I just got out of one of the best counseling sessions to date. I am feeling so many things so I’ve decided to write to express myself on here.
I sought out counseling through my university back in November of 2014. It was the end of the semester and I was going through a lot and I was encouraged to seek counseling. I officially started therapy in January of 2015 and it has been one of the best and most positive experiences of my life.
Despite the fact that I want to go into counseling/therapy as a profession, I was always weary of seeking help for myself. I’ve been through a lot in my life and I always thought of myself as a lost cause. I never wanted to seek help and open up my can of worms – I was terrified of going back to the scary and horrifying parts of my life. I was scared of what I’d learn about myself.
After about 12 sessions, I have come so far. Counseling has been so difficult, in the most amazing way. I’ve been pushed to talk about things I have hidden in the deepest crevices of my memory. I’ve been encouraged to step out of my comfort zone in more than just one way. I’ve been forced to go back to terrifying parts of my life. I’ve been asked difficult questions. I’ve told stories I never want to re-live. I’ve cried more than I thought I would. But most of all, I’ve grown far more than I could have ever anticipated.
Today’s session was unlike any other. I went in and started talking about the mundane and usual parts of my week. Then, I started talking about graduation (which is in a month!) and my counselor asked me how I felt about it. I told her about how for so long, I didn’t believe I was going to make it to graduation. I didn’t think I could do it. But even in my darkest times over the past few years, I pushed myself. I told myself, time and time again, to just make it to graduation. And now I’m almost there, so it’s scary but in a good way. I have a month to get through a lot of work but I look forward to graduation day. It’s a big deal for me because I wasn’t supposed to make it. The odds were against me. I was supposed to fail. I was supposed to give up. But I didn’t.
I’d be lying if I said I’ve gotten here by myself. I haven’t. There have been integral and influential people in my life who have helped me get here. They’re the ones who never gave up on me, they always believed in me, and they loved me even when I wasn’t deserving of love. I truly couldn’t be more thankful for all that they have done for me. But I have to give credit to myself, too. I did it. I’ve gotten here with my strength and resilience. I’ve fought through heartbreaks and pains in my life to get here – to a place of peace. I didn’t give up on myself.
A few weeks ago, I realized that through all my self-hate over the years, my anger levels were at an all-time high. I was angry at everyone – most of all, myself. I’m not angry at myself anymore. I look at myself with pride, not doubt and hate. I look at myself and think, “I just want to be better than I was yesterday” and I see progress. I see myself growing. I don’t hate myself anymore, which has been one of the biggest aspects of growth I’ve noticed in myself. I don’t look at myself through the lens hatred and I don’t blame myself for everything that happens. I am proud of my achievements, I am proud of my strength, and I love who I am and who I have the potential to be.
Through everything, it’s been the people I love who have been my reasons to stay alive. I used to hold that against them. I used to be angry at them for making me stay alive. I used to resent them for making me suffer through life. But today, sitting in counseling, I realized something: I am not angry. I am not angry at them and I am not angry at myself. For the first time in what seems like forever, I am not angry at anyone. I used to be angry and resentful towards the people I love the most – I used to be angry at them for loving me. How was I living like that? How was I punishing people I love with all of my heart? And for loving me because I felt so undeserving? God, I hope they forgive me.
I’ve stayed alive for a multitude of reasons. But through all my pain and suffering, my will to survive has been stronger than my desire to die. As much as I’ve wanted to end my suffering, I’ve wanted to be alive to live out my dreams a million times more. I’ve so desperately wanted to be around to watch myself succeed. I’ve wanted to show myself and show the world that I could do it. That I am deserving and enough. That I am not my failures and my pains. And equally, I’ve wanted to be here to see the people I love the most succeed. To see my siblings live out their dreams, to watch them succeed in every aspect, to be there to cheer them on, to embarrass them to no end, like older siblings do. To see my parents happy, to see them filled with joy, to see them stand tall with pride in their eyes. To see my best friend laugh endlessly, to watch her check off her hopes and dreams, to see her live happily and joyfully. There’s nothing I wouldn’t give to see all of them happy.
I have 2 more sessions left and while I am so proud and happy with my progress, I will be sad for counseling to come to an end. It’s been so great watching myself become a bit more of a person I want to be. I got very lucky with such a wonderful counselor. She’s called me out when I need it, she’s pushed me when I needed it, and she’s assured me when I needed assurance. Most of all, she’s believed in me. She’s seen me for who I am and not for who I saw myself as. She’s been an amazing part of my journey and I couldn’t be more thankful or appreciative. The best thing is that I know she’s seen the progress within me and she’s gained a lot of perspective and growth after a few weeks of sessions with me – that’s something I cherish and am grateful for. When it all comes to an end, I’m going to miss my Friday 10am appointments. But I will walk away a stronger, more confident, and more peaceful person – that is something I couldn’t be happier about.