On 24 July 2012, I made a call that changed my life.
I was scared and confused about so many things but I had finally got brave enough to tell my GP how I was feeling. He handed me a number for a psychologist and I still remember sitting on the train afterwards, making that pivotal call.
I’ve been seeing my psychologist for just over a year now and my life couldn’t look more different.
I always believed that life was about surviving. Surviving guilt, fear, trauma, crisis, sadness, hard times and scary times. I grew up knowing what life could throw at you. I have seen and experienced things in my life that I would never wish on any other person – things that I wish never even happened. And I know I’m not the exception. Everyone encounters challenges and realities that they would rather run from than to face head on.
For years I had taken hit after hit and tried to push on regardless and it worked for the most part. Hard became normal, tough became second-nature. At some point though, I had to come undone and it happened shortly after I got engaged.
I remember reading a book about getting married and it spoke about the things we bring into our relationships that we have kept from the past. I started thinking about what I was bringing into my marriage and the thought really scared me. I haven’t had the worst life in the world – don’t get me wrong – but I certainly had never done anything to process a lot of what I had experienced. I also started to realise I wasn’t just a victim of my circumstance – I had areas of my life I had let go of a little. I would quite often turn a blind eye to a lot of my faults and unhelpful ways of coping.
I think the realisation that your ‘stuff’ – your baggage – would become part of someone else’s life was more than I could bear. In hindsight I could say that my motivation should really have come from within myself, but the truth is that I had a realisation of the bigger picture that existed for me and that was enough to make a real change for the better.
Through therapy, I have learnt how to deal with my sadness, anger and stress. I have found new tools to help me become stronger in my mind and spirit. I have found resolve and strength in portions I have not experienced before. I am a more resilient person – but only through realising my weakness. I have discovered my own personality, opinions, feelings and future. I am learning to set goals, live with my negative feelings and above all – keep growing.
When my husband and I first started dating, one of the mix tapes he made me was titled “Keep on Growing”. That phrase has really stuck to me like glue and was even played as we walked back down the aisle after being married!
I wanted to write this post to celebrate this year-and-a-bit of therapy and challenge you and I to keep on growing by being ok with our weaknesses and being open to getting help when we need it.
I hope this has made you think about your own wellbeing and maybe planted a seed about how you could care for yourself better or learn new things to grow into a better person each day 🙂