I recently heard a saying that perfectly captures my experience with therapy: “Your eye has a light part and a dark part. It is through the dark part that you see.”
I was in crisis mode the first time I looked for a therapist. My mom had unexpectedly passed away, and I was trying to manage my grief along with the grief of the rest of my family. It was an impossible task. Fortunately, my friend saw what was happening and encouraged me to see a grief therapist.
My grief therapist helped me get back on my feet, but more importantly, they opened my eyes to what a therapist can do. I learned vocabulary to identify my emotions. I learned patterns about how I behaved and why. I practiced setting boundaries with myself and others. I learned to love my vulnerabilities.
Five years later, I am no longer grieving but I am still growing. I still benefit from going to therapy and look forward to the times I get to sit down with a therapist and better understand myself. Through therapy, I’ve become a better fiancé, coworker, and friend. I’ve learned tools to manage stress and better communicate. And I’m finally allowing myself to be vulnerable enough to explore topics I used to run from (or pretend did not affect me).
I began therapy at a rough time in my life, but cannot imagine what I would be like without the skills and perspective I have gained from the therapists I’ve seen. In the end, I am thankful for those first days with a grief therapist. Afterall, it is through the dark part that we get to see.
-Ryan S., Houston, TX
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