The best thing I ever did for myself besides marry a guy who loves me was take myself to a psychotherapist to sort myself out.

In 2003 my house flooded badly because we never changed the washing machine hoses and they burst one night while we slept.  I stepped into a lake the next morning as I came down the steps.  The same week as I stood around the carnage of my home, torn up and dismantled for repair, attempting to feed my three kids in a house that didn’t work, I learned that my sister was terminally ill and I would be witnessing her go too soon.

I was so upset, so distraught with life, so unsure of what to do and especially what to do with all the emotions that burst out of me at odd hours, just too much to contain really I guess, that I helped myself.  The best thing I did was take myself, with no apologies to anyone, to see my psychotherapist.  I went every week until I felt I could face the problems of being.  There in her office I found a place where no one else in the world knew of my pain or my anger with what had happened and I could express it and forgive it and take action that was meaningful.

In other words I found a way to cope by taking myself to a professional listener who was obliged by law to keep my secrets and show compassion.  Not that others wouldn’t do that for me, but under the circumstances I needed an extra dose of nice, insightful, and learned folks who could actually help me solve my problems that were unsolvable, and they were not there amongst the insurance guys and doctors and family.  I gave myself this present because I was fairly desperate and I had little to go on to fix at least one of my problems.  In time, the house was repaired of course, but my sister never came back and that in itself was worth the time I spent with the therapist. Each day that I sat in the therapist’s office and granted myself permission to feel the actual misery of life, somehow provided me with another six days where I could hold it together until I returned.  In due time I didn’t need to go any more, but it held me up when I needed it.

I used to hide the fact that I did and still do psychotherapy because of the social stigma but now I see that it is something I am so confident about, the opportunity to take time to examine myself and my motives and learn more about me as a human and what I can do with my emotions, that I cannot ignore the obvious chance to tell you about its usefulness.  Being open to having my feelings and questioning myself about what exists in my life has been a life saver.