“I saw my therapist today. Yep, I’ve been going to therapy off and on for years. There’s this stigma surrounding the word ‘therapy’ that people assume something must be wrong with you. But you know what–therapy has helped me grow into who I am today. My therapist helped me during a time when I felt lost, her guidance helped me feel whole again. I’m a better mom, wife, and friend because of it. No one should be ashamed to seek help.
I remember the first time I mentioned I went to a therapist. I received a strange, yet surprised reaction from an acquaintance. It felt as if I must be broken and depressed if I needed to see a specialist. That’s the misconception with therapy. People assume we are weak if we need help. But it’s quite the opposite.
Here’s the thing–sitting with a therapist and working through your emotions is courageous. It doesn’t mean there is something wrong, it simply means you’re taking control of your life and your putting yourself first. In the rat race of life, I’d say that’s pretty brave.
I first saw a therapist nearly six years ago, at a time when life felt like it was at a standstill. Within six months, I went through the joy of becoming pregnant with triplets, only to hit rock bottom as I went into labor more than 17 weeks premature. Two of my children passed away and I was left trying to balance being strong for our survivor, while feeling the deep grief of child loss.
I remember being hesitant, thinking I was OK and didn’t need someone to talk to. I wasn’t depressed, I was simply a mother longing for the children I would no longer hold in my arms. But, I’m the mother of two children who died, and I faced my own near-death experience, so I promised my husband and my parents I would see a therapist. It turned out to be the best thing I could do for myself.
I started out with weekly appointments, spending my hour clenching a tissue as I wept over the traumatic and heartbreaking experience I faced just months before. I remember asking my therapist when I would get ‘over it’; not many people seemed to talk about their own children who passed. Because society still finds the loss of a child unfathomable, I thought the taboo subject was to be quickly shoved under the rug. But what my therapist said to me changed my outlook on life. She said, ‘You never get over the loss of a child. You don’t move on, instead, you learn how to move forward in life, all while finding ways to honor and remember your children in Heaven.’
I quickly learned that what I was feeling was completely normal and my therapist helped me work through the growing pains of finding life after loss. Eventually, I found myself smiling again, my heart full with memories of my two children who passed. These days, life is good, yet that doesn’t stop me from seeing my therapist. It’s a chance to pour my heart out without judgement, to cry or to laugh and to share my feelings in a safe place.
I have a great group of friends and a loving and supportive family. Seeing a therapist is just icing on the cake.
We put so much emphasis on our physical health, but it’s time to make our mental health a priority. I’m not ashamed to admit I see a therapist. I’m proud to say I make my well-being a priority.”
This story was written by Stacey Skrysak, an award winning television journalist based in Illinois. It originally appeared on her blog. A version of this post originally appeared at Her View From Home. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.
Read more about Stacey’s triplets:
‘How are the kids?’ I gave her a puzzled look, wondering if I heard her correctly. My heart began to race and my breathing became faster. Tears erupted as my mind instantly flashed back to 3 years ago.’
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