On the 1st of May, we begin Mental Health Awareness Month, and for me this year feels very different from last year as we come across the start of it today. This time last year, I struggled a lot with being in the mood or capacity to share about it here or on social media as I was prone to do in years past. It felt weird and different for me to not have the capacity to sit and write.
Another thing that I didn’t have at that time was a therapist. If you’re reading this and have been keeping up with my writings, I shared my reflections on my experience with my therapist at the time, way back in 2020. This was pre-pandemic, before I lost communication with my therapist, and while I was dating my then girlfriend Vanessa who verbally chin-checked me in Jesus name for not doing the therapy that I promoted as important. You would think with the conviction the Holy Spirit gave to me through her, and my positive experiences with therapy would encourage me to jump back into therapy with a new therapist soon after my first therapy relationship ended. You would be wrong.
I’m sure the way I lost my first therapist impacted my delay in seeking a new one, as I was ghosted, but even if we ended it mutually, finding the strength to search for one overall is a tall order emotionally and mentally. Throw in a pandemic, and therapy easily lost the priority I should have given it, which I gave to other things instead. Yet it never took away the importance for me to go back for it. The only way I saw my need to prioritize therapy again (with my actions, not just my words) was when I continued to have harmful effects with my angry outbursts, negative words, and negative impact towards my wife and my own thinking! One night, after a very rough experience where I saw the damage I caused, I immediately ran to a resource that I thought I’d never use.
That image you see above was something that I saw when it was shared in a chat I’m in months ago, and after the experience I mentioned above it, I ran and copied the link that night to restart my therapy journey before I could reason myself into delaying it any further. You may be one of the readers who’s reading this, and can see yourself in the ways you’ve failed to take accountability and make this a priority in your life. Some of you may be scared of what it will feel like, don’t even know where to begin, or even feel like it’s a concept that is hard to understand and apply to your life.
Others may have only dealt with the spiritual realities of the negative patterns in your life, while minimizing the mental, emotional, and physiological realities that are behind those same patterns, to the point where therapy was seen as a lack of faith and a sign of weakness. Us men in particular tend to be vulnerable to this kind of thinking. Whatever your reason for delaying, ignoring, minimizing, excusing, and rejecting the opportunity to receive the help that therapy gives, I implore you to take the opportunity that is right before you and treat your brain/mind the same kindness and passion spiritually and naturally that you would treat any other organ in your body that needed help, examination, observation, and a healthy regimen for it.
The same way we pray and believe God while going to the doctor for healing of our bodies where the rest of our organs lie, we can believe and pray to the Father for healing in our mind/emotions and go to a therapist to work through negative thought patterns, trauma, or for some, chemical imbalances. As I say that, let me also clear a common misconception; you don’t go to therapy because something is wrong with you. We all have a sin nature, what’s imperfect and wrong is apart of our nature as sinners, so pointing out what’s wrong is not the main purpose of therapy. Therapy is meant for you to collaborate with someone who is trained and invested to work with you as you grow and establish strong systems of thought and practice in your life.
Let me also clear a common misconception; you don’t go to therapy because something is wrong with you.Tweet
Whether that’s for a season of life (marriage, parenthood, grief, success, leadership) or for an illness in life, we all need help in strengthening and clarifying what we think/feel, why we think/feel those things, and how to work through what we think/feel. You don’t need to have a mental illness in order to get therapy. So I encourage you, please start your journey today, and with the photo I just posted above, get your first three months free, you won’t regret that you did: betterhelp.com/voucher code: dinner-party.
Categories: mental health, reflection
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