It has been 4 years. Over 200 instances. I have finally finished therapy. God what an awful way to spend time and money. What a vital way. What a privilege.
When I started this journey, I was convinced that “six weeks and I’ll be done.” I even said this to the therapist. But I knew that things were much deeper than that. The evaluation meeting had seen me in tears for the whole 40 minutes.
It is easy to see the surface and think; generic white bloke, public school educated, the network, all is good. But the reality is that beneath the surface I was hurting in lots of ways. Ways that impacted my self confidence, my self view, my ability to engage with others.
And it was inter-relations with others, this inability to trust, that was what convinced me that I needed to talk, needed to listen.
It is tempting to say that this was a linear route to success. But I can tell you it wasn’t.
There were many times when I thought about quitting, and not going to the session. I’d text the therapist and they’d say to me, “this is when you MOST need to come, see you in an hour.” I always went.
I felt like an imposter at times. But I have realised there is no hierarchy of trauma, grief. We are each in our own private struggles. Comparing ourselves to others, distances us from those we need to get closer to. To heal.
I look back and remember very few of the individual sessions. But I do remember these concepts:
– The physical body keeps a tally of all the mind has been through.
– We all wear masks. The key is to put them on at the right times.
– When the emotional tank is too full, there is no space for new emotions and so you have to understand those long standing questions and queries in order to move on.
– Change externally is possible. But it starts with the mind.
– Don’t fear feelings. Fear ignoring them. Or making them the only reality.
If you can and are considering therapy, I’d say do it. I know just how lucky I have been. I know my privilege has made this possible.
It has transformed my view of my self, and I now feel ready to help unleash others’ awesome and change the world faster. Both things that felt too difficult, just four short years ago.