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My Therapy Journey

Although the journey is long and treacherous, I’ve made progress…

Vibe Song:

Up until recently, I’ve never felt like I’ve had great luck with therapy. Recently my therapy journey has been fantastic with lots of growth and perspective shifts. Many of those perspective shifts were basically inverting the typical solution. Something that seems so obvious looking back but wasn’t until the revelation. Especially with the hindsight of how much progress.

Examining the “inverting the typical solution,” it means that the solution to the issue I’m having is to not tackle that issue. For example, I’ve always been a workaholic, when I’m not working my normal job, I’m working on side project(s). This leaves me with very little me time. The solution that’s been suggested to me many times is to schedule when I work on my side projects. The implication being the remaining time would be for me. However, my brain doesn’t work like that.

When my brain gets stuck on something, I need to work on it, there is no stopping me. During Thanksgiving break I worked on a side project for 14 hours a day. Yeah. Not cool. So the solution that worked better for me was to explicitly schedule me time. This scheduled time was for me do whatever I’ve been wanting to do that isn’t work related, or work adjacent. And it’s been working pretty damn well!

Whenever I would talk about issues in therapy, we would focus on the issue and try to tackle it head on. I always knew this wasn’t a helpful tactic but I didn’t know what to suggest in it’s place. For me, trying to tackle one specific scenario isn’t useful because then I only know how to fix that scenario. I need more general tools!

I like to think about the underlying problems to any scenario. Going back to the working scenario, the problem that is heard is that I’m working too much. So the obvious solution is to create a schedule that limits how much I work. The underlying problem is that I’m not making time for other things I want to do. I’m staying in my comfort zone of work because that’s all I know.

Again, this feels obvious in hindsight but it really isn’t during therapy. Another example is that I had trouble maintaining a healthy work/life balance. I thought I could turn off my brain after work but I couldn’t. The solution was to remove all work related communications from my phone and personal computer. My work computer was the only way to talk to me and that helped immensely. Having a therapist that helps me come to these realizations and solutions is really satisfying.

For instance, today I was talking with my therapist about a recent depressive episode I had and we had an important realization. I get caught up in how my life is now that I forget to look back and see how much progress I’ve made. Yeah my life has peaks and valleys and I feel like I’m currently in a valley, but looking back I can see the previous peaks. And each peak I see is taller than the last!

I’ve made a lot of progress on asserting my needs and wants and showing up for myself, instead of people pleasing. I have better skills for creating a healthy work/life balance. I’m working on creating boundaries that protect myself instead of letting others drain all of my energy. And redefining what relationships look like to me and creating more of a spectrum to allow for different kinds of connections.

Heck even starting this blog is a huge step for me. I’ve always wanted to get into writing but I would talk myself out of it because who would want to listen/read what I have to say. Now I don’t really care if anyone reads this blog. Yeah, I’m sharing the blog and putting it out there to be read. But I’m not basing my value and self-worth based on who or how many read it.

I’m just putting my story out there in case someone relates to what I have to say. And I hope it has a positive impact. To me, that’s progress.


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