The first time I went to therapy, I sat in the parking lot for thirty full minutes before the appointment and cried. I texted friends, threatening not to go in. It was such a lonely moment, a real low point for me.
I had been having eight-hour long panic attacks at work for God knows how long. My anxiety and suicidal ideations were affecting my ability to live my life. I knew therapy was my best option for living to see my mid-20s, but admitting it felt like defeat. I’d fought so long and so hard to be okay, to keep my head enough above water that no one would know I was drowning.
I fought the good fight, and I lost.
And losing was one of the best things that ever happened to me. Therapy has taught me the coping mechanisms that allow me to live my life without constantly gasping for breath. It gave me the confidence I needed to approach my internal battles with some kind of plan. Therapy is one of the reasons that I’m still alive today.
But I know that one of the hardest things a person will ever do is walk into a therapist’s office for the first time. It feels like giving up, and no one wants to give up.
So let me be the person to tell you that it’s okay. Going to therapy doesn’t make you weak; it means you’re strong enough to make your health a priority. I’m not just giving you permission to go, I’m telling you that I’m proud of you for making that appointment, and keeping it. I’m proud of you for doing the same thing the next week, and the week after that.
This is one of the best things you’ll ever do for yourself, your career, your family, and your friends. Go to therapy.
(Need help finding a therapist? My favorite resource is Psychology Today’s website, using the “Find a Therapist” option at the top of the page!)