Mental health is essential to your overall functioning. It impacts your thoughts, behaviors, and your capacity to cope in life. While my motivation for starting therapy was my needing an outlet as I tried to adjust to life without my dad; I actually felt the need for therapy many years prior to my dad even falling ill. My initial thoughts of needing therapy started approximately 12 years ago when I found myself exhibiting behaviors that were self-destructive. I was very aggressive with people, noting it as being competitive or passionate. I had a nonchalant attitude about life and was sometimes very inconsiderate of people’s feelings and/or their efforts. I was struggling to deal with my own sanity and I began to become frightened of the impact my emotional stability would have on my son. So, I kept saying, “I’m going to find a therapist. I’m going to sit on somebody’s couch.” But I never did. Internally I made the decision I was going to pray my worries away. All I needed was God and time.
Over the last few years, God has really shown me his sense of humor. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and he will make your paths straight.” In trusting I started doing daily devotions, at least twice a day, which consisted of reading and analyzing scripture followed by prayer . I took on the role of facilitating Sunday School classes, taught a couple of Vacation Bible School classes, and I starting paying my tithes consistently. In seeking and trusting Him, He set me on a path, straight to a therapist. Sitting in therapy, God has forced me to become honest with myself. I always understood the idea of Him knowing my truth but it didn’t stop me from dressing up a lie for myself or the world.
My parents put a lot of emphasis on being neat. While we didn’t spend large sums of money on clothes and shoes, we could have still been placed in the category of “best dressed” at all times. We were clean , matching and our hair was always in tact. As I grew older, my appearance became a part of my facade. I always looked like I had it together and I played the role of having it together all too well. During my teenage years when my self esteem started to falter due to the various phases of life that all teenagers experience, I continued to hold on to what my parents taught me about presentation. It was the easiest way to dress my life up, I mean my dress my lies up. I lived in the neighborhood of falsehood for many years. I am so relieved to have allowed my therapist to help me unmask. My trauma has molded me but I will never let it define who I am to become. Therapy has given me the freedom to release my own truth and become greater than I ever imagined.