When I first started seeing my therapist 3 years ago, I was a hot mess. In fact, there are still many sessions when I’m on that couch and I wonder if he changes my diagnoses to “bipolar” or “not sure” after I leave an hour later.
Confession #1: I am proud to admit that I have more good days than bad days; but, having bad days is still something that I proud to admit. Society has this mob mentality that “everyone should be happy all of the time and if you’re not…you’re doing something wrong.”
Confession #2: I started therapy, initially, because of another failed relationship. (Yep…add that notch to the belt). At that time, I was so miserable. That breakup was the final push I needed to get help and I am so glad that I did because I felt so sad and unhappy. I felt like everything in the world (including the relationship) was my fault. I ran into him at a street festival here in Chicago some time later and he asked me, “Are you happy…I mean, are you happy now?”
Confession #3: I realized in that moment that I was happy…in THAT moment. I was happy to be with my friend, I was happy it was a beautiful summer night, I was happy that I ran into my ex in a HOT ASS OUTFIT. But, I was also nervous, uncomfortable, and…just a little bit weird.
Confession #4: My first session after that breakup I said to my therapist, “I just want to runaway, disappear, go someplace else.”
His response to me was, “Okay…you could do that. But, keep in mind that wherever you go…there YOU are.”
When shitty things have happened to me (a breakup, an argument with a loved one, a bad review at work), I feel shitty. I feel sad, miserable, angry, upset. Even worse, those icky feelings…I just can’t shake them. They seem to stick around forever. I always felt like a good solution would be to just runaway from it.
Confession #5: Your problems and emotions will follow you wherever you run to. ALL emotions are valid – including happiness. Expecting sorrow to turn to happiness, magically, if you move from the city to the beach is highly irrational and it’s unfair to our friend Mr. Sorrow to not validate its existence in your world.
Your problems will find you wherever you hide. If you simply avoid the uncomfortable upsets that have interrupted your peace, you cannot be successful in finding happiness and tranquility in your life. Your environment doesn’t create change – you create your change from within.