We all feel alone. Whether it’s when you’re sitting on your bed debating what Netflix show to watch, or when you’re in a sea of people, no one seems to notice you. It is important to talk to someone. Sometimes a friend is enough. But, often times they add their own opinions, make your problems less than theirs, or you are simply not comfortable talking to someone you know about your problems. These are all valid reasons to keep your feelings inside. Sometimes you need that person to have no opinions, no prior knowledge of your life, and no emotional attachment. It is okay to seek help. It is okay to talk about your “friends” to this person (good and bad). It is okay to tell them your secrets. It is okay to cry. It is okay to sit there in silence, not knowing what to say next. What is not okay is the people shaming you for working on yourself. To feel embarrassed about your weekly appointments. To get nervous walking into the waiting room, in case someone you know is there.
If you are not the one walking into that office, but your friend or significant other is, you also have some things to keep in mind. You should be proud of the improvements that they are making in their life. I can assure you that this was not an easy step for them to take. Do not ask them if they are in therapy, wait for them to come to you and tell you their self. Do not ask them what they talked about: it is NOT your business. Do not ask them if they talking about you (you probably don’t want to know the answer). Do not try to make your problems worse than theirs, or joke that you need therapy too. Do not joke about it at all. Do encourage them. Do assure them that it is a normal part of growing up and learning about yourself. Do tell them all of the positive changes you notice. Do be a shoulder for them to lean on.
You may feel like it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year (yes, Friends quote FTW). What is important is to always have people by your side. Sometimes for me, the only person that I feel is by my side some days is my psychologist, during our one-hour weekly visits. But, sometimes that’s all it takes. That’s all it takes to give me the strength to make it through the day. I have slowly learned that it is okay to be in therapy.