I missed posting this for Mental Health Awareness Month back in May, but I figure that the purpose of my blog is to generate awareness around mental health year-round.
Last month I gave some of my followers an opportunity to ask questions anonymously about going to therapy using a Google form I had created. My hope was that if anyone out there felt hesitant about going to therapy, they could ask a question and I (a frequent therapy goer) or my husband, Dean (a licensed therapist) could answer it.
We answered the same question separately from each other, so you may see a little overlap in our advice below.
Sorry for my convoluted and very long post title – for some reason Green Eggs and Ham is on my brain. I had a counseling session *yesterday, and each time I go, I find myself confronted with an opportunity to grow and stretch myself – and I can choose to either take it or ignore it.
I’ve been going to counseling/therapy (I will use those words interchangeably) consistently for over 4 years. But four years ago, I was very resistant to trying it. What started out as marriage counseling evolved into me seeing great value in meeting with a therapist one-on-one.
Sometimes after I’ve told people I see a therapist, they have asked me, “does it help?” And my answer is definitely, 100%, yes! But I feel like I should elaborate on what I mean when I say it helps me. Each time I go to therapy, I uncover a tiny bit more about myself – I understand myself just a little bit better, and I start to figure out why I am feeling the ways I am feeling. Let me give you an example:
*Yesterday in therapy (it was a joint session with my husband), I brought up how I had been getting really frustrated recently that he was not helping out enough with our son in the mornings. I am a morning person, and my husband is more of a night owl. So inevitably, when my son wakes up, I am usually the first person he sees because Daddy is still sleeping. This means I’m typically the one to get our three-year-old his breakfast, answer his many questions about whatever pops into his mind, set up his favorite t.v. show, etc. The feeling this brought up for me was anger – it wasn’t “fair” that I was doing this “all by myself” (which is not true, but I am good at convincing myself otherwise sometimes). At face value, it seemed like the issue was about getting help with our son – but as we dug deeper, I realized that it wasn’t really about that. It was about me needing alone time, “me” time – time to read a book, write, and do other things that bring personal fulfillment. I was struggling to figure out how to find this alone time in my schedule, and I needed to ask for help.