Hi there friends and fam!
Welp, I think the title of this post says it all. Today I’m going to quickly name off a list of the top five things I wish I knew before I started going to therapy. Now, for those of you who have been living under a rock – let me just break it down for you: I finally started taking care of my mental health for the first time in my life by attending regular therapy sessions earlier this year. If you’re interested in following that journey in greater detail, I also have a new podcast up on iTunes, Spotify, and Anchor. Lol @ my shameless plug, right?
SO, on the real, I wanted to make this post for people that can relate to pre-therapy me. Trust and believe I was quite ignorant about knowing how monumentally important therapy is for everyone – and yes, I do mean EVERYONE. My hope is that after reading this, you’ll be able to make a better informed decision on whether or not you still think therapy is unnecessary. Without further adu, let’s get into the list!
1. You do not have to be suicidal to seek therapy
I’m lowkey ashamed and embarrassed to admit this, but I know I have to own up to it. Prior to starting my own mental health awareness journey, the only perspective I had on people who sought out therapy was that they were obviously on the verge of killing themselves. That ridiculous thought couldn’t be farther from the truth.
After speaking with my therapist, I realized that while some people do wait until they find themselves having thoughts of suicide to seek out help, a vast majority of people who regularly attend therapy are just proactively taking care of their mental illnesses. Therapy is just as normal as getting a regular check-up at the doctor or having a casual dentist appointment. #RealTalk
2. Therapy is expensive AF and not all insurance providers cover the cost of treatment
Yup, you read that right! I have paid for each and every therapy session I’ve ever attended out of pocket and LET ME TELL YOU – it has been quite an expensive endeavor. Yes, I do have a healthcare plan, however, my therapist’s office does not accept the insurance provider that I have. The alternatives would be that I either find a new therapist that does accept my insurance OR change my insurance plan to one that does cover my therapy expenses, but is also potentially out of my budget.
Healthcare has always been a heated issue in America and my two cents is that, for such a progressive and wealthy country, we suck dick at making sure our middle and lower-class citizens have the proper resources needed to survive. In a perfect world, I believe that healthcare should be fully government-funded, or at the very least we should take mental health services as seriously as other health services. I don’t ask for much.
A Motherfucking Taxpayer
3. You do not have to tell anyone about therapy
I know this kind of seems like a given but you’d be surprised how much we, as normal people, constantly feel the need to justify our actions to the world. As someone who has spent the last few years sharing most of my life on social media and this blog, I still (shockingly) consider myself to be a fairly private person.
When I first began attending my therapy sessions, I posted A TON about it on my Instagram stories! Now, I prefer to just keep it to myself. I obviously still discuss mental health on my podcast and this blog, but I just don’t feel the need to let everyone know when I’m going to a new appointment or what I talked about during a specific session.
No one is entitled to your mental sanity. If you want to share – go for it. If not, that is ok too!
4. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable
Dude, it is so fucking hard to reveal your true self to a complete stranger. I can’t even begin to express how horrifically awkward my first session of therapy was. If you’re anything like me, you have walls upon walls built around your emotions and inner-thoughts, so it’s definitely not in our nature to spill the tea. As hard as it is at first – I HIGHLY encourage you to set your personal boundaries aside and allow your therapist to know exactly what is going on. To date, I’ve pretty much told my therapist my entire life story, even the things I’m ashamed of, and it’s truly helped to lift a heavy weight off my shoulders and begin to heal from lifelong wounds.
Now, don’t get me wrong, if you genuinely feel like you’re not vibing with your therapist whatsoever then that’s probably a sign that you need to drop them and continue to search for someone you would be comfortable opening up to.
5. Expect the unexpected
So, this final tip is incredibly crucial for those that are starting their mental health awareness journey from scratch.
The way I see it, therapy is so unique because it’s one of the most personal experiences you’ll ever have. You literally sit in a room with another human being, who just happens to have a large amount of information about your brain and its inner workings, and talk about yourself for an hour or so. Each and every session is unique and the outcome might be positive or enlightening or disappointing – you just never really know. I learned SO many things, good and bad, about myself and how my own mind processes emotions and thoughts that I would’ve never known by just going through life without ever seeking help.
I hope the biggest takeaway that this blog post will provide is that therapy and mental health are not taboo or anything to shy away from. The sooner you get help, the closer you’ll be to living your best life.
Ok guys, I think that is all I have to share with you. Let me know if any of these tips resonate with you! I know mental health can be a touchy, sensitive topic but at the end of the day we’re all humans who just want to relate to someone, ya feel? Thanks so much for reading my shit and don’t forget to subscribe to this blog and my podcast for more content like this. Till next time 🙂