibility to fix things in my life. Life is a cycle. A lot of things that we experience are things that our parents, grandparents, and so on didn’t deal with and it reflects back on our lives. I wanted to break that cycle. (p.s. I’m a generational curse breaker)
Plus at the time, I was at a very isolated point in my life and was working from home with little human interaction and I really needed someone to talk to.
My first session was nothing like I saw on tv. I thought that I would be going into an office, sitting on a chaise lounge while the therapist is asking me to decipher all these abstract images. It was nowhere near that and none of my sessions have been anywhere near that, lol. My sessions take place in a quaint little lavender themed office, we sit in some pretty comfy office chair, and we talk just like homegirls (without her being biased still) lol. I’m sure everybody has a different experience based on the therapist and what they’re there for. I want to s/o Therapy for Black Girls for their Therapist Directory because I found the perfect therapist. If you’re looking for a black therapist in particular then be sure to check it out!
4 Things I’ve Learned From My Therapy Experience
1. Go At Your Own Pace: Simply meaning go when you’re ready to go! Sometimes when we face tough life situations, others may try to push therapy down our throats but I say to go when you’re ready. My reasoning is that you want to get the most out of your sessions and if you’re not open to being there then it’ll be a force. Also, the frequency of how many sessions you go to may change over time. The first 4 months I went to therapy every SINGLE week but now I only go once a month. It sounds excessive but I needed to be there every week. So the number of times you go per month or even year may change. Let me add that you don’t have to be going through anything extreme either to start going. Life can be going well for you and you still may want to attend therapy. Bottom line: Just go when you’re open and ready to.
2. Things Don’t Change Overnight: Before my first session, I had expectations that I would walk out a brand new person but boy was I wrong. Honestly, we didn’t even get to the nitty-gritty until like the 3rd session. Your first few sessions are all about the therapist getting to know you and your why for being there. It’s going to take some time to start noticing changes within yourself but they’ll come.
3. Take A Journal or Notepad to Your Session: If you know me, you know I stay with a journal. Please take a journal so that you can write down any gems that your therapist is sharing with you. You can even write down the thoughts or emotions you’re experiencing in a session. I like to make note of the date of my session so I can easily go back and reflect. You may even get homework and you’ll want to have somewhere to keep your assignment, so always bring something to write with!
4. It’s Okay To Not Be Okay: One of my biggest fears of going to therapy was that I would be diagnosed with something or I was just scared of my therapist straight up telling me about myself. But honestly, that doesn’t matter because you’re at therapy to navigate through those not so feel-good parts of yourself anyway. Remember this when you’re having one of those tough sessions. It’s okay to not be okay. You’re there to get what you need. Going to therapy doesn’t make you any less of a person, it doesn’t make you weak, and it doesn’t make you a psycho. And plus, Jesus loves you anyway girl. We’re all damaged or broken in some way.
All in all, therapy has been amazing for me in just these few shorts months. It’s not always easy but it’s worth it. One of the best lessons, I’ve learned since going is about setting boundaries in life. I’ve lived 24 years without having healthy boundaries in place and my life has changed so much since I know to instill them lol. And that’s just one of the many things I’ve learned about myself. It honestly has helped me grow and get an understanding of who Asia is. I can’t wait to see where I am a year from now.
I just want to say that I’m so grateful that there are people that God blessed us with who have the desire and passion to help others when it comes to mental health. Honestly, I’m truly thankful.
Remember to take care of yourselves loves. Make your mental health a priority!
Please feel free to message me or email if you have any questions about my experience! I’ll be happy to share <3