Fifteen Super Helpful Lessons That Came From Going to Therapy

If you live with chronic illness, then likely, you’re all too familiar with the impacts it can have on your mental health. I recently wrote about the ways that Fibro and mental health issues coincide here: https://fightingwithfibro.com/2019/05/10/12-reasons-why-fibro-and-mental-health-issues-coincide/

Three years ago, in the midst of some of my darkest hours, I was finally convinced to go to therapy. Read here about why I believe a Therapist can truly improve how you live with chronic illness (and beyond): https://fightingwithfibro.com/2019/01/28/can-a-therapist-actually-improve-life-with-chronic-illness/

After spending 18 months going to a Goddess of a Therapist, I took a break. But, recently, after some family events revisited old traumas, I returned to her. Barely ten minutes into our session, I remembered how and why therapy is SO helpful. My Therapist is really, really great at re-framing my critical, self deprecating thoughts; which are totally unhelpful. What a gift it is to have such troubling, heavy thoughts lifted from weighing on my already over taxed mind and heart.

While I could probably write endlessly of the benefits of going to therapy, I instead want to share fifteen super helpful lessons that have come from going to therapy:

  1. You are enough. Maybe not to everyone, but then those that can’t appreciate you don’t deserve you.
  2. Nothing in life is perfect, nor is anyone. Everyone else is equally as flawed as you.
  3. Do not compare yourself to anyone else. We are all unique.
  4. You have purpose. If that purpose is not what you intended, create a new one.
  5. Let go of insignificant things. If it will not be earth shattering in a year, forget it. 
  6. Set boundaries. Setting boundaries does not make you a bad person. It makes you resigned in commanding the respect you deserve.
  7. Do not be afraid to eliminate people from your life. Sometimes, it can set you free.
  8. Do not invalidate yourself. There is a valid reason you feel the way you do or have made the choices you have made.
  9. Do not let others’ opinions make you question your own intentions.
  10. Not everything is your fault; regardless of the blame others may assign.
  11. Do not let other’s negativity affect who and what you are.
  12. Treat others the way you wish to be treated BUT try treating yourself the way you treat others.
  13. Say you’re sorry. But remember that others need to say it too.
  14. All is not to be forgiven. Some things are unforgivable.
  15. Let go of regret or work to eliminate what prevents you from doing so.

It is of tremendous comfort to be back in therapy, especially when old wounds have re-opened. But I have come to realize too, that therapy isn’t only for when things are difficult. Clearly, when I return to old habits so easily, there is much work left to be done on successfully re-framing my thoughts. It isn’t easy and often, it’s very painful, but I’m ready now to do that hard work.

Much Love, ❤ Stace

From Maurice Sendak’s “Where The Wild Things Are”

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Fighting with Fibro and Living With Purpose. Mom, Wife, Blogger and animal lover. Fighting with Chronic Illness on a minute by minute basis; sometimes winning.

4 thoughts on “Fifteen Super Helpful Lessons That Came From Going to Therapy

  1. Excellent post, Stace! Each of these Lessons are not only valuable, but vital. Living the Chronic Life is not easy. Our conditions often consume us and it is not easy to remember how to take care of ourselves mentally and emotionally when we are so physically taxed. Therapy helps to steer us back to center and to remind us of who we really are, what we really need and how to navigate these churning waters in which we live in order to attain that. ~ Therapy has helped me often throughout my pain journey. In the beginning, it was also essential to My Guy. Joint sessions helped us to gain perspective and to give us the tools we needed as our roles transitioned to patient and caregiver. Our conditions are not in a bubble. They affect our partners as much as they affect us. I would highly encourage a few joint or family sessions if that is possible. They can make a huge difference. They certainly did for us. ~ I’m reading back over your 15 Lessons…how much richer and larger our lives would be if we were able to incorporate these regularly. It is far too easy to forget and to fall back into bad habits and negative thinking! Thanks for the reminder, Stace! ❤ XO

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Jayne!! I agree-life would be better if we could stick with all of the lessons I highlighted, alas, life is a constant work in progress. So when I forget and go back to my old ways, it’s comforting to be brought back to “reality” by Therapy. I think, too, that many of us are left alone with our thoughts thundering too often. I know I get stuck in my head a lot when I’m too sick to do anything but sit. It’s really tough (and sad) to think of how much our illnesses affect our spouses, but it’s true. Our life is radically different than it once was or how we planned it would be. The longer I’m sick, the more comfortable we have become in our care relationship. Maybe that’s the only saving grace about the length of time we’ve suffered. As always, thanks so much for reading and commenting!!! Much Love, Stace

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  2. I’m so glad you’ve found your therapist to be so helpful (I’m sure she’d love to read your post, especially where she’s described as a ‘goddess of a therapist’!) Going back after a break because of recent events that have triggered so much for you sounds like a good idea.
    These are all such brilliant take-aways from therapy. I love the reframing and the different perspective on things, which can sometimes dispel long held common beliefs (like you should always forgive to be a good person). Thank you so much for sharing these – it’s an incredibly helpful & encouraging post, Space!  ♥
    Caz xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Caz. It has really been tremendously helpful just in reframing the destructive thoughts I harbor. I’m sure which many of us harbor. It’s also incredibly comforting to have someone else to reiterate that you aren’t crazy and it isn’t all in your head. You would think after all these years, I wouldn’t think those thoughts-but nope! So back I go. After living for 44 years with no therapy, there is much work to be done to shed the thoughts and ideals that I have allowed society to burden me with.
      I’m really glad you liked the post. ❤ Stace
      ps I hope you're feeling better

      Liked by 1 person

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