Back in June 2020 I was inspired to write a blog post ‘What Therapy Has Taught Me’, so here I am with a part 2. There’s no doubt that in going to therapy you learn a lot about yourself and how to communicate and navigate relationships with others around you. I wanted to share a few more things that I’ve learned throughout my time in therapy and things that I am working on.
You don’t have to respond to someone right away. You don’t need to be the person who texts back immediately (I used to think I had to be). Think, breathe, and then respond when you are ready. If you’re not in a good place emotionally and mentally, take some to self-care and come back to the message when you are ready.
When people show you who they are, believe them. This one is kind of self-explanatory but it’s so true. Fighting for relationships with people who don’t put in the effort to fight back, aren’t worth your time or energy. You can peacefully and respectfully set boundaries with that person.
Not all relationships will look the same. Going back to my last point of setting boundaries – evaluate your relationships with others. What category do they fall under? Are they your best friend or are they someone you discuss reality TV drama with? It’s okay not to have 20 best friends!
A support system is so important. Whether it be blood relatives or your chosen family, a support system is necessary. Think about your core people who validate your feelings, support, and love you. As hard as it is to say sometimes, we need each other.
Make yourself a priority. Take some time to learn more about yourself. Learn your love language, your communication style, your attachment style, etc. Once you get to know more about yourself – the things you admire and the things you want to work, your relationship with others will start to make more sense. Take the time you need to focus on self-growth – read books, journal, meditate, go for walks, or whatever it is that you do to connect with yourself.
Trauma is trauma, it’s all valid. No one’s trauma is more or less important than another’s. Remember that what you’ve been through is unique to you, try not to compare yourself to others.
Being uncomfortable sucks, but that’s when you start to see change and growth. There’s a quote that says “Great things never came from comfort zones.” When you feel uncomfortable, that means you’re challenging yourself and growing from it. Setting boundaries, saying no, not texting back right away, etc. are all uncomfortable things if you’re not used to doing them. Focus on the growth and progress you’re making when you’re feeling uncomfortable.
You have survived your worst days. Shit is hard, but you will get through it just like you always have. Seek support from your support system, therapist, or other professional if you need. You’re not weak if you ask for help. Help can even look like asking for a hug from someone or asking them to hold space and listen to you.
Give yourself grace. Working on yourself, doing self-reflection, self-growth work, and boundary setting is A LOT. Give yourself a pat on the back. You’re human, you’re going to make mistakes. If you mess up, know that it’s okay and try to move on from it. If you don’t stick to a boundary one day, recognize it and learn for next time.
Some resources for mental health and how to seek help are below:
- If you are looking for a therapist, you can check your insurance provider’s website for options. You can also ask your primary care provider to give you a referral.