A year ago, when I was just getting started in therapy, a therapy veteran friend told me she was excited for me.
“Excited? About me being in therapy?” I thought. What a weird thing to say. I thought being in therapy meant I was a mess. A failure. Clearly I needed help. I told my therapist as much at one of our early sessions. Why do you think this makes you a failure, she asked me. How can you fail at something you never learned how to do? My attitude changed when I started thinking of it more like a class. A class I could do really well in.
If we’re good friends, I’ve probably recommended therapy to you in the last year. Yes, you! If you’ve never been, I think you’d learn a lot about yourself. A friend of mine decided to give it a go. She had an initial call with the therapist yesterday, and told me a little about it today.
And I told her I’m excited for her. Doesn’t seem like such a strange thing to say anymore.
She mentioned that she’s looking forward to being stronger within herself. She said she’s noticed that her friends who have been to therapy have a way of communicating, giving advice and seeing the world that’s just different from those not initiated to the club. She wants a piece of that herself.
One of the side effects of getting healthy and strong in yourself is noticing when others aren’t. I don’t mean that in an unkind way. It’s just one of those things that’s easier to see in other people than in yourself.
For example, when I ask someone what they want for dinner, and they can’t decide, I have to wonder what else they aren’t going to be able to decide in life. And, if someone’s schedule is so filled up that he or she never have a minute to stop and think, what are they avoiding? What thoughts are being kept out of the conscious?
My friend then asked if I feel like a different person. No. I feel like a better version of me. All the things I wanted to be and do suddenly seem more obtainable. I’m walking around with my eyes wide open now. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.