Friday, August 17, 2018

lessons learned from therapy

I decided around December 2017 that it would be good to go to therapy again. Things had gone south again, I was having anxiety attacks and it wasn’t something I knew how to deal with. I found a therapist that was absolutely amazing!

Now that I have moved away, I obviously am not seeing her anymore. So I wanted to make a list of things that I have learned while going to her.

1. First of all, not every therapist is created equal. My last therapist was such a help to me and really taught me so much. The other two I had paled in comparison. I’m sure they were great therapists, but just not what I needed.

2. My biggest take home was the realization (and complete acceptance of) this concept: my worth is infinite. As I’m typing this, all the lessons from Young Womens comes back and I think “well duh!” But let me explain! I knew that was true, but I didn’t believe it. Why? Because every time I looked at my sink at the end of the day (or even my table) and I saw dishes that were from BREAKFAST still sitting there, a little voice in my mind would say “you are such a bad home maker. You can’t even take care of a simple thing like dishes” bla bla bla. And I would believe it. How could I be all that awesome if my kitchen looked like that? That was just one example, but I would do this with a lot of areas in my life. I just yelled at my kids = I’m a bad mom. I don’t play with them as much as I think so-and-so does = I’m a bad mom.
… you get my drift. Well I had a breakthrough while in therapy. God loves me right where I am. He loves me PERFECTLY just as I am.  And if I get the dishes done that day, although that’s great, it doesn’t make Him love me more. The same is true the opposite way, if I don’t do the dishes, He doesn’t love me any less. Nothing that I do (good or bad) changes the way that He feels about me, or my worth as a human being (or spiritual being).

3. To go along with #2, I stopped using the terms “good mom” “bad mom” or anything like it. It doesn’t matter how many tallys on my “mom board” I have. I feel so much better if I just stop tallying all that I do. Just try to do good, and let the chips fall and not worry about it.

4. Both of those things are basically talking about my thought processes and how I use self talk. I learned a lot about those two things. It’s important to step back and check my thinking. I found a fantastic podcast about thought processes that I want to explore more, but it was such a mind blowing way of dissecting our thoughts that I just have to share it.

5. I learned that I repress “bad” emotions. “I shouldn’t feel this way”… my therapist said over and over: all emotions are ok, not all responses are ok. Which then we played with (going back to #2) All of me is ok, but not all of my behaviors are ok. Which, again, is a freeing thought.
It’s OKAY to feel anything that you are feeling, in fact, if you suppress it, it doesn’t ever go away, but if you feel it and sit with it for a while, then it will dissipate and you can move on.

6. I also learned some coping strategies for when I start feeling anxious. (the whole reason I started going). Mainly some self talk ques, and breathing techniques.

There were other things, but they were personal and not so universal. I feel like these things above could possibly help others as well. I really feel like every single person would benefit from learning some of these techniques. I often say I feel like everyone needs therapy, but there are other ways to learn how to check your thinking and stuff. I’m so grateful I was able to go, and learn so much. It definitely changed my life, and I hope it continues to. 

1 comment:

  1. You are amazing!! Thank you for sharing!! I'm sooooo happy you found such peace, strength and thought provoking ideas from your therapist. And I agree every single person could benefit from speaking openly with a therapist. Some day it will be popular to pay attention to ones emotional health and use therapy like one would use working out to be physically healthy