The importance of therapy…

I am really liking my new therapist with our local mental health unit.

I’ve been seeing her since last summer, and so far things seem to be a good fit. I had an appointment with her today, and we discussed a few different things, mainly surrounding my confidence issues. Despite being still mentally and physically fatigued, we had a good conversation.

One of the first things we talked about is something I discussed in my blog a couple days ago, my unstable sense of self and confidence issues. We had a productive discussion, discussing concepts such as self-compassion and thought stopping.

She pointed out during the session that everyone has uncomfortable thoughts. People generally are not kind to themselves, particularly when mental health issues are involved. Just like when I have suicidal thoughts and I don’t have to act on them, when I have these thoughts which affect my self-confidence I don’t have to believe. One suggestion she made was if I have a thought, let it come, but challenge it as well, just like I would do if someone else were saying it to me.

These concepts are just different perspectives of the same thing.

I spend way too much time in my own head, struggling with my sense of self. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the thoughts. It’s easy to get down on myself, even when no evidence exists that I have cause to beat myself up. Despite the thoughts, when I step back and look at all the evidence, I know I have no reason to doubt myself. I have come a hell of a long way, and I have reason to be proud. I have reason to have some confidence. My university education to date is a case in point: I am maintaining an A average. I wouldn’t be maintaining that if I was a dummy, like my mind would have me believe.

Something else we discussed today is a phenomenon known as Imposter Syndrome.

In short, Imposter Syndrome can be summarized by saying that your mind tries to convince you that you really have no business in being in any situation you happen to be on. It’s where you feel that you shouldn’t be where you are, that you are an imposter, and it’s only a matter of time until everyone else finds out.

I find myself dealing with these thoughts as well fairly frequent. When people come to me for input on a variety of issues, a small part of my brain actually questions why. I am no one. I tell myself that I don’t have any legitimate experience, and that they should be calling someone more professional. I then have to remind myself that I am the professional, and not an imposter. I do a variety of things for my community, ranging from my work on the paper to my video editing for the church to my photography. I need to remind myself that I have the skills to do these jobs. No, I’m not perfect, but they are skills that most people don’t have.

Overall, today’s therapy session was good, if draining. My ongoing therapy is a big part of the reason I am doing as well as I am. I can’t state the importance of therapy enough, particularly when dealing with a mental health issue such as Borderline Personality Disorder, let alone the other co-morbid diagnoses I have. The therapy helps ground me. It helps me look at things from a different perspective, and it helps remind myself that though I may struggle I am doing so much better than I used to. Sometimes I just need to remind myself of that fact.

With how drained I was mentally after the appointment, I ended up heading down to the treadmill to try and tire myself out physically as well, succeeding in getting just shy of two miles in.

Aside from an appointment in Stettler tomorrow, I’m grateful that tomorrow is going to be a restful day.

Kevin

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