Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Life Lessons & Therapy.

In 2014 I turned my life upside down and the year after I had to pay for doing so. The changes were big and hard to deal with, which is why I decided, after years of struggling and denying, that it was time for me to really get my shit together. So last year I went into therapy, which would take 40 weeks in total. I was there every Thursday from 15:15 till 17:30. It was a roller-coaster, in the beginning especially. You know what they say, things have to get worse before they can get better. I had to open everything up in order to be able to deal with them. So I did and for a while it was a big big mess. It caused me to fail one of my classes in January and I was super stressed. I thought I could handle therapy and university, I may have been wrong. Regardless, it's the only class I failed that year. Afterwards I realized what needed to be done. So in February, after 3 months of absolute chaos and confusion, I made another step. I decided to start using anti-depressants.

It was a big decision, one I refused to think about for years because in my opinion, it was weak to even think about it. Who uses anti-depressants at 23? Not me. I needed to do it on my own. However, in February of 2016 I realized that I could not do it on my own, not while also trying to balance university, living on my own, and social contacts that were fading and breaking due to my issues and feelings. After getting the process started, it took  while before I finally had the pills in my hands. It scared me. These things are quite heavy and they didn't take it lightly either. They weren't just going to hand it to me, there were a lot of rules that came with it. One of which was that I was not allowed to not talk about it. I needed to share it in therapy but I also needed to share it with the people close to me. 

Surprisingly enough, finally talking about it was a big relief. Now, whenever someone asked me how I was doing, I could just tell them without having to explain them everything. Usually when you tell someone 'well, you know, I've been better', they usually look at you with questions in their eyes. Now I could just say: I'm okay. I'm on meds now. Or rather than explaining that alcohol and I really do not mix, I can just tell them that I'm not allowed to drink alcohol while using these meds (which is true). Something that used to be a very sensitive topic for me, became something I could talk about. I could show people that I was not just crying in a corner. I was fighting every single day.

In therapy, I had to think and talk about a lot of things, but above all I had to start loving and forgiving myself. I learned to stand up for what I want, but especially what I absolutely do not want. I used to feel like it was not oké to say no to other people. They were more important. So I never said no, not when it would make those around me uncomfortable or unhappy. I have learned to think about and for myself. I learned to work for what I want. So from March/April onwards, I have improved a lot. I passed all of my classes and now I'm even taking an extra course because I wanted to and I think I can, which is a new experience for me. I believe I can achieve it. I might fail, but if I do, it's okay. It's no longer something I need to be ashamed off. I don't wake up thinking, 'I'm going to fail', anymore.

I'm not healed. Far from it. But therapy gave me the tools I needed to improve my life. To improve my self-image, my relationship with my parents, school and loads of other things. When I wake up I'm ready to start another day of hard work and I love doing it. I don't mind spending almost all of my time on university stuff. On reading Hamlet or Othello. It's tough, sure. I'm still stressed of course. But I can handle it now. I can do this. So much so that I cannot wait to go study abroad for 4 months. Something that used to scare me a lot. Being away from everyone, no thanks. But now I'm so excited about it! Even if it's still 1,5 years way.

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