I've been to Therapy in the past, more than once actually (in 'therapy,' I mean psychological therapy). The first time I was about thirty years old, I went to therapy to treat my eating disorder (bulimia). The second time was about six or five years ago, when I had the guts to admit I'm not healed from my ED, and I also noticed I have some unresolved issues around sex and relationships. The third time was a short treatment; I attended about five E.M.D.R. sessions (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) to treat what seemed like PTSD from sexual abuse (I was raped twice in my early twenties).
Until I went to my second therapist, I couldn't admit to myself I was raped. I agreed to see it during therapy, and the shock and depression that came after that were more than I could handle. The "regular" therapy felt useless at that point because I was talking so much and felt it got me nowhere. I felt I was walking around in circles, always saying the same things, acting the same way, and driving myself crazy. And so, I quit therapy but started to sink down.
I was already practicing yoga and meditation at that time but found myself in an unbearable place. I can say E.M.D.R. helped me out of that place. It saved me. After a few sessions, I could finally think without getting chills all over. I could look at my past experiences without 'losing it.'
I have a rich history with therapy and post yoga selfies :)
Because of that strong experience with E.M.D.R., a short treatment that didn't require me to talk too much, I thought to myself: "That's it! I'M DONE WITH THERAPY FOR LIFE." I knew going to a psychologist is good for some, but I thought I made the best of it, and now I have room only for short-term and intense treatments. Which, BTW, I also felt weren't needed anymore because I had yoga - what else do I need?.
And then, somehow, a few years later, here I am - back in therapy.
The decision to go back was filled with a lot of internal debates and shame. So many changes happened in the last years, so much growth, so why go back? For some reason, I was connecting going back to therapy with weakness, defeat, walking backward. But the truth is, it's exactly the opposite for me.
That path of mine, of looking inwards through practicing meditation, other aspects of yoga, and art, has opened my eyes to many truths. It took a long time (and the process is not close to being over) to see how many layers of guilt, shame, anger, pleasing, lies, fear, etc., I have, and am still wearing on myself. And damn, sisters, those layers are heavy!
Through the different practices mentioned above, I got to look my patterns straight in the eye. That honesty and acceptance got me to stop repeating some of the patterns I used as a way to escape my pain (alcohol and changing men like socks are just a few).
And even now, I still keep so much in the shadows. But the more time I spend in the light, the more open I am to get close and personal with whatever it is I've been pushing down for so so long.
A few months back, I found myself living alone in Berlin, with not much distractions that work for me anymore; the alcohol, the sex, binging and purging, romantic relationships, excessively exercising, traveling… all are gone. Some tried to stay around, but they were not interesting enough.
I felt I needed help to navigate through this uncharted territory, and I reached out to get it. I needed support through my journey to, and through, pain.
I am very grateful for finding a therapist in corona times, and for being able to afford one. I only met with her four times, yet, every time I get out of that room with a new revelation and something to contemplate about and work with.
Grateful and peaceful
(Pic: My last work, still in progress)
I finally surrender to the understanding I am on a path to the unknown, and feel ok with letting things take as much time as needed.
I am alone, rarely feel lonely, don't have many escape routes to escape to, and I use the ones I have wisely (I'd like to think so, anyway). I have a lot of faith and a sense of peace.
It is reasonable I might drown a bit when meeting those painful places I fought so hard to push down and escape, and it might also take over me for a bit. But I know it won't take over me forever, and I feel more ready and equipped than ever to deal with it all.
Come on, past! I'm ready to meet you and greet you with open arms and no armor.
I am ready to fall. Fall apart. Build up again.