If someone were to ask me if I went to therapy, I would have either answered no or given a subtle yes. That is without a doubt. Looking back at my then 20-year-old self, I can admit how terrified I was. But that is also the reality when it comes to recovery — once you start, it does not mean it will stop.
About a month ago, I started coming to terms with my history with mental health as well as recovery. Not many people know but when I first started going to therapy, it was for panic attacks until a few minutes into my session, my therapist revealed to me that a lot of my anxiety and acute depression was also trauma related.
It is horrible to say that I come from a divorce household and unfortunately, growing up, an adult who drank excessively to cope with their problems and relatives who were violent with their words or actions was always to be avoided. It gave me something to write about, something I had also learned within these past few months. I used to cope with a lot of the, what my therapist later called, toxicity and chaos growing up by writing. That can, I suppose explain the list of work I have done (so far).
But I also grew up never wanting my past, my history with mental health and I continue to learn that is okay. Someone is not nor ever will be the sins of the ones who put harm on them or even those surrounding. This includes with myself; I can also admit that I have been more than two years clean from self-injury. I have disclosed that detail on an old coping mechanism with a friend or two. It will take me some time before I can say furthermore. I have a better grasp at reckoning what my limits are.
Today, I can officially look back at my life and take it day-by-day and accept that I am in a much healthier place. I have cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to thank for that, training me how to cope with life situations or when something seems unbearable and difficult to overcome. For the first time in my life, I can take that long look in the mirror with myself and like what I see. They say it is what is on the exterior that should ’look’ a so-called way but for me, it is on the interior and how one deals with their feelings.
Happy recovery awareness to everyone. I hope you can see, now what I tell my adolescent and young adult self, that it does get better. No matter what your situation is, you are not alone and there is another who can relate in what you are going through.
This goes for everyone but screw what anyone thinks when it comes to your decisions on making healthy choices for your mental health.