Here’s why I started therapy

It’s no secret that a lot of people have been struggling with their mental health during lockdown – myself among them. Although I’ve always had anxious tendencies, my anxiety levels reached new heights and along with it came extreme irritability. I realised that living in this pressure cooker situation was triggering a lot of issues I had from unresolved experiences in my past – most of which were from childhood. So what did I do? I took the plunge and started something that I had avoided for so long – I started therapy.

Trying to keep it all together – but falling apart

At one point, hand on heart – I didn’t really recognise myself. Trying to keep it all together during lockdown and off the back of the horrific circumstances in which my mum’s one partner had died of cancer at the beginning of the pandemic.

Plus there was my prolonged staph skin infection which got so bad I ended up on an IV drip in A&E. All of which meant that I felt like I was fighting one battle after another. I had pushed myself and my partner Mr C to the brink and I had to find a way to claw myself back for all of our sakes.

All that unresolved crap from the past

What I didn’t realise is that I was bringing all my unresolved crap with me to all of this. Every single response to every single event was fuelled by the fire of my childhood misgivings, and it was utterly exhausting.

While trying to keep our household, homeschooling, my mum and myself together, I was tipping myself closer to emotional calamity. With no outlet, at one point I remember being in the shower feeling like my head was buzzing on the brink of insanity – there was just too much to process, and I couldn’t do it any longer without some kind of outlet, and some kind of help.

And then I started therapy

I found an incredible therapist on Harley Therapy who I now have a two-hour session with every fortnight. We deal with whatever has been bothering me since our last session (such an amazing outlet!), and helps me to process all of those unprocessed things (mainly from my childhood) which are sneakily then causing me problems in scenarios and relationships in the present.

Here’s the thing about therapy – it can feel a bit insulting when someone suggests you need therapy. I remember Mr C suggesting it to me a few years ago when I was in a bad spot, and I was absolutely horrified. But when you realise it yourself, and you finally take the plunge and it becomes a different beast altogether.

I’m not saying my therapy sessions are a bed of roses – they are hard work and there is sometimes a lot of crying involved as I deal with things from my past. But as a result of having started therapy and having a dedicated space to deal with my issues past and present, I feel less overwhelmed and exhausted, almost never irritated and have the tools to deal with my anxiety when I feel it dialing up. I am undoubtedly a better person, partner, mother and daughter for it.

My experience of Emotional Freedom Technique

I know some people may have tried therapy and said that it didn’t work. What I would say is that there are so many different types of therapies and it’s about finding the one that is right for you. My sessions with my therapist are largely based on EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique – as I already knew I had a lot of blockages I needed to remove.

Emotional Freedom Technique is known to be really useful for anxiety. Essentially it is an alternative treatment for emotional distress. People who use this technique believe tapping the body can create a balance in your energy system and treat pain. What I love about it is that as well as my therapy sessions being based around it, I’ve now learnt to use it whenever I feel my anxieties creeping up on me, and by golly does it work!

If you’re interested to find out more about EFT then watch this video here:

A better person

I’ve now had about four two hour sessions with my therapist and can honestly say it’s one of the best steps I’ve ever taken. Sure, it took me to get pretty close to the edge to take the plunge, but I now feel so much calmer all day every day, because I’m not dragging around all those unresolved issues with me everywhere.

So I want to say this to you: most of our issues come from our childhood in some way or another. Your parents probably didn’t mean to screw you up, but maybe somehow inadvertently they did.

Maybe you’re reading this thinking it’s time you took a look at the things from your past which might be making you act in ways you don’t really like sometimes. Maybe you flip out sometimes at ridiculous things and have no idea why that is. Or maybe you are scared crapless at the idea of going for therapy thinking it will be a can of worms.

Now more than ever, with the shadow of uncertainty of Covid hanging over us constantly, is the time to invest in yourself. Time to let go of your pride, and release those blockages.

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14 comments

  1. Such an honest and open post about anxiety and mental health. I have recently just started professional help “CBT Therapy” for my health anxiety. With COVID-19 its been through the roof. Opening up sometimes can be really hard and it gets between me and my family. It’s great to see more and more people opening up on mental health, hopefully it won’t be such a taboo subject soon.
    Great work and thanks!

  2. I’ve always used art and mediation as an outlet because my soul is an introvert. Visual journaling and painting worked to help me keep my mental space in order, confront very real issues from my own past and present and to identify my weaknesses. I am literally a totally different person. All the best to you!

  3. There have been some really difficult times lately. Thank you for your openness. I hope the stigma around therapy goes away soon, because it is very important for people to be honest with themselves without feeling ashamed.

  4. I started therapy about a year ago – best thing I ever did, just being able to talk everything through without someone judging, giving an opinion or telling me what to do really helped me make sense of what was going on. All the best to you xx

  5. I love this post, it was so honest and totally relatable. When people say ‘ You need therapy’, it sounds like they are saying you’re not good enough, something intangible is wrong with you, but I have realised that therapy is legit for the mind and emotions and there is no shame in releasing the stressors and allowing your whole life to be amazing. Mental health is so necessary and I hope more people see the value of it too.

  6. I was just saying to my husband that I wondered how many people have begun seeing (or tele-seeing) a therapist during quarantine? I imagine the numbers have soared!

  7. Therapy is something I’ve considered for a while now. It’s important to talk and release the tensions and anxieties building up. Good for you for taking the first step and starting!

  8. I’ve been wanting to go back. It’s been over 10 years and I feel this is something most of us need pretty regularly! Thanks for sharing!

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