At my last session my therapist told me that I was both “insightful” and “wise.” I felt very proud of myself at the end of the session, and mainly because of those two adjectives she used to describe me. You know how your friends and family will typically talk you up and say all this shit, but sometimes you just don’t believe it because you think they have an obligation to say it? Something about that made what Dr. P said a bit more striking to me. In actuality, she has only known me for a couple of months- and if you actually think about how much we talk, she’s only known me for about less than five hours at this point. In less than five hours, I have convinced someone else that I am both insightful, and wise.

When I say “convince,” I don’t mean that I am going to therapy and exaggerating stories and making myself something I am not; the fact is I’m very much myself when I am in those sessions. I am more myself than I am with most people, because I know I am paying her for a service and in order to truly benefit I need to be open and willing to discuss sensitive topics. But she sees something in me, something that those people around me have also seen, but that I have been ignoring for my whole life.

I know that I pay attention and I am very observant, but I always felt like an over-thinker and an over-reactor. I was always getting so down on myself for being so involved in everything, whether it was just emotionally/mentally or physically. To be fair, I do still feel that way at times, but now I have a new perspective. I am learning from what I observe and what I think about. I am not “over-thinking,” I am simply receiving and analyzing information and then using that information to base a judgement or form a decision.

A specific example I could get into is just how/where I grew up. I am an only child, but I lived in apartments for most of my life and had many neighbors who were basically like my siblings. When I tell people about how I grew up, they’re usually shocked and say that I seem “normal” (whatever that means). The thing is though, that I was watching so many of my neighbors grow up in different environments. Some better in some aspects, but most were worse. Seeing this at such a young age just made me feel like I didn’t have it that bad, but I also knew I was not happy at home and that I needed to get out of there if I wanted to truly live my life. I knew that my way out was to work and save money so I could leave, so that is what I did.

Even with having functioning alcoholics as parents, even with friends who were doing drugs around me, I stayed focus on the end goal which was moving the fuck out. I’m not gonna sit here and pretend I was completely healthy throughout the process- there was a period in my life where I did self-harm. Luckily I was able to stop and found that writing helped to release a lot of my stress. I also would keep myself busy with both work and school, as well as socializing because I knew being at home was not the best thing for me, and in order to truly get better I needed to get out.

Many of my friends tell me how I inspire them and how they look up to me, and honestly it warms my heart. I feel like I can be an example for some people, but I also know that there are many many issues I haven’t dealt with, and I still struggle with my anxiety. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects, I am trying to acknowledge them and fix them, rather than being mad at myself and preventing myself from progressing. My therapist has only known me for less than five hours, and she already thinks I am wise- so why shouldn’t I? I know we all struggle because we’re our own worst critics, but what if instead we focused on our positive aspects and remember what makes us great? It takes a lot of practice and work, but it is possible. I just have to keep that in mind on my journey. ♡

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