Going to therapy wasn’t something easy for me to do. I felt a lot of shame and weakness for even thinking about going. I can’t remember what initially gave me the push to go, but my very first session was my last for a while. I knew I had demons eating away at me, and needed a healthy outlet, besides my journal. It was hard for me to imagine being that vulnerable with another person.
Eventually, I hit a low point and took my little ass back to therapy. I kept it pretty superficial and only spoke about petty friend drama, and presented myself with my fake mask of a smile and shared my big dreams. He politely listened and would give feedback, but eventually, he started to push for me to go deeper. One day he asked, “Why are you really here in my office?”; a question that left me speechless.
The truth was I didn’t fully know. I knew I didn’t feel like myself, and each day my outlook on the world looked bleaker, but I didn’t know where to begin with why. Something about spilling my deep darkest secrets to a stranger seemed off to me, but keeping them buried inside was slowly killing me. So, I went on to explain the truth behind my smile. I smile all the time, regardless of what I’m feeling, to distract people from the pain I suppressed deep down. I was there for him to help me produce a genuine smile.
Honesty became very hard for me; I was lying to keep up this perfect image of myself, and terrified to face the truth of what was happening behind that smile. When I finally took the first step and revealed a small portion of myself, that became my first honest therapy session.