There are several reasons why you shouldn't be embarrassed about seeing a therapist.
Someone asked me how I was able to blatantly mention my therapist in reference to my Peace Corps experience. The truth is, it’s pretty easy. I figured I could expand and write about it here, because by definition an adventure is “an unusual experience or activity,” and in my experience, going to the therapist is an unusual experience. I never have any idea what to expect. Every time I walk into his office I think to myself, “I will not cry today,” and within 5 minutes I am usually a blubbering fool. My doctor will ask me why I am crying, or why that hit a nerve, most of the time I don’t really know. I guess if just feels good to cry.
But why write about this more? Because seeing a therapist or a shrink or whatever you want to call them should not be a bad thing. While some of my friends might disagree, I am not a crazy person. In Colorado, under work comp law, if you are considered part of the population with chronic pain, you must be evaluated by a therapist. We did a test to determine whether or not I am within the “healthy limits” of depression. Turns out that while I might have bad days, I am not actually depressed. Phewww! The funny thing is, I actually liked talking to the guy. Yeah, he's an older gentleman who actually terrifies me, but being able to understand where my irrational fears might come from was totally eye-opening.
I tend to underestimate my abilities. Sure, I am smart and athletic, but not compared to my friends. When you grow up in a town full of successful high-performance athletes and Ivy League graduates, it's REALLY hard not to compare yourself to that. My doctor helped me put that into perspective, that Vail is its own little bubble of a place and that while the percentages of those people are really high in this town, in the broader perspective, I am doing pretty well.
I realized it was ok to talk about having a therapist when I had a conversation with a friend who is also comfortable casually mentioning she sees a therapist. She owned it. “OMG MEEEE TOOO!” And why not? If you have someone who can help you get through tough situations, why wouldn’t you use them as a resource? We are all so focused on being successful and creating this “perfect” life that sometimes we forgot to slow down a take care of our own minds.
So, for all you people who have a therapist, don't be afraid to talk about it. Own it. You are working on you, and not enough people do that.
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