Honesty. As a child, we are taught that being honest is one of the most important things we can be. But what is honesty? For me, it’s being open about my experiences and sharing my stories as truthfully as I can.
Learning to be open and honest is hard work. This month, I finished up counselling, after spending a year working with the same therapist on my anxiety and low mood. During that year, I opened myself up like I never had before.
You see, starting off, I didn’t want to get better. I was so very tired and had accepted that I would have to spend the rest of my life an anxious mess. I was too afraid to even try to get better. I’m not going to lie and say that one day I had a massive revelation, saw the beauty in life, and suddenly I wanted to recover. Life doesn’t normally work like that. In the beginning, I rejected the counselling, refusing to see the benefit of it. Unfortunately, the thing about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT for short, the most common way counsellors aim to deal with Anxiety Disorder) is that you have to work on it. I didn’t. Eventually, after months of work, of talking and crying and compromise, I slowly began to accept the help I was being given.
Because getting better is a process.
There is no magic wand you can twirl or perfect quote you can say that will miraculously cure someone with a mental health disorder. I said that I had spent a year with the same counsellor. Before that, two years with another. Neither of them gave up on me, even when I had given up on myself.
It’s a long, arduous process. Counselling means letting go of what you believed about yourself before, and trusting the therapy to work. Now, after a year of letting go and finding myself, I can safely say that I am a different person because of it. A happier person. A less anxious person.
So, if you’re reading this and are considering going to talk to someone, I will advise you to give it time. Believe in yourself, in your amazing ability to heal. Trust the process, and, most importantly: