Let’s talk about therapy for a minute
Therapy is awful. It makes me so uncomfortable every damn week I go and I can barely look at my therapist for most sessions
It’s also the best thing that’s ever happened to me, in no small part because it’s forced me to confront the fact that having low self-esteem isn’t just a buzzword but it has actual consequences. Here are some:
- when I was a child I had eight of my teeth pulled out under anaesthesia. I’d developed an infection and they’d basically rotted in my head, because I didn’t want to bother anyone with my toothache. For six months.
- My dad loves me so much that he’s gone to court for the right to be in my life, accepted my anger and confusion after I lost him for a while and actively rebuilt a relationship with me when he had every reason not to. I’m so incapable of trusting or even understanding that kind of love that I’m actually uncomfortable around him sometimes. My dad.
- I avoid meeting my own gaze in mirrors. I’ve never bought one, and the one currently in my room is covered. I don’t ever remember enjoying looking in a mirror.
- I avoided going to the doctor when a pain in my leg wouldn’t go away. I ended up having surgery on my spine as result.
-I avoided going to the doctor when I had a chest infection. My housemate ended up taking me to A&E because I couldn’t stop coughing long enough to breathe.
- I avoided going to the doctor when…you know what, let’s just say that low self-esteem means I don’t feel like i deserve medical care and move on, shall we? I don’t have all night.
- Last week in therapy I had to write down a list of positive things about myself and I nearly had a panic attack and ran out of the room. I’m literally afraid of being kind to myself (although to be fair that one is mostly due to some lingering survival instincts from an abusive situation)
- then there’s the ever-present and nagging feeling that my entire existence, up to and including writing this very post, is at best a tolerable inconvenience and at worst a downright burden. Let’s all take a minute to follow the ‘logical’ train of thought when you dislike yourself that much and are convinced other people don’t want you to exist in the first place
Here’s why therapy is amazing. I still believe, on a fundamental level, that I have no worth as a person, but every week my therapist makes me confront that belief and helps me see that it isn’t actually true. It will be the work of years to make it stop feeling true, but the fact that I can look that far ahead, can imagine a time when I actually like myself, can want to get to that place, that’s nothing short of a miracle. For those of you who know what happened last year, you’ll probably know that I don’t have the best track record when dealing with this stuff.
Therapy makes me feel like I can. Therapy let me open up to people, become vulnerable, and all I’ve received in return is love. The kind that makes me think maybe that twisted little voice in my head is fucking liar, and I should listen to the people I love instead. That maybe they really do love me back.
(TL;DR: THERAPY IS AWESOME, EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE IT)