This post is a little different than my usual posts. Instead of providing you with resources or giving advice, I wanted to get personal and share my own experience and feelings.
While my main focus is always to help you grow and succeed, I think it's important to be honest and open about my own experiences so you can get to know me more and see how I live. How can you trust someone you're learning from if they don't share themselves?
So, thank you for listening to my experience.
When I was 19, I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). I have plans to share more about my journey with OCD, but for the sake of this post, I'll keep it brief. Essentially, I am a hand-washer, and while I am in recovery and rarely have compulsions to wash my hands, I still have obsessions over germs and exposure. I started therapy upon realizing that I probably had OCD after some personal traumas that occurred at 19. I attended therapy for several years, starting with weekly sessions, then bi-weekly, then monthly, then phasing it out. I've started back up, then terminated it again, twice possibly (I can't remember).
Life has been busy and at times stressful, but overall, it's good.
But now, I am working full-time, attending graduate school full-time, I have friendships and a relationship I love to give energy to, I have a household to maintain, still keeping my OCD under control, plus all the additional life things like wanting to eat healthy, get adequate exercise, have time for personal hobbies, and truthfully, it's become a lot. I'm also dealing with a lot of feelings of inadequacy, guilt, loneliness, and burnout. I'm making mistakes at work, I'm struggling to stay focused in school, I can't keep up with my household chores, and I'm starting to really feel the effects of burnout. Now, before you go on and say, what does she have to been stressed about? I know that I have a good life and I am privileged, but, as with anyone of us, our feelings are valid. My feelings are valid. And to be the person I want to be, I need to go back to therapy.
Unfortunately, my first (and only) therapist will be retiring soon and I decided to find a new one. I have bittersweet feelings about this change. My previous therapist is amazing and frankly, she saved my life.I'm sad to have to find a new one, but at the same time, I'm excited to start with someone new, who can help me in new ways and be someone for this season of life.
But overall, regardless of who the therapist is, starting therapy is scary. Therapy causes us to reveal (intentionally and unintentionally) pieces of ourselves that we may not like. It forces us into uncomfortable zones and to use that uncomfortableness to facilitate change. It's easy to stay in our comfort zones and never evolve, but that's so boring and what good can never changing do? For me, it's no good. If I'm not learning, evaluating, and changing, I'm not living my life the way I should.
So, even though therapy can be uncomfortable and starting over with a new therapist intimidates me, I'm doing it! For my relationships, for work, for my future career, for my future clients, for you all, and ultimately, for myself.