My name is Andrea and I’ve started seeing a psychologist.
That’s not an easy thing for me to reveal. It’s extremely hard for my ego to admit that I’ve not been able to figure out how to be OK on my own.
I’ve lived much of my life believing I needed to be self-sufficient when it came to my mental health, particularly over the past few years.
Thus there is a part of me that feels like seeking help is admitting defeat – That it shows a weakness of character or failure.
The logical side (ie: not the freaked out little kid gripping onto emotional wounds) knows that it is a sign of strength – That it takes courage to admit you need help.
But my ego is still really uncomfortable with it.
So why now? I mean I probably should have considered this when I was in the depths of my addictions.
Back then I didn’t like myself enough to consider spending money or time on myself in that way. I didn’t think I was worthy of someone’s care, concern and validation.
And I was too scared to face what had become of my life, let alone tell anyone else about it.
Through writing on my blog, on huff post and medium, I’ve been able to give myself permission to speak about the formerly unspeakable.
I’ve been able to get used to using my voice and speaking out.
But I still feel immense amounts of shame and guilt and fear when I do speak. And I know that I can’t live through the damage it’s doing to my body and mind anymore.
The truth reveals the reality:
I won’t live a healthy life-span if I don’t figure out a way to heal my emotional wounds, because they are making me physically sick.
Thanks to the meditating and yoga I do, I am able to notice the correlation between the physical ailments I experience and the unaddressed emotional trauma I’m carrying.
But it’s one thing to notice it – it’s another thing to work through it.
Quite frequently I feel like a deer in headlights. I become panic-stricken because I don’t know what to do to not feel terrible.
I’ve got all these books, meditations, affirmations, courses, and messages from amazing spiritual seekers that I admire in my inbox – Lots of resources to tap into.
But instead of helping, lately it all overwhelms me, and I feel even more ashamed, afraid and confused.
What do I know?
- That I have a boatload of shame I need to work through.
- That I don’t know how to love myself with consistency.
- That I can’t help others if I’m not healthy.
So I’ve asked for help from a psychologist in an effort to work through the shame I feel for being human.
This is me admitting to the world and to myself that I’m worth the effort and the money it will take to get better.
Even if I’m being haunted by the memory of people telling me that what has happened to me isn’t bad enough to warrant compassion or help…
This is me learning how to consistently value and validate myself.
I anticipate some “Awww, hugs. Feel better soon” comments. And that is absolutely not what I’m looking for – at all. Though I know I have zero control over what other people do or say, the thought of seeing those kinds of comments really irritates me.
Because the purpose of this post is not to get pity and sympathy. It’s to show that it’s OK to not be able to do it all on your own – that it’s OK to need and ask for help, and to invest money in that process.
I know I’m not the only one who has spent years believing what other people have suggested:
- That I have no right to be this traumatized;
- That I have nothing to complain about;
- That I’m entitled and spoiled;
- That I’m ridiculous;
- That I should just “get over” myself;
- That only rich people pay for therapy;
- That getting help is a luxury I can’t afford;***
- That I’ve had an easy life.
I have had equal parts assholes and amazing humans attempt to minimize my suffering over the years. And the truth about it is this:
It doesn’t matter whose mouth it comes out of – it’s really fucking mean to try to shame someone who already feels shameful. And it’s mega dangerous because when you do you’re telling them they don’t matter.
I’ve felt the need to justify my wounds to people my entire life. I’ve craved compassion and empathy FROM ALL THE WRONG PEOPLE.
And I know I’m not the only one who has done so.
So this is me telling you to say Fuck That to the folks who try to minimize you and your struggle.
Seriously, just boot that crap right out of your head.
Our pain deserves investigating, not minimizing.
So if you are struggling; if you can’t seem to figure out how to be well on your own – get help. You are worth the effort. And so am I.
***To my fellow coupon-using, only-buy-something-on-sale, only-use-what-my-benefits-allow-for friends
I salute you. I value you. And I get it: parting with money is tough. Especially on stuff that feels like a luxury. Case in point, a psychologist appointment.
But this is something I would consider going into debt over. This is something I categorize as healthy debt.
This is an investment in your future because your emotional wellbeing directly affects your ability to make money. The right therapist can teach you how to value and appreciate yourself, resulting in a healthier, happier and empowered you, giving you the self-esteem and drive to go out into the world and make that money.
So please don’t put it in the out-of-question pile. See how you can make it work.
How I made it work? I thought about all the times I freely spent money on alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, throw-away clothing and make-up that I didn’t need. And then I transferred money from my line of credit to my visa because I get cash back when I use it, and paid for the appointment. 😉