To some it is the most horrific word, and to others it is literally a life saver. For the past year and a half I have been going to therapy. Hate me, think poorly of me, or judge me all you want, but its true. I’ve been thinking about posting this for a while, and to be honest, I’m pretty nervous to be this open. But something that I promised myself while doing this blog is to be open and honest because maybe, just maybe, I will be able to help someone else who is or has gone through similar struggles.
There is such a negative stigma associated with therapy these days it’s truly frightening, and I just don’t understand it. When you break your leg, you go to the doctor to get it checked out, right? And then often you will go to physical therapy to gain your strength back. So what’s the difference, whether its your leg that’s injured or your thoughts and brain that mentally injured. It’s all the same. And in the end, you just want it to heal.
The depression started for me when I lived in NYC. While I love it there, I was definitely having a hard time. It was extremely difficult, to be making such little money in such an expensive city. Not to mention, I didn’t have very many friends, I was always out of town, and I couldn’t afford to do anything I enjoyed. NYC can be a very lonely place, it is a rat race where everyone is in it for themselves. BUT that being said, I constantly think about moving back there, SORRY MOM AND DAD, but in a lot of ways, I’m a NYC girl, and I would move back, but only if I made substantially more money.
I ended up moving back to Texas, and in a lot of ways I felt like I had failed myself for not staying in NYC. I felt that I never truly DID NYC, I felt like NYC trumped me, and I have regretted that ever since.
When I moved back to Texas I needed a job, not necessarily my dream job, but just something to make money. So I started to work at Nordstrom as a sales associate. One day, a lady who I knew walked in (I often saw people that I knew while working) and this lady said, “you work HERE?!”, with this look of disgust and judgement on her face. “WHY DO YOU WORK HERE? WHAT DO YOU DO?”, she said. I said, “Yes, I work here, I just started, and I just moved back from NYC.” After she left, I went to the break room and started crying. There is NOTHING wrong with working at Nordstrom, NOTHING. It is a wonderful company to work for. I learned more from my team and my managers than I ever could have imagined. But, because I wasn’t a doctor or lawyer, this lady felt the need to judge me? It made me feel like even more of a failure honestly, maybe I should have stayed in NYC? Maybe I should quit? Maybe I’m not good enough to work in the Jewish non-profit world? All of these things constantly went through my head… but mainly I felt, that I just wasn’t good enough.
As time went on, I was promoted a few times at Nordstrom, and they moved me to Dallas. I met my ex a few months into being in Dallas, and when I look back, I still think I wasn’t mentally feeling the greatest. I started going to therapy when I was about two years into my relationship, and I continued it after we broke up. I noticed a few things that started to change. I lost a lot of weight, didn’t have an appetite, I didn’t want to do anything, wasn’t motivated, I couldn’t focus at work, I cried all of the time, I felt awful about myself and overall I felt miserable. As I have written about before, I wasn’t my best self, and I needed help figuring out how to get back on track. People looking from the outside in, thought I had the perfect life, but believe me when I say, it was anything close to perfect.
As time has progressed my doctor has taught me a lot about myself, what I deserve and should want for myself, ways to communicate better with my significant other and helped me to see that I am enough. That doesn’t mean that the brutally honest and direct New Yorker/Israeli doesn’t still come out from time to time. But that all being said, its been a long journey and it’s still not over. I’m not cured, or feeling like a queen, but I know what I deserve, in life, in a career, in a man, and I’m not willing to settle anymore. Four years ago, I would have accepted someone who treated me like crap. Someone who didn’t put me 2nd in their life, but 3rd or 4th, and someone who never made the time to call or see me. BUT THIS IS NO MORE. This is progress, and it didn’t happen because I was talking to myself at home. It happened with A LOT of work, reading, and THERAPY.
THERE IS NO SHAME IN THERAPY. I don’t know why some people are so opposed to going. Sometimes I think its a cultural thing, and sometimes it’s just pride. Newsflash for people who have never been, all you do is sit there and talk about your life and they give you tools on how to make your life better. That is all it is. Sure, its difficult to talk about tough topics and bring up issues you might have, but if you don’t talk about it and aren’t honest with yourself or your partner, then how will it ever be resolved? IT WON’T. I PROMISE. It just festers, until someone, whether its yourself, or your significant other, or family cant take it anymore and it becomes a much larger issue than it would have been if you would just nip it in the bud on the spot, and move forward. I KNOW there are issues that just won’t be solved in one therapy session, it may take years, but at least you are working to better yourself and/or your relationship, and move forward, in what ever way that may be. Once I got a fortune cookie that said, “ALL GOOD THINGS IN LIFE TAKE TIME!”, and for once, the fortune cookie was pretty spot on.
I’m telling each of you this, not because I want a pity party, but because I care. Unfortunately I’ve seen the consequences of people not seeking out help, and I never ever want that to be you. If you have anxiety, depression, communication issues, family issues or any other issues, GO. Get help. I promise, you aren’t a wimp, crazy, or anything less than you because you choose to seek out help. Don’t be afraid. Do it for your family, for your relationship, for your partner, and most importantly, FOR YOU.
p.s. I’m not a therapist, obviously, this is my own personal opinion and everyone has a different one… 🙂