Sunday, March 30, 2014

30 in 30: Therapy

This is my twenty-second article in my 30 in 30 challenge, where I write 30 things I am thankful for in the 30 days leading up to my thirtieth birthday.

Therapy is important. There, I said it.

I could not function without therapy.

I never used to think that I "needed" a therapist and that therapy was reserved for people who were way more crazy than I could every dream of being. I didn't think I was ever going to be what Bill Murray was in What About Bob? So I felt like I would just power through.

What a silly girl I was.

At 28, I was exhausted. Years of anxiety was catching up to me and I found myself more aware of my irritability. I knew it was time to do something about it when my husband looked at me and said, "I just want my Annie back. I just want you happy."

All my family wanted was for me to be happy. I was so lost, that I forgot what happy was and I was simply operating on auto pilot. Doug saw through the bullshit and he was my biggest supporter when I finally took a step to find help.

I sat down in that chair across from my therapist and I told her I was so scared that I didn't know if I was fixable.

She laughed her butt off.

Almost two years later, I can tell you that I am very fixable and I am kicking myself for not going sooner.

It was like I was talking with a friend, that just so happened to be a licensed social worker. ;)

The things I have learned through therapy is nothing earth-shattering, rather very simple tools I can use for the everyday. Generalized anxiety is a bitch because anything, absolutely anything can set a person off into a tailspin of worry and it is really hard to express what you are feeling in that moment.

The coping mechanisms I have gained by seeing my therapist has allowed me to live an almost completely normal life-I will ALWAYS be Anne, so life will never be totally normal ;)

I am a better mother, wife, friend, colleague and person because of therapy. It's easier to express what I am needing to Doug so that he can be an active participant in helping me cope instead of having to helplessly watch me suffer through it.

I recognize that I am also very lucky that I was able to find a therapist that jives well with me-she has been such an important instrument in my life. The best thing she ever said to me was, "The goal here is for me to not see you." We've reached that goal and I only see her for monthly check-ins.

I have learned that I am not weak for seeing a therapist, but instead, I am strong. I am strong for knowing when it was time for help!

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