Mental Wellness

First Year in Therapy

My ex boyfriend was the reason I started therapy, but it was for the wrong reasons. 

It almost felt like he was threatening me if I didn’t do it. It didn’t seem it came from a place of love, but from a place of judgment.

That he will leave me if I don’t start. 

It wasn’t something that I was opposed to trying, but not where I felt judged, having a sea of his “friends” watch me and talk bad about me because of my “strong personality.” or feeling pressured.

It created this sense of panic within me that if I didn’t start therapy and started fixing myself there was something wrong with me.

That I was unfixable and unlovable.

He left anyway, which I realize now had nothing to do with me, but everything to do with him.

This guy emotionally destroyed me.

He took every ounce of my self esteem and sense of self away. Inconsiderate, cruel and overall just not a good human being to be around.

He was right though, I needed to go to therapy. There were so many things I wanted to talk about with someone, things I wanted to work on, but not in the middle of chaos and judgements.

I waited to find a therapist until I was ready. I waited until I was going to go because I was choosing myself, and not because he was forcing me.

Not with threats of leaving if I didn’t go, not with an entire friend group of people that I had never met in my life judging me and thinking they know me.

Things I didn’t deserve to be called, when I shared with my ex I just wanted to feel supported.

I took my time looking. I trusted my intuition.

When my first session of therapy kicked in I was so nervous that I was shaking.

However, the second the session started, I was at ease..

Within the first 5 minutes of our session, I was like “this is who I need.”

Most people aren’t as lucky, they usually rotate between 3-4 therapists before finding one that they’re comfortable with. 

I knew since I took my time that it was going to work out just fine. My first session ever with a therapist is the one I stuck with, and now I’ve been seeing her for almost a year.

I learned through my time working with her that there was never anything wrong with me. 

There was nothing to “fix.” 

Do I have things that I need to work on? Sure, we all do.

I wanted to work on my anger triggers, learning how to develop more empathy, learn to have patience, be a better listener and overall just learn how to have healthier relationships with myself & others. 

Learning how to let go of situations that don’t matter.

Although I knew these were things I needed to work on, they weren’t things where I deserved to feel so judged for.

They weren’t things where I needed to be “fixed.”

I know that I need to be kinder with myself.

I know what I need to work on to be a better person.

I have a very strong masculine energy, I don’t put up with bullshit, and I go after what I want.
But I’m also very affectionate, lovable and caring.

I know that I needed to find someone that values that and not try to destroy it. A guy who isn’t insecure.

My year of therapy has been awesome – we used to meet once a week, now we meet every 2 weeks. 

I’m more self aware than ever before, I’m kinder, I have more patience and overall just more balanced in every area of my life.

I’ve welcomed so many beautiful friends into my life as a result. I feel loved, respected and cared for at my job. I lost nearly 20 pounds. I have gone on dates. I am choosing myself.

I don’t feel like I need to be dating someone to feel happy. I trust that the right loveable, caring and nonjudgmental guy will come along because I know who I am, I trust myself and I trust that I am on my own path.

This sense of peace I have in my life has pushed me to even greater and bigger things. 

This sense of peace and judgment free zone has allowed me to blossom.

I encourage everyone to go to therapy – even if you feel like you don’t need it. 
You may be surprised with the outcome and growth that comes from simply talking about things.

A place where you feel supported and remember that you’re not alone.

by Genesis Gutierrez

Genesis is the founder of Harness Magazine, a digital media company that celebrates and elevates the voices of women around the world. A first-generation college graduate, Genesis holds a degree in from UCLA with hopes of going back for a Masters in Social Work.

Through her work as an editor-in-chief of Harness, Genesis has dedicated herself to amplifying the stories of women specifically marginalized communities. She is committed to creating space for those who are often left out of mainstream conversations, and believes that storytelling is one of the most powerful tools we have for building community and sparking social change.

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