I tend to be a very private person. I prefer to keep things on a need-to-know basis, but recent life altering events made me realize my story can positively impact others. I truly believe we are on this planet to love thy neighbor and share our journey. So today I’m stepping outside my comfort zone to share my recent experience with therapy and EMDR. I feel compelled to share this experience with others, because it has dramatically changed my life for the better. My hope is that it might help you, someone you know, or just start a positive conversation.
I’m not going to go deep into my past and share my life story. This isn’t about that. I do feel the need to share that I’ve historically suffered from depression and anxiety. I started experiencing symptoms in middle school. After therapy and some life changes, I felt that I had everything under control when I started college. I was very hesitant to diagnose or label myself as someone suffering from depression and anxiety. I was raised to believe it was a weakness. It’s not.
Earlier this year, I was really struggling mentally. My husband could see it, but I tried to act like it would pass. Within a three year period, I had experienced tremendous loss. Painful loss. It wasn’t until a close friend encouraged me to seek therapy again, that I actually scheduled an appointment. I honestly only expected to see my therapist a few times. I actually finished therapy last week, so I was off by a few days (wink). During the five and a half months of therapy we tackled the most recent loss, painful memories from my childhood, and I learned how to handle my stress better. I learned how to prioritize my mental health. I also learned to give myself permission to be emotional and tired. I feel like an entirely new person after this experience.
Early into my therapy sessions, I learned about EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). My therapist explained that it was a way to treat symptoms and emotional distress from traumatic experiences. This treatment allows you to process traumatic experiences in a positive manner and begin to heal. It’s life changing, and I don’t say that lightly. This treatment made a world of difference for me. I went into it with an open mind, and I am so glad that I did. Those traumas no longer define me or hold any weight in mind. I feel like this massive burden has been lifted from my shoulders. Pair EMDR with coping and stress relief techniques, and now I’m back at the wheel. I can’t say enough positive things about my experience with therapy and EMDR treatment.
If you are suffering, I encourage you to consider asking for help. There is no shame in it. If you were a star athlete, you’d seek guidance and expertise from a professional…right? Yes, you would. Why aren’t we encouraging people to seek expertise for their mental well being? Sometimes we need a coach to get us through life. Life can be hard and messy. You need to take care of you!
Thank you to my husband, my dearest friend, and my therapist. I am so excited for this next chapter!