Growing up in a small southern town I never knew or heard of therapy while growing up. I was taught that when bad things happened you pray about it and God will see you through. But, the people who taught me that didn’t talk about the mental and emotional strain that life can have on you when those things happen. If you grow to live a little, life can really throw some curve balls at you. It was until I was 26 years old when I took the leap of going to the clinic for my mental health.
For me being a black woman, in the military, in a foreign country and surrounded by so many negative people and things it took life really knocking me down for me to see, that just praying was not going to work. During that time in a span of a 6 month period a loss a close friend (accident), I lost my sister, I ended a 3 year relationship, 3 of my coworkers wives lost their children and I was the one that had to process all of their paperwork. (Imagine having to ask someone for the death certificate for their child, not once but three times). I was TIRED!!
My supervisor at the time encouraged me to go and speak to someone because it started to affect my work performance, my appearance and I started having some other health issues. It was my first time ever doing this and I didn’t know what I should or shouldn’t do so I sat there in the chair at first I was nervous thinking I would be judged for some of the things I was going to say, I couldn’t trust telling my business to a stranger, thinking I’m going to get kicked out of the military if I get help from a doctor (that’s what I was told) but, just sitting there with the doctor and just hearing him out at first allowed me too slowly start to trust him and want to get help on the way that I was feeling, I just wanted to feel better. I informed my doctor that I didn’t want to take medicine, I wanted to try to work through my problems first before anyone prescribed me anything. The doc was so attentive, listening to every single word I said, listened to me about me not wanting medicine (that was HUGE for me), didn’t miss anything, asked questions, really tried to understand and didn’t push advice off on me. Over time after I started feeling better, smiling more, getting back to myself it dawned on me that, umm this is working for me. I took the advice, I took the lessons, I applied it to my life and it worked!
Since then I have been able to listen to my body and my mind. The moment I start having that feeling (anxiety, feeling of uneasiness, confusion, hurt, anger) I know I need to reach out to someone. Sometimes the first therapist will not be the one that you like, do your research and find someone who will best suit your needs. Everyone around you will not understand your choices, and it’s not for them to understand. It’s about making yourself better so that you can live a better life. Even with the COVID-19 going on I was able to still speak to my therapist and she was offering virtual appointments!! I was excited!!
I started having weekly sessions again since July of 2019 and just last week she informed me how she was proud of the progress I made. And how I was taking the necessary steps to take care of myself. That made me feel so good inside, that I was really taking care of myself.
So whoever you are, wherever you are never feel bad or think you’re crazy, if you take care of your mental health. Take that leap, find someone you trust and let it all out. You deserve to give yourself the life you ultimately desire getting fulfilled physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally. YOU DESERVE IT!! It won’t happen overnight but in time the rewards you will receive will be worth it.
**Therapy AND prayers definitely get you through things.**