I have been struggling with myself for quite some time now. My life is all I ever wanted it to be at 25: I have a great job that not only pays bills, but allows me to do what I love doing; I get to spend a lot of time with my family which is brilliant; I have a small, but tight and cozy circle of friends who love and adore me and have proved their love time and again in the past years. In short, I have everything one could ask for. Then why do I think I need a therapist, that I need help?
So over the past few months, I have come to realize that there are a lot of things about me that I don’t really like. It’s not that I think these qualities are deplorable; it is just that I think they aren’t me, and that they are keeping me from being the real person that I am. One of them is my habit of constantly worrying. I have anxiety, so that should explain it. But I do nothing to help myself out of it. I find it difficult to live in the moment, ruminating constantly about what was and what might be. This, in turn, hardens my fears, gives them a shape, and in a way, makes them truer in my mind. And soon I cannot tell what’s real and what’s my imagination. The reality distorts, which further pushes me toward being more anxious.
Finally, last week, I decided that I have had enough with myself, and that I should help myself by seeking help from someone else, someone who was qualified to help. To come to this decision, I asked myself a few questions. I am sharing them with you today hoping that they might help you in case you were going through something similar.
Questions to ask yourself if you are considering seeing a therapist
- Can my life be called healthy?
The first question that I asked myself is the most obvious one: On a scale of one to ten, how healthy is my life? The answer shocked me. I started considering the reasons behind this, and that’s when I realized my emotions and my habit of reacting to everything were the prime causes why I felt I was leading an unhealthy life. I started noticing repetition of patterns that I just couldn’t let go of, which would every single time leave me more hurt and exhausted.
- Is self-love an issue for me?
Self-love, everybody has been floating this concept lately, and kudos to them for doing that, but why is it a foreign idea to me? Why do I consider self-love a kinder way of terming complacency? While I initially chuckled at that thought, I began recognizing how that’s where the problem lay. My focus is entirely consumed by my unhappiness at various qualities that I dislike about myself. I am one of the kindest persons to my friends and my colleagues, constantly motivating them in every way possible, hearing them out, helping them with ideas and experiences of my own, why then am I so ruthless to myself? Is it guilt, shame, or mere perfectionism? Whatever be it, it is not helping me!
- My anxiety, how serious is it?
Anxiety, in my case, is associated with my love life. I recently went through a breakup. I was dating a beautiful brilliant person for three long years. That’s the longest I have dated someone. It meant something precious to me, it meant something precious to him too. But we grew apart. It happens. And to be honest, I don’t blame myself for ending things. Though I am very grateful to him for accepting my decision with grace. But things ended, and that meant the beginning of something new. Now if you are an anxious bum like me, I am sure that very sentence “beginning of something new” sent a shiver down your spine! So yes, there I was at the starting line all over again, and kind of lost my shit. Though I must admit that it took me a while to realize that.
- Am I overworked?
I have been working for three and half years now, and I am pretty much what they call a workaholic. Not just that. I derive my self-worth from my productivity, but that is a whole different shitty aspect, which we will come to later. My work is my world. I have been mean to people wo have come between my work and me, and the person who has had to deal with the worst was myself. I wouldn’t let myself take leaves or rest, in fact there was a time I told my ex that “I wasn’t allowed to be tired”, which he thought was sexy, and I proudly agreed. Cut to 2019, I think I may have overdone it. So yep.
- Do I use my work as a shield against actually tackling my issues?
I work, I work, and get exhausted, and drop dead at the end of the day. That to me was the idea of success and achievement for a long time. But then, when I asked myself this question, it finally occurred to me that all this was a way of avoiding my emotions. I had become a textbook example of living in denial. I have been meditating for quite some time now, and while meditating I have come across emotions that I had buried deep within me for a long time. Through meditation these feelings have found a way to come up to the surface, but since I don’t have a therapist, I don’t know how to resolve them or how to accept them and move on.
- Do I want to improve my relationships?
We take our relationships for granted, and when we are suffering from bad mental health, our relationships suffer even badly. I am angry all the time, I get irritated with everyone around me, I lose my shit at the drop of a hat. All this should mean something, right? I am not saying that these emotions are invalid. But you need to know how to go through them and then get out of them. These cannot be your forever states. And who better than a therapist to tell you how to go about that!
I asked myself these questions, and now I am pretty clear about what I need to do. I hope these help you too, and if the answers suggest to you that you should consult a therapist, please do go for it. You are important, and you deserve a beautiful life.
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