To counsel, or not to counsel? That is the question.
I can remember years ago I had some serious anger management problems. I just knew that something was wrong with me. There was no way that a girl of my stature should have this issue, or that it should be this bad.
No one in my family ever talked to me about it. They never approached me and said that there was something wrong with me. But I knew that no one should be acting out like this.
Here I was, in my early thirties, and things would just trigger me. I’d go bananas. I wasn’t hurting people or anything, but it was serious anger and I knew that something was wrong.
How was I going to change?
Therapy wasn’t something that was talked about in my family. I never knew anyone who had gone to a therapist. In fact, I learned about therapy through people at work. I started to hear people at work who didn’t look like me talking about therapy. It seemed like a solution that I hadn’t tried. So I said, “hey, let me try this.”
So I made an appointment and I spoke to a therapist. One appointment turned into two, and soon I had recurring therapy appointments.
Long story short, I did get help with my anger issues. Unbeknownst to me, the anger issues were a result of some things that happened in my childhood and some things that I never addressed. I kept going to therapy a little while after that for different situations and issues. Therapy definitely worked for me in more ways than one. Overall, it’s been very beneficial.
During my first marriage, I chose not to go to therapy because I believe I got married for the wrong reasons. During my second marriage, things were different. I definitely encouraged my husband—my current husband—to go to therapy because I really wanted the relationship to work. I wanted to go before we got married, but we ended up going after we got married—and by the time we went we definitely needed to go!
We had some serious issues bringing our family together. He really needed to get to know me and what I had, the baggage I was bringing into the relationship, and I really needed to know him. I thought that that was very important from the previous rounds of therapy that I went through. Today, we have a very successful relationship with open communication. I think that therapy was key in bringing us together in that way.
Therapy is something I believe in. It can work if you are open and honest—and have a good therapist. Having support at home is great, but having a listening ear can be really beneficial.
Therapy helped me see why I was doing the things that I was doing, what direction I was headed, and who I was. It helped me to look at myself and work out my issues to become a better person. I became a better person for myself, for my kids, and for my new relationship.
Therapy helped me work on me, so I definitely am one who is an advocate for therapy. I believe that you definitely have to work on yourself—and you have to work on yourself before you can truly work on or be with anyone else. Therapy provides the space to do just that.