Art response I created after my very first session
The first time I had ever went to therapy was in October of 2019. So, yes, I was in grad school, studying to become an Art Therapist, and I had never been to therapy. Prior to my out-of-body experience, I knew I was going to seek therapeutic services at some point before I graduated. Even if I didn’t “need” it, I wanted to understand what it would be like to be a client before I started seeing my own clients.
But let’s be real, I fucking needed therapy!
During the process of owning my suffering I was cracked open, and then after my out-of-body experience, I was completely exposed. I had just received the most important memory out of all of my traumatic experiences. I needed professional help because I had taken myself as far as I could go.
Even though I was studying to become an Art Therapist, I was still extremely nervous to attend therapy myself. Initially, the societal stigma did affect my perception. I did feel shame in that I needed professional help. I felt like I should be able to just figure this out, I was worried what people were going to think of me, and I was also terrified to dive deeper into facing my problems. I was stepping into the unknown, and it was scary!
I felt the fear and did it anyway! I had asked myself, “What is the alternative?” If I avoid seeing a therapist, when I know I need help, then my life will never get better. I will stay stagnant and most likely my mental health will decline. My outer world mirrors my inner world. So, if my mental health is declining, then my physical life will also be a shit show.
And frankly, I was sick of my own shit.
I wanted a better life. I had been through enough hard stuff. I didn’t want to keep experiencing a hard life. I was grateful that I was finally facing my trauma, but I knew that left me vulnerable to feeling a lot of pain. If I did not have the support in continuously learning how to work through the pain it would have just stayed stuck inside.
I had a few breakdowns when I was in the process of finding a therapist. I remember when I had finally found one, I had to actually call them to schedule the first session, and I cried before I made the call. It is tremendously difficult to contact a stranger in your most vulnerable moments. To then sit in front of them and share the deepest parts of you! It takes a lot of courage.
During my first session I word vomited the entire time!
I was anxious, had so much to say, and I was trying to take control over the session. I came in telling my therapist that I had 4 main issues affecting my life that I wanted to work on, which I gave her a back story on all of them. I literally don’t remember if she got a word in. It’s quite comical looking back on it now. After that first session though, I immediately felt relief. I could feel that I was about to make an immense amount of progress that would lead to me permanently changing my life.
If you are curious about finding a therapist but are feeling hesitant, just know that your feelings are valid! It can feel like an intimidating process, especially if this is something you have never done before. Even though I was studying to become an Art Therapist, I experienced all the feelings too when I was a first-time client. But I want you to know that you can do it!
I no longer have shame when it comes to having my own therapist. I talk about it freely all the time. I saw that first therapist of mine every week for about 8 months. Then I found a new therapist that I have been seeing weekly now for 4 months. I will always need help, and having an outside perspective helps me get further along in my healing journey.
When we see the light in ourselves, we create light in others.