I Should Be Proud – Thoughts From Therapy

I debated a long time what title I’d use for this post.

Thoughts from Therapy is a series where I talk honestly about my struggle with and recovery from depression and anxiety. My hope is to promote mental health awareness and to let anyone else struggling know they’re not alone. See previous posts here.

It’s not a “look at me, I’m the best person in the world!!!!1!1!!” headline. More of an “I’m starting to realize I’m not the piece of poo depression used to tell me I was”.

Anyway, I just got back from another therapy session. And there’re so many thoughts running through my head. It’s not easy to write about something so personal for me, I always feel extremely drained after writing my mental health posts. But they also help my make sense of my thoughts, and I hope they can help you too. I’m very moved by all the heartfelt comments on the previous posts, and it helps to know I’m not alone.

Right now I’m at a point where I can start to look back, reflect on what went wrong, what I’ve learned, and accept it. That was the focus of the session, and as part of it, she made me write down a few sentences with what I’ve learned from therapy

#1 I have a tendency to imagine the worst case scenario in a situation

#2 I can do it anyway

It takes courage to admit you’re not well. When you have anxiety it takes courage to do pretty much anything. I’m beginning to see I should be proud of all the times I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone, even though it scared me – instead of being angry at myself for being scared in the first place.

#3 No one has the right to me, more than myself

This means that it’s okay to set up boundaries, it’s okay, no, necessary to say no if somebody makes you uncomfortable. It means it’s okay to speak up if you disagree with someone, instead of avoiding conflict at all cost.

I need to put myself first, instead of living to fill everyone’s expectations of me (which is impossible and just makes you miserable anyway).

#4 Results are not more important than my well-being

So I’m a smart kid. I never liked being the smartest kid in class, yet I still define myself by my grades. It’s okay to just skim through the articles for the lecture, or skip reading if I need a day to recharge and take care of myself.I used to think I only had values when I got good grades or when I could do something for a friend – because just being in my company is worthless.

I used to think I only had values when I got good grades or when I could do something for a friend – because just being in my company is worthless. I’m trying to learn that I can be a good friend, just by being me, I don’t need to have something special to offer. And spending time can make me feel good, it’s not as exhausting as I imagine when I’m alone.

#5 I define my own success

In line with the previous one, I’ll no longer measure success with objective scores like grades. Like everyone, I have my own strengths and struggles. Right now it’s a struggle for me to keep up with studying, and making it every class is a big deal to me.

The weird thing is, I’ve never been as engaged in discussion and group work as I am in this class. Removing the pressure to be ‘perfect’ allows me to speak my mind, even if I’m not 110% sure it’s right. I ask questions, instead of holding back, unreasonably thinking it would make people think less of me.

I don’t need to compare myself to anybody else – I am my own person, and now I’m doing what it best for me.

Gif that says lots of love, Anne xx

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I Should Be Proud - Thoughts From Therapy
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  1. says: Ella Pinto

    I love this series and you know why? Because everyone struggles. Don’t get me wrong, I know people struggle differently, and I know there are different levels of depression and anxiety. But that at the end of the day it’s so important to know that, like you said, you’re not alone. I think it’s great that you’re doing this for yourself and I’ve always wanted to do a session myself. Not because I need it 100% but because I think it’s great for every human being.

    I think #3 is so so so important. It’s something I definitely go by everyday. Like, we die with ourselves right? So it only makes sense that we should be here for ourselves more than we are for other people.

    Either way, I still think this is brilliant and all # are important. I’m so happy for you!

    1. says: Anne

      That means so much to me Ella. I had so many misconceptions about therapy before I started, but now I see how it can be good for anyone – it really helps to have someone objective (who’s also very experience) give you a new perspective on your situation, and tools to handle stress and so on.
      I want to hug you <3

  2. says: Wynne

    so glad i came across your post because this is such a powerful article. something happened at work the other day and it’s been bringing my whole world down (which is an extreme emotion to feel for just work stuffs but i can’t help but get so involved). reading this article helped me heal a little bit. we don’t have to be perfect all the time. how we are is more important. thanks so much Anne! proud of you for sharing your mental thoughts although it exhausts you. but hey, you’ve touched at least one person right here 🙂