Disclaimer: Don’t let the title fool you, I learnt many things from going to therapy, but there was one aspect of it in particular that stuck with me for a long time. It’s become ingrained in my head, as if it were a mantra. Honestly, it became one in my times of struggle.
This isn’t the first time I’ve approached the topic of therapy on my blog, and it may not even be the last, I’ve documented as best as I can my entire journey in my #Unfiltered series, which may not be the eloquently worded, but the rawness of it is enough for me. I recently wrote an article called The ‘T’ Word which has similar content as well, my experiences in therapy and societal views of it.
So why this? Why am I going to all this trouble to bring up therapy again? Well, simply because that inner therapeutic process for many is a lifelong journey.
In hindsight, when I first started going to therapy, I was broken inside, I was conflicted about so many things happening in my life that I had no way to go about releasing this negative energy, so I did the one thing we human do best. I bottled it up. Behind every fake smile was a cry for help, I just wasn’t aware those were the signals I was giving off.
Thankfully someone noticed that something was wrong, if it wasn’t for bringing those words out in the open, I am struggling and I don’t know what to do, I have no idea what might have happened, there would inevitably be a breaking point, there’s only so much emotional and mental burdens a human soul can take, but when and where that would have manifested is beyond my imagination.
I lived in fear of what could have happened, what might have happened if I didn’t reach out.
It was never easy reaching out, it was much harder for me to speak to a friend than a stranger I had never met before, because I feared it would change the way they viewed me, I would no longer be strong, independent and determined, I would seem like a helpless animal, constantly needing reassurance, I was asked many times in that special voice, are you okay? How are you feeling? And every single time I felt weak and looked down upon, inferior for having human struggles.
But once I did, the words didn’t stop tumbling out of my mouth, I cried and cried, which filled me with shame, but I was never judged, my story didn’t make sense, I was jumping from story to another trying to make the links without missing any detail out. And once I was done, there was an eerie silence, as if I’d spilled my secrets to the world, and there was nothing left.
I sat and waited for some kind of response, an answer to my pleas of help, in return I was given time and patience, something that became more valuable.
I was never given a direction, never told one correct path to take to solve everything, because there never was one. An easy solution to an otherwise difficult problem is impossible, but instead there are many directions, many paths to try, but time and patience from someone willing to listen was the best gift of them all.
Yet within this, a piece of advice I was given, that I didn’t have to take if I didn’t want to was, you are not your parent. This changed everything, all my life, I believed in having responsibility for myself and my actions but I began to see how harsh I’d become, the kind of punishments I was giving myself because something had gone wrong and so I did not deserve to be cared for, was extreme to say the least.
It wasn’t until this moment, I began nurturing a relationship with myself, I had never bothered to listen to my body or my mind before this, I saw myself through a new lens where I knew I needed to learn more about myself. It wasn’t easy, learning about yourself, meaning spending time with yourself which translates to spending time alone with zero distractions, that’s when the negativity poured forth. And it kept on coming and coming, until I had dealt with each and every problem.
I felt renewed, there was a silence inside me, no negativity exposing me to be the worst person in the world, just pure stillness. And from this is where began my journey of self-healing, self-love and self-care. That’s not to say I’ve reached a state of pure bliss, our lives were almost designed to have curve-balls and obstacles, after every solution there will be a new problem to overcome. So this process for me, has begun over and over again, but every time it gets that little bit easier, instead of consciously being aware I need to treat myself better, I notice more of my self-love actions are reflexive.
I already know that this is going to be a lifelong journey and that doesn’t upset me anymore, in fact, I’m excited to see how I change in my thinking and actions in the future, who knows maybe there will be another update somewhere down the line about my progress. I certainly hope so anyway.
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