Six hundred hours. That’s how many hours I have spent in individual therapy. Plus group, classes, psychiatry, and on and on. If you did the math, that equates to a one-hour session every week forTWELVE years! And??
Is there anything wrong with twelve years of therapy? Fifteen? Thirty? Absolutely not. If you’re in therapy and you need therapy, stay there. But, at some point, you may want to take a step back and evaluate. I’ve been doing that for the last six weeks (notice, I did not make any impulsive decision).
I love my therapist. If you are in the Atlanta area and would like her name and a reference, please contact me. I can honestly say that I have improved in every area of my life because of her. But, for the last six weeks, as I drove to my appointment, I could not think of anything I wanted to talk about. That’s not to say my life is roses and sunshine. But where I have weeds and rain, I also am able to accept that, use skills to cope.
If you were thinking that I quit therapy because I have no issues left, you’d be horribly wrong. I’m quitting therapy because I finally feel able to do the work of therapy on my own. As a matter of fact, before the group leader (my personal therapist) spoke, I knew exactly (word for word) what she would say. And, she said it. It’s not that I could lead the group. I’m not a therapist. Don’t want to be a therapist. But I can draw on six hundred sessions and do the work.
The other reason I feel safe stopping now is that I can always go back. If I discover twelve years still wasn’t enough, I pick up the phone and make an appointment.
Lastly, and most importantly, I spoke candidly with my husband and my therapist. Both of these trustworthy people supported my decision. My husband will let me know if he sees me needing support again. My therapist will be there if I call. So, I said my goodbyes.
I thought it would scare me when the door closed behind me. But it didn’t. My step lightened, my energy increased. I am not “fixed”. I am not without issue. But, I am ready to let go of the tether.
Please, if you need therapy – get it. Stay as long as it helps. Find the right therapist – don’t just choose someone on a list. Research the different types of therapy (and there are many). Don’t stay with someone who doesn’t make you feel safe. In my twelve years of therapy, I moved therapists at least five times. Sometimes I stayed for well over a year before I moved on. We need different things and different voices at different times.
I don’t think my last therapist (who I worked with for three years) reads my blog. But if she does … Pegah, you are so special to me. A gift. A treasure. The best Sherpa I could ever have.
One last thing – I haven’t dropped all support. My issue with food is still a struggle (and will always be). So, with my therapists help, I have found a nutritionist who works with disordered eating and who will help me continue on this path of healthy food choices and acceptance of my struggle.
Wish me luck as I do the same for you.
Remember my disclaimer: I am NOT a therapist. I am simply a fellow journeyman!
In April 2012 I had a mental breakdown. The real thing. I have about 36 hours that I don’t remember....