A week ago today I decided to stop seeing my therapist. I’ve been going to therapy semi-regularly since 2016. It’s been a long journey, but so helpful, insightful, and deeply beneficial. I am so grateful, first for therapy for being accessible (free, while I was in college) and not too expensive the last two years post-grad. I know this isn’t a reality for so many people and why one of my many passions is to both reduce the stigma around therapy and to fight to make it cheaper and more accessible to those who need and want it.
I am not ignorant of my privilege of being able to go to therapy, nor of my privilege of getting to a place where I can stop going. Originally, I was one of those people who didn’t think I was “bad enough” to need to go to therapy. While I was struggling, it didn’t necessarily affect my ability to “carry on” with my daily life. But when I took the plunge to start going in my sophomore year of college it was eye-opening. I’m so incredibly grateful to the three therapists that I’ve seen in those five-ish years. They all taught me so many things about myself and about coping with my mental health issues. They helped me understand myself better, why I react to things the way I do and why I do certain things.
In case you didn’t know, I’ve struggled with anxiety for most of my life and with depression the last five or six years. I am not ~cured~ or even necessarily free from either of these struggles, (and I don’t really see that ever happening if I’m being honest.) I see them as permanent parts of who I am, my personality, and part of the lens with which I view the world. As much as I hate my anxiety and depression, in many ways, I am grateful for them. I believe it helps me empathize with others, especially others who struggle with their mental health. So, why did I decide to stop going?
Over the last few months I’ve lessened my sessions, I went from weekly to biweekly to monthly. I’ve been managing my struggles a bit better. I’ve changed some of my circumstances and I’ve genuinely been feeling better. Most of my recent sessions start with how I’ve been coping with the various day-to-day issues I face rather than ranting about how I’m drowning under the weight of those struggles. I’ve been leading the discussion, talking about how I’ve addressed my problems. It feels less like unloading and more like simply reviewing and reflecting. I can tangibly see my growth and I’m cognizant of the different way I approach things nowadays. For me, that is progress. For me, that signals a shift.
So, I’m going to pause. I may return one day, I almost definitely will because therapy is amazing. I loved it. I’m grateful for it. And I recommend it to everyone. Even if you’re neurotypical! It’s so helpful to have someone come alongside you and help you put your life into perspective. To give you a new approach, to help you conceptualize things, to help you make sense of your thoughts. You are the only person who REALLY has to deal with you. You are the only person who knows your brain inside and out. But therapists help. They help you get the thoughts out of your head and help you make sense of them. They help with that overwhelmed feeling, or that “I don’t understand,” feeling, or that “I don’t know how to make sense of this,” or even “Gosh, I wish I had someone to talk to about this.” It’s refreshing. It’s a new perspective. It’s life-changing. 10/10 would recommend.
Anyways. This post is mainly for me. I wanted to get this out into the universe. It’s weird to be at this point. It’s weird to talk about it. But it felt necessary. Writing is cathartic. And if you are reading this and you are struggling or you can’t imagine being on the other side I’m here for you. And I’m here to tell you that it’s possible and you can do it and you’re amazing and you are loved. Thank you for reading.