My therapeutic journey

In my last post I shared the story of my decision to start therapy. When I began, I assumed therapy would be a short phase, but quickly I realized it was the beginning of a long journey, one that may or may not end. 

I saw my counselor on a regular basis throughout my teenage years. I learned a lot. I overcame a lot. I learned to deal with stress and anxiety in a healthy way. 

However, one summer in high school, I was overcome with feelings of loneliness and sadness while at a church youth group camp out, despite the fact that I surrounded by amazing friends there. My mom was at this particular event because she was a youth leader at the time. One afternoon, we took a walk together a ways away from the activities. I talked to her about my feelings. I felt like I was failing at therapy. She said perhaps I wasn’t failing, but that maybe there was a chemical thing going on. Her inspired advice guided me to the next step in emotional health. 

We talked to my therapist about it at my next appointment, and pretty soon I began medication. 

I remember the first day I started feeling the effects of my medication. I baked 3 pies that day. 

Fast forward a couple years and I was off to college. My therapist promising he was just a Skype call away when I needed it, but there were no plans for regular therapy. 

I did ok for awhile, things were hard sometimes like they always are, but my coping skills and medicine helped me overcome whatever came my way. I realized the importance of my medication  in regulating my mood so well that I even sacrificed for it (but that’s a story for another day). 

Fast forward some more, and I was married, I hadn’t needed to talk to my therapist in a long time, and I was handling things great. 

When I got pregnant however, my medicine became an issue. My baby’s health was NOT something I was willing to risk, so I made the decision to ease of my meds. And thankfully it went oh so smoothly. My doctor said I could try a safer medicine after I got off the other one, but I felt fine! (Besides the constant neusea of course). 

Then I had my baby. And that one is another story, that perhaps I will share someday, but not today. 

The result of delivering my baby was the oh so common post-partum depression, but also a less common post-partum diagnosis of PTSD. 

Of course, I didn’t know that at first. I started medication for the depression, but didn’t see a counselor or anything. (Medication should always be coupled with counseling, especially at first!!) I soon sunk into a world of compulsive behaviors, obsessive thought, and severe anxiety attacks. My husband noted that I was acting like a completely different person. 

Enter again: therapy. 

My dear wonderful bishop helped find me a great therapist, who diagnosed me with the PTSD and quickly taught me new coping skills. PTSD was something I had never dealt with before, so the skills I used for anxiety were not as effective. The new skills I learned had almost immediate results, and I re-discovered the importance and value of therapy. 

So yes, even today I am seeing a therapist. The compulsions have stopped, my depression is managed, and it’s been a pretty long time since I had an anxiety attack, but I continue to see her because I understand how valuable those sessions are. 

Therapy is not just for PTSD. It’s for regular, everyday, life stuff. 

No, I don’t think I’ll need to see a therapist constantly throughout my life. But, while I am seeing one, I will not be ashamed. Instead I will share the blessing of learning life skills with those around me, because it has helped me feel confidant about DOING life! Not just living, but doing. 

Ok, well that’s my two-part shout out to phsycology. Now I’ll get off the soap box and start talking about more interesting things 🙂 

One thought on “My therapeutic journey

  1. This is so inspiring! Heavenly Father blessed us with these resources and we shouldn’t be ashamed or embrassed to use them. It breaks my heart to see people struggle because they are afraid of what others will think of them. I am so glad you are taking care of YOU. Thank you for being so willing to share something so personal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.