Disclaimer: The following story is a true testimony from a therapy patient who wishes to remain anonymous.
After my first marriage ended, I just couldn’t stop crying. It would be the middle of a workday, and tears would start pouring from my eyes. The crying fits seemed to have no triggers. I couldn’t figure out why they were happening, and more importantly, I couldn’t figure out how to stop them.
This went on for about two months. I work from home, so most people were unaware of what I was going through. I finally decided to open up about this uncontrollable crying, and a friend of mine eventually convinced me to see a therapist. I resisted the idea for a long time because I thought I was “fine.” I wasn’t.
My First Experience in Therapy
I went into therapy incredibly skeptical about the process. In fact, I remember saying at the first appointment, “I don’t think you’re going to be able to help me, but I’m here to say I tried.” My therapist responded with something that totally blew my mind. “You’re right. I’m not going to help you. You’re going to help yourself.”
I proceeded to tell her about my life, how my marriage worked (very codependent – he was very controlling), why it ended, and what I had been doing since then. I didn’t cry at all in the discussion. In fact, I thought I seemed quite happy and confident. Then she asked me a tiny question. I don’t even remember what it was. And I started bawling.
After several minutes of non-stop tears, I told her this is what I had been dealing with. Crying spells that come from nowhere and sometimes last all day. She never made me feel abnormal or crazy. She listened to what I had to say and made me feel like a close friend.
What I Learned in Therapy
My therapist talked to me a little more about my life, and then she said, “I think you’re really good at wearing a mask.” I didn’t know what she meant, so I had her explain further. “You have spent the past 7 years of your life pretending to be happy to keep someone else happy. Now that that person is no longer in your life, all those repressed emotions are coming to the surface.”
My crying spells were repressed emotions. Again, that blew my mind.
I stayed in therapy for several more months and continued to learn new things about myself. I learned that I had forms of what she called distorted thinking, which basically meant that my perception of a situation wasn’t always accurate. I would overanalyze or jump to conclusions without any sort of optimism. She taught me how to change that and much more.
My husband was belittling, so I had low self-esteem going into therapy. I thought I was confident because of that mask that I wore, but I wasn’t. Not at all. My therapist helped me work through years of being told I was worthless and that no one would ever love me. I finally stopped believing someone else’s words, and I found my own voice along the way.
How Therapy Changed My Life
Through therapy, I was able to turn years of pain and depression into nothing but memories. I learned how to feel better, how to be more productive, and how to process my emotions in a healthy way. I was so reluctant to go into therapy because I didn’t think it would help me at all. Man was I wrong.
Would I recommend therapy to other people? Absolutely. It doesn’t matter if you’re having problems in your relationship or you’re fighting an internal battle. You don’t have to fight it alone. I am so happy I went to see a therapist, and I will always look back on this as a moment that changed my life for the better.