A few weeks ago, I wrote an essay about my journey in therapy following my father’s suicide, and today it was published on Good Housekeeping!
I’ve never been shy about sharing my experiences or ashamed of the fact that I’m still in therapy 13 years after his death. In fact, I’m actually proud of how far I’ve come over the years. For me, therapy has always been a healthy — and necessary — part of the healing process. Honestly, I can’t say enough good things about it, obviously.
Here’s a little snippet…
The more I shared, the more I could feel my heart soften. I felt like I was setting those words free, at long last. Looking back now, I realize that it was the first step in setting myself free, too.
Then a few years ago, because of the cumulative number of sessions I’d had, my insurance company reviewed my case to see if they would still cover counseling. I’d done it all over the years — quiet introspection, theory building, childhood analysis — and yet, I knew in my heart that I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. I could never seem to work up the courage to quit. Before, I was afraid of that therapist’s couch — afraid of exploring the dark recesses of my mind. Now, I was just afraid to leave, afraid to stand on my own out of fear that my heart wouldn’t be able to heal itself anymore.
Therapy is sort of like an addictive habit, ironically. That’s how it was for me, at least, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it’s one of the most important journeys you’ll ever take with yourself. As you delve deeper into your issues, you discover other things about yourself — things that may be bothering you or things you need to work on — that you weren’t even aware of. You enter the therapist’s office as one person and come out a different person. It’s a journey spent getting to know yourself.
I desperately needed to talk about my feelings and give a voice to everything I’d been holding inside. It was the only way to set myself free – but maybe even more than that, it was the only way to set my father free as well. Deep down, I knew I needed to forgive him and make peace with what he did. Counseling went a long way to helping me find that peace.
You can read the full essay here and, as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
***Not to make this post into one giant after-school special PSA, but I STRONGLY encourage you to seek out therapy if you’re grappling with life’s big or small struggles. No shame, remember? It’s all about taking good care of yourself, friends!!! I love you!!! xoxo
P.S. And of course, feel free to share my essay on Facebook, Twitter or even your local refrigerator. If you share on Twitter, be sure to tag me @melissablake so we can connect!
Ashton Wright says
You go, Melissa! So exciting that another of your essays has been picked up by a major magazine!
Also, how did I not know how close in age we are?! (I'll be 30 this year.)
KIMMIE JONES says
Your honesty is compelling and comforting. Keep exercising that!
Congrats to you. You are getting to be a celebrity! Your story will touch many hearts.