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Bailey Tries... Therapy

So last month, I talked about the concept that “Our secrets keep us sick” and for me that became overwhelmingly clear in my health journey this past year. If you’ve been here for long you’ll know my body kind of quit working properly a year ago. Now, I had signs and symptoms for years but it wasn’t until it all went haywire and I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease that I started putting things together. I had tried to find answers several months earlier but my doctor at the time didn’t take my issues seriously so I suffered along until it became impossible to manage. It was at this point that I found a new PCP and realized I needed to make an appointment with a therapist. 

I knew there were some things (self image, worry, perfectionism) that I was a little high strung over but I never thought it was affecting me enough to need help. Yes, I recognize the irony of the perfectionist, self-critical person not wanting to admit they need help for their self-critical, perfectionist ways because they are self-critical and a bit of a perfectionist. Mental health is wild! I actually had the name of my therapist written on my “to-do” lists for at least 5 years because I’ve known her most of my life but I just couldn’t bring myself to call. So what changed?

My mental health became physical. Shortness of breath, racing heart rate, sweats, feeling nauseated, lightheaded, etc. Actually, many of those issues have been issues since I was a child, I just didn’t know they were weird. I thought everyone had those reactions so it never occurred to me to seek help. However, when my health went haywire these ramped up a million percent. Did you know your thyroid can cause anxiety and other mental health issues? I certainly did not but boy, do I now!

At first, therapy was kind of strange. I was supposed to talk about myself which felt very selfish and I wasn’t even sure what was wrong so where did I start? I felt so unprepared and out of my comfort zone. Like taking a test I wasn’t prepared for because, of course I viewed therapy as something I need to “do well” in. It’s laughable. However, it’s now one of my favorite times of the month and I wish I could go more often. For me, therapy is “reflective” and y’all know I love self-help and growth. It feels like chatting with a friend because it is and truthfully, it’s nice to just have someone on the outside of your life to give a logical perspective. Personally, it’s one of the most peaceful and calm moments of my existence outside of my quiet time. It fills me with joy and hope and laughter. Yeah, I laugh a lot in therapy because life is just like that. 

Do you know what a majority of people said to me when they found out I was in therapy? “I always thought you were happy.” They were shocked to find out that I wasn’t attending therapy because I was sad. And I think that is the key that kept me out of therapy for so long. I thought it would be silly or whiny to ask for help when I wasn’t depressed or miserable or worse. But that’s not the point of therapy. It’s not to make you happy but rather to help you deal with life, the past, chemical imbalances and about a million other tiny things that contribute to our nature as humans. I know therapists with a therapist because it’s a good thing. 

Would my life be absolutely miserable if I hadn’t started therapy? Nope, I would have scooted along until my thyroid medicine better regulated my physical anxiety response and kept doing life as I always have BUT I have seen God move and grow me through therapy in ways I could not have dreamed possible. I feel more free in my insecurities, strong in my weaknesses and more hopeful in my doubts than I could have thought was achievable which makes me excited for what future growth will hold and sad that I didn’t start earlier. 


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