Let’s just start out to say – therapy, I’m a huge fan. It isn’t just because I hope to make it a career one day; it is because I believe with my heart and soul that it is an incredibly powerful and important tool. Unfortunately, it is a tool that people are often reluctant to use. Lord knows there is enough discussion about mental illness and how we as a community, country and world handle it. That is a topic entirely on its own but the simple fact is there is a lot of negative stigma around mental illness or personal challenges with difficult situations.
First, let’s establish right off the bat – therapy is not just a place for the mentally ill. Certainly many people who struggle with mental illness are in therapy, but that does not make up a large part of the therapists’ of the world clientele. People just like you and me quite often seek out therapy.
I have sought therapy for a number of different struggles in my life – marital challenges, eating disorders, self-esteem and flat out depression. I have also used medications from time to time for support during some of the more difficult challenges in my life. Sometimes people are surprised that I am so willing to admit this. I am generally an open book about a lot in my life but this is one area that I feel it is very important to be an open book. If I were diabetic, there would be no shame in working with an endocrinologist and using insulin to maintain not just my health but my life! I truly look at tools like therapy and pharmaceuticals the same way.
It breaks my heart when people’s fear of the stigma of mental health challenges keeps them from using the tools available to them. I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine and in it she said that while she was depressed, she was really resistant to trying medications to help her manage it to feel better. I do get that there are some potential unfortunate side effects to some medications. I have recently found myself wondering if I should try different medications to help me through a very difficult time and I have resisted because I haven’t wanted to deal with the potential side effects but I am on something currently and I am taking all of the right steps to help me work through the current situation so I feel like staying where I am. I also know that the reason that I am working through my current issues is because I am working with a wonderful therapist who has supported me throughout this entire process. On the day that everything came apart, knowing that I had that relationship with her already in place gave me a sense of peace, a sense of knowing that somehow I would get through this because I didn’t have to start fresh with her – she knew me, she knew my stories and she knew how to help me as I worked through this. It is interesting, prior to my breakup, I had cut down to seeing her about once a month. Since our breakup, I have seen her weekly and those hours are beyond precious to me and my healing.
I tell people all of the time – you don’t have to be “crazy” to have a therapist. You merely need to be someone who is invested in your own health and happiness and knows that sometimes to maintain both of those, you need some support from the outside.
I'm a single lady living in the suburbs of Philadelphia with 2 cats named Leo and Toby (after characters on "The West Wing" - one day I will have the ability to recite the entire series by heart.That's a noble goal, yes?).
I've had a varied career doing a bunch of technical stuff that isn't that interesting to folks who aren't doing it but my real passion is writing.I also get the fabulous pleasure of coaching people from time to time and that brings me amazing joy and energy.
If you want to hang with me there are things you should know:I curse.A lot.I like hoppy beer.A lot.I like big and deep red wines. A lot. I adore my friends.A lot, a lot.I am passionate about politics (or a big geek about them - you choose).I'm an accidental but rather passionate Unitarian and few things make me happier than my dining room table surrounded by people I love.And picking paint colors, let's not forget that. Find me online here.