Look, can I be real with you? I have more issues than tissues, honey. I am willing to bet that many of you reading this have the same amount of issues. If you are saying, “Nah girl…I’m good,” then you are probably the one with the most issues but you can live in denial if you’d like, I am still going to send love your way. :) No matter what your current mental state is, there is no denying that life can be hard – extremely difficult; and sometimes, it is nice to just let your emotions flow out of you with a trusted, unbiased listening ear. We go to the doctor’s office when we have physical pain so why not go to a therapist when we have emotional pain? It’s the same thing. Granted, you can dive into your spirituality and work through your pain to a degree but some good old-fashioned talks on a comfy couch can help you get to the meat and potatoes of your issues, allowing you to gain a greater perspective and see yourself through a clearer lens. How do I know all of this? Well, I have gone to therapy off and on for about 7 years and I plan on going back soon because just like the body, the mind needs a check up every now and again too. Plus, didn’t you read the first two sentences!?
Basically, I just need a therapist to tell me…
And it may take a few years for me to actually listen and calm down and that’s okay because making serious changes in one’s life usually take years. So why such a healthy decision is considered taboo in so many circles, especially in the African-American community? Well, fear basically. We may not want to admit this but many of us are afraid of how others perceive us. The words “crazy” and “unstable” seem to be the implied judgment when therapy is brought up. Fortunately, we are evolving from this mindset slowly but the implication is still there for many, leaving a residue of shame that is sometimes very strenuous to clean up from our messy thoughts. Additionally, some of us may avoid therapy because we may feel we are not honoring our faith by entrusting another human being to “fix” our issues instead of God, which, again, is born out of fear. Honestly, it would actually be crazy not to seek help when having difficulties in life; and in therapy, we are really helping ourselves with our own issues. The therapist is there to simply offer gentle guidance when needed and to help us view our circumstances a little clearer if we are a little cloudy at times. There is no one trying to replace God in any given moment during a session. Going to therapy is a great sign that a person is trying to live a balanced life, trying to learn how to deal with their issues in a healthier manner and trying to love oneself. Therapy is just one of the many tools we can use to heal. So let’s take the stigma out of therapy and be proactive in the betterment of our lives!
So now, I am curious. Do you have more issues than tissues? Have you gone to therapy or do you plan on going to therapy? Let’s talk about it!