Welp, that was a Moment: In Defense of Therapy
Aloha from my reflective staycation! You can read more about my brain vacay here, but today, I want to talk about something else... something just a wee bit deeper. I know I've offhandedly mentioned my therapist here on Rosie Glow and I've received a number of questions on the subject of therapy, most often: "Your therapist sounds awesome, can I have her name?" Well... she is. And no, you can't. But I thought perhaps I should address the larger question of what therapy does for me and why I'm an advocate for this form of open, judgement-free communication and supported self reflection right here on da blog.
First, I think I depict my approximate level of crazy pretty accurately on Rosie Glow. Maybe I'm a tiny bit dramatic... but otherwise, I'm your fairly typical twenty-something facing your everyday succession of existential crises, i.e.; what is my life? What do I want to do? Who do I want to be? And finally, why am I this way and how should I go about fixing the aspects of myself that I'm not head over heels in love with? Now, you won't often find me attempting to convince my audience that I'm normal - but I'm not suffering from any legitimate mental issues. Therapy can be a great help in the event that you are but, yet again, I currently am not. What's more, I'm usually happy. Ok, let me elaborate: I'm usually crazy happy; like, "let's don sundresses and paint our faces and prance through the first field we find"-happy. So if I'm not presently suffering from any sort of illness, and I'm definitely not depressed... why therapy?
To be perfectly honest, when I first sought out therapy, I was struggling with something. But that something was a reflection of my state of mind: just as much a red flag as the problem, itself. At the time, I was feeling down, confused, and just sort of... sloppy. Delusional young(er) Rose had assumed that something would have clicked by that point: I should have had a eureka moment that pogoed my whole life in the direction it was meant to go. I should have been discovered! Someone should have recognized my talents and paid my rent in return for my wit AND HOW HANNAH HORVATH AM I RIGHT NOW?
I'm also into gifs at the 'mo.
Shockingly, not only did no one step up to be my personal Santa Claus, I couldn't even figure out what I wanted to do. I'd spent the majority of my life prepping to be an opera singer of all things, only to realize that I didn't have the passion for it. To be clear, I had passion - sh*t tons of passion - that spouted from my soul and flooded my insides, only to circulate around forever and ever in aimless aquatic agony. I'm certain the feeling would be akin to owning the MOST ridiculous dress but not being invited to the Met Ball.
All dressed up and nowhere to go: buckets of passion and no plot of purpose to irrigate... I was pretty crushed. I needed some help digging up a lil' purpose shoot amidst the dirt and scree of my life and and nurturing it in the right way. And I found it.
After my first ever therapy session, I wound up drenched in sweat (gross?). All of the gushing passion inside me had its first opportunity for release: a captive audience. I can't tell you enough just how lucky I am to have so many close people in my life who support me and listen to me vent my spleen on the reg, but with a therapist... you don't have to worry about asking, "so, how are you doing?" You don't have to worry that the connections you're making aloud don't really make any sense, or that you're just being overly sensitive or that you're a narcissistic asshole for talking about yourself for 45 minutes... it's your job to talk about yourself for 45 minutes! And it's your therapist's job to listen and gently guide your towards a breakthrough.
Since starting therapy, I've had breakthroughs all over the place. That problem that I used to have is thankfully long gone, but I'm grateful that it served as an impetus for me to get some help unraveling all of my feelings. That's what therapy is: it's a guided unraveling and realigning of our histories, our behaviors, and our emotions. As such, I'm not sure why there's still such a stigma against it. Perhaps it's because "you need therapy" is so often said out of desperation and anger. Perhaps it's because we're conditioned to go it alone except in "extreme" cases. But the truth is, at the post-grad juncture, or probably any less than stable life period; life is hella scary! There's no shame in wanting to thoroughly know yourself and examine your path in life. In fact, I'm of the opinion that it's more noble to try to understand your particular situation than it is to run full speed ahead with your eyes closed.
And I'm still trying, and more or less succeeding in my attempts to understand. Just a few weeks ago (in the throes of that nasty sinus infection that I whined about here and here and here) I casually mentioned something... just conversationally threw out a statement that defined me and my mission and everything I've been looking for... and then promptly had a sinus infection-induced coughing attack and didn't even notice. Thankfully, someone else was there to point out the realization I should have had. "Welp, that was a moment," my therapist said. "You just missed it." This goes to show you that no matter how intuitive you think you are, or how self-aware you try to be, it's still possible to run full speed ahead with your eyes closed. That's why I'm appreciative of my therapist: without her, there are all sorts of "moments" I might miss.
What do you all think of therapy? Have you ever considered it? Why is life so haaaard?!?