My therapist tells me that couples come to see him 7 years too late.
Let that sink in for a minute….
He also says there should be a big warning sign at the door of every therapist’s office saying: “Enter at your own risk!”. The journey of self-discovery is not an easy one, because facing yourself and the reality you’re in may be one of the hardest things you will ever do. You can’t ‘BS’ a Doctor of Psychology—they will see through any nonsense tactics. So, yeah, you’ll need to put your big girl panties on for this one.
If you’re lucky enough to land a great therapist, they will subtly direct you to lay all your cards out on the table until you can’t hide behind all the fluff you’ve created for yourself over the years. The point is to free you of your emotions, allowing you to be truly naked in all your emotional glory, and challenging you to rebuild who you are. The upside to this journey is the enormous potential to live a vastly happier and more harmonious life, and to finally feel at peace with who you are, and in your relationships.
A Whole New Level of Growth
Whether you’re paying attention to your feelings or not, they are having an impact on your life and relationships. And you don’t necessarily see it, because the person who you mostly are, is a creation in response to your childhood and something we unquestionably accept as “true”. Therapy gives us that higher-level vantage point and pushes us to investigate why we do the things we do and how we can do them better.
But don’t let me fool you, I wasn’t always a pro-therapy advocate. In my early 20’s, I studied a few holistic healing methodologies and have explored a litany of alternative therapies in my life, including Color therapy, Reiki, Emotion Code Therapy, Psychic readings to name a few. Later in life, I was led to try conventional therapy and it opened up a whole new level of growth that I would not otherwise have had, and I want that for you as well.
“Whether you’re paying attention to your feelings or not, they are having an impact on your life and relationships.”
My Turning Point
My “Aha!” moment came the day before my first child turned 1. I had struggled through undiagnosed postpartum depression for an entire year—because I’m “strong” like that. I didn’t allow myself to ask for help because I hadn’t even admitted anything was wrong. Knowing you need help or support and asking for it is the first step towards fixing the problem.
Fast forward to my daughter’s first birthday, and all the stress of the year caught up with me and I finally cracked into a giant heap of crying patheticness (is that a word?) on the floor of my bedroom. I said to my husband, tears streaming down my face, that I felt “totally broken” and needed to go talk to someone.
“Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it.” — Ziad K. Abdelnour
Hello Dr. Crane
Enter Dr Crane. Okay, you got me, that’s not his real name, but that’s what I call him, because well, Frasier fans anyone?
Over the last 5 years, Dr. Crane has become like a father figure to me and led me to love therapy. He is this extremely wise, silver-haired grandfather-type, who also happens to be a Doctor of Psychology. I love how he always removes his opinion—guiding me to find the best answer for myself—the best answer that allows me to grow and get the most out of my life experience, while supporting me in everything I’m dealing with.
I came to him in a very fragile state, still confused as to why I was feeling how I was feeling. He told me something I was not expecting to hear…. He said I needed to grieve. And in that first appointment I realized why he had hit the nail on the head.
I had to grieve for the horrendous birthing experience I endured, for my body not cooperating with me by not being able to produce milk for my baby, for the family support I didn’t have (immigrant = no family), for the 6 hours a day my baby would scream, for the shitty pediatrician who didn’t help at all in diagnosing her, for the discovery that my baby had been bleeding internally from severe milk protein allergy, and for the sleepless nights that continued for the entire first year.
And for all of these things, I needed to grieve for the loss of my former life and self.