Imagine this, you are sitting with your colleague and suddenly conversation turns to a small talk on psychological therapy. The person who you have shared your office and time with for the past couple of years confidently announces that anyone who is going to therapy is a basket case, that is – a mental idiot, psychological invalid, and he knows no such people.
I am ashamed to admit it, but I stayed silent, at that moment I did not know what to say. However, his words have stayed with me for a very long time, sometimes making me angry, sometimes making me question myself, him, people in general. At the end, I did not continue that conversation with him, but I feel that I need to talk about this now.
A while back I found myself feeling worse and worse. I was unhappy with my work and future prospects in the workplace, I felt I made a mistake choosing my profession, and saw no way out. Also, some unresolved issues regarding love and ties with friends have been lingering in my head. And..one day I completely broke down on the phone with my mother, I was hysteric, completely lost, I had no center, no place of my own. That evening was the one when I decided I needed to talk to someone with objective perspective. I called a friend, and asked for a contact of her therapist.
There hasn’t been a day when I regretted picking the phone and making an appointment. I cried and laughed in my appointments, and with each one I could see myself clearer. I understood that I haven’t been honest with myself for a very long time. Therapy has helped me to build a newer foundation for self-development. One thing must be clear, therapy is not a pleasant excursion. Sometimes it took me where I never wanted to go back to, it is hard work that continues in the chair and outside. But to most questions that I had, I found answers myself. I am out of therapy now, and admittedly I do miss it sometimes, there is always work to do. Now I wear a silver bracelet with a question engraved on it “What do you want?”. It constantly reminds me to stop and just think about where I am, and where I truly want to be, whether regarding a dinner date or something more substantial.
We live in stressful times, everyday I see my friends sad, unsatisfied, lost or straight out depressed from overwork, lack of meaningful relationships, or simply from being unable to see what they really want in life. If anything, these kind of situations and times should make therapy a very common, everyday non-event, but it isn’t so. There are still a lot of people like my colleague, who think that only very sick people or weaklings go to see a specialist, and they are very loud expressing their opinions. Media or public figures are not talking about it too much either.
I want this situation to change, I want people to feel better, feel freer, happier and more in control of their life. People must speak about their experiences, myself included, because only that way we can make sure, that seeking psychological help is seen in the same light as going to a dentist, it’s our wellbeing after all. I must note that my country has a very big suicide rate, and it needs to grow mentally to make sure that people don’t end up on the ledges of bridges looking for help or already being in situation where they only see one solution.
Seeking help is not a shame, but a necessity. By simply admitting that you need help and picking that phone you are already taking back control of your life.