Tomorrow will be one year since I started going to therapy. My original reasons for going were my inability to focus and my barriers to losing weight. While I didn’t admit it to myself, I also needed (still need) help dealing with my dad’s passing and the emotional barriers I’ve constructed over the years. What have I learned in the last year? A lot. And not near enough.
Lack of Focus:
In May my therapist diagnosed me with Adult ADD. I started medication in June and it has made a world of difference. The first day on the drugs I felt like a fog had been lifted. I could actually think and multi-task again.
I’m learning a lot about some of the side effects of ADD, and I’m working to develop some coping mechanisms to help me accomplish more and achieve some personal, professional, and family goals.
Breaking Down the Walls:
One of the biggest changes I’ve noticed is how much more emotional I am now. All my life I constructed this wall around myself. I felt like that’s what I needed to do to be the “strong” person everyone expected me to be.
Therapy has taught me that it is okay to feel. That all of the emotions are good. If you are sad, embrace the sadness. Once I acknowledge those “bad” emotions and allow myself to feel them they pass so much quicker and lose some of their power over me.
The side effect of embracing all of these emotions is that they are so much closer to the surface. Before I was hardly ever sentimental. Now? I can cry at the drop of a hat. Or a really good Procter and Gamble Olympic moms commercial.
With all of these internal walls falling I’ve also had to acknowledge that grief is permanent. It changes and manifests in different ways, but it is always there. I will always miss my dad. I will always be sad he is gone. Some days that missing will be so powerful and sharp it will bring me to my knees. Others it will be like an old friend come to visit and just sit with me awhile.
Above all, it is here to stay, and acting like it has passed or “I shouldn’t feel this way” will not make it disappear. But acknowledging it and accepting it is part of me helps the bad days pass a little faster.
The weighty issue:
I don’t know. What can I say? We can’t fix everything in a year. This is something we are still working on. I do know that I have to learn to love and accept myself for who I am. I have to learn to not be so mean to me. I’m working on it.
I feel like therapy has been an extremely positive experience. I’ve learned a lot about myself, and I realize I have a lot more to learn. I plan to continue going and hopefully after another year I will be an even better, wiser me.