When Therapy Ends

Loving the ADHD devil – DAY 25 

I broke down in the end of February but it wasn’t until almost 2 months later that I found someone to help me with what I was going through. It took a long time to find a psychologist to help me, but from mid-April my therapy started. In the beginning I felt anxious to talk to someone, afraid to open up and maybe even afraid to start working on myself, but after the first session I found out that my psychologist was really good for me, she understood me, she gave me the time I needed to adjust to talking to someone and she knew exactly how to help me.

My therapy is focussed on self-compassion and burnout, but we soon found out that the main problem was how I saw myself, my burnout was a result of years of self-hate and me giving up on myself. Whenever I spoke with my psychologist, she knew exactly what I was struggling with and what to say or make me do to make me better. Soon my anxiety for psychologist disappeared and I started to look forward to every session, knowing that she would be able to help me to get to the real me.

But yesterday I had my 5th therapy session and while I expected to get new exercises to practice with and talk about the things I had discovered in the past weeks, it was time to make a “Relapse Prevention Plan” (there should probably be an English term for this, but since my therapy is in Dutch and internet is not much of a help, I just translated the Dutch name). What this means is that my therapy is going to end and I have to start doing things by myself. In two weeks I will have my last meeting with my psychologist to see how I do on my own and after this I’m done. Something that kind of scares me.

I feel for sure that I am much better compared to when things started, I did connect with myself, I did get much better in connecting with other people and my life just seems more balanced right now. However, I feel like I’m far from being back, or being the complete new me, I feel like I have many steps to take before I can live the life I am used to, and now more than ever it seems hard to imagine getting there. I figured my psychologist would be in my life for a while, until I would have gotten all my energy back, but it turns out that once again my expectations where wrong and there will be steps I have to take all by myself from now on.

I expected my therapy would get me back to work, back to the busy life I used to life, but instead it brought me something else and I believe I will need some time to adjust to this. I remember the first therapy, I had cried for 3 days before, I couldn’t talk so I wrote down all the things I wanted to say, my heart beat was at the maximum during the whole session and I didn’t dare to turn on the camera to face the person I was talking to. Yesterday however, I was able to talk from my heart while looking at my psychologist, there where no tears and I even smiled pretty often. I was able to talk good about myself and I was able to speak the truth about my emotions while looking her in her eyes, and this is a major improvement.

I did not reach my energy goal yet, but instead I got the feeling I need to get there and maybe this is worth much more. I truly changed, I discovered so many things about myself and I learned about what I want in life, and this is much more important than my energy level. With what I have learned till now I will not only get my energy back in the near future, I will also start (or actually already started) a life in which I can be much more happy. If I would have just focussed on getting my energy back, I would have returned to my emotionless life in which only performances mattered, maybe this would have made me feel more normal right now but for sure I would have missed out on the feeling of belonging I experience today.

My psychologist did not give me all my energy back, instead, she gave me a glimpse at what life can be, she made me realize that I, as well, deserve love, happiness and understanding. She made me see that I am allowed to have more, to want more than the numbness I had settled for and she made me see myself again but besides this, I have proven that I can find a way on my own. Although it seems scary that therapy comes to an end, I do realize I am the one responsible for much of my progress in the past months. Through my writing, my planning, reflecting and trying I was the one that started to figure things out and I was the one that made huge steps forward, my psychologist was just there to guide me.

I am curious what will happen in the next two weeks, my first two weeks without the guidance of my therapy. Will I keep improving? Will I keep gaining energy? I have to believe that I will, I have to just keep doing what makes me feel good, I have to keep looking for myself and keep laughing every day, the same way I did in the past weeks. I have to trust that my psychologist knows when it’s time to let me go and I have to trust her trust in me. Besides, I have an other therapy to start when this ends, one that will focus on my old pain and how my current habits derive from this, and I think I am ready for this one, especially with the Anger Breakdown I have experienced last Monday that derived from all the things that happened to me in the past. I am ready for the next step and I can be proud of what I gained from this one. I will get there!

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