Surprisingly, I did not get a certificate or anything for this accomplishment.
I started with my current therapist about 3 years ago, when I was in a very tumultuous relationship and was completely losing my mind with anxiety. I was unable to function, even to work. Because I really valued my new (at the time) and coveted ICU position, I decided I had to take drastic measures to get my life and sanity back. I sat down in the chair across from her and said, “I’m desperate but I’m determined. I’m willing to do anything you say to make this better for myself, even though I’ve been in therapy many times before and found it to be completely unhelpful.”
Basically, I just didn’t believe that therapy would help me. Sitting around talking about my troubled childhood never really made me feel better, in fact, quite the opposite. When my therapist looked at me and said, “We’re going to create some goals with measurable outcomes” I was astonished. Measurable outcomes??? Oh how I love that phrase!
I committed myself. I did things that were very, very hard for me (or usually, refrained from habits and patterns I’ve had all of my life, which was very very hard for me). I read a lot of self help books. “Codependent No More” was the most influential and helpful in the beginning. After I got pregnant last year, I didn’t go to therapy for a while. I felt happy, I felt stable, I felt in touch with myself.
After I lost the baby, everyone kept telling me I needed to go to therapy. I didn’t feel like I needed to, honestly. My life had been a mess before, and therapy had worked wonders for me, it’s true. But my life had been a mess because of the way I dealt with stress and conflict. This was a true tragedy, and shouldn’t I be depressed, grieving, and angry at a time like that anyway?
In the end, I actually think I was right. My therapist has assured me at every single session since I went back in January that my coping strategies are fantastic, productive, and conducive to healing. As much as I love to sit through 45 minutes of someone telling me how great I’m doing, I really don’t love to pay money for it. So today I bid my therapist farewell, and with her blessing she is signing off on me to my psychiatrist (who will continue to prescribe my paxil, cause I seriously don’t do well off paxil).
Someday I might need to go back, and if I do I sure hope she’s still there. But until then… I’ve graduated! YAY!