When ev started going to therapy about a year and a half ago, I was proud of her. She realized she needed help and we got it for her. Then the coolest thing started happening, slowly but surely, the ev I fell in love with was back in my life. I had really missed her bubbly self, her laugh, her smile, her positivity – everything, but it was like magic seeing it all start reappearing right in front of me. I owe this to her hard work in (and out of) therapy.
Despite ev's progress, I didn't think I needed therapy. I had grown up in therapy and was of the mindset I had all the tools and skills I needed to deal with life. Well, newsflash, I was wrong. As it turns out, the tools and skills you need to navigate through life as you get older, as your environments change, as your relationships change also need to change and evolve. Who would have thunk it?
Once I had my big revelation, I agreed to let ev help me find a therapist of my own. We did a bunch of research but ultimately went with someone her therapist recommended for me. Her name is Sara and she's awesome!
When I started therapy at the end of December 2020 I feel like it's safe to say I was completely different person – but not necessarily in the way you would think. The best way I can equate what I'm trying to get at is to think of having a bunch of dots floating around your head at all times but you're unable to let them settle so you can actually connect them. That's what therapy has done for me. It's enabled me or given me the tools to be able to connect the dots better.
How has therapy helped me?
Well, for starters, personally it's made me a better husband. For example, in the past, I knew when ev came to me with a certain look in her eyes and on her face there was something on her mind, but what I didn't know was how to be there for her in those times. Now, we have a new tool: Fix or Vent. Fix or Vent is what I say to her right as she's approaching me with that look, this allows me to know how to best be there for her. Does she just need to get something off her chest and feel validated or is she looking for a solution to the problem?
This is an important distinction as it effects a couple things: a) what I need to listen for and b) the kind of support I need to provide. Knowing how I can best serve her is so helpful!
Going to therapy has also made me a better communicator. Being a better communicator is extremely helpful, for ev but also just for myself. I'm able to better communicate my thoughts, needs, and feelings.
It's also made it easier to separate my feelings from ev's (which has been a problem in the past). I get so upset when I see she's upset it can sometimes be counterproductive to getting her the help she needs in that moment. Through therapy I'm working on that and have been finding success. I realize how she feels doesn't have to necessarily impact how I personally feel. That was a big thing for me.
As for professionally, therapy (and Clubhouse – but we'll talk about Clubhouse in another post) has completely changed my life. I think these two screenshots are the perfect illustrations of that. The first screenshot is of my calendar in early December 2020. The second is a screenshot of my calendar from March 2021.
Everyone needs therapy
I truly believe everyone should be able to have their own therapist. It's life-changing. If there was one thing I'd like you to know about therapy it's that every session is different and the sessions where you feel like you have nothing to say going into it are always some of the best ones. That and, the beautiful thing about therapy is that you can talk about whatever you like – it's your time/session. Sometimes I just talk about my week and what I did and how I feel about it. Other times I dive a bit deeper.
Regardless of what I talk about though, I always feel lighter after it and for me, that makes it so worthwhile.