I was sitting there in the office talking with my therapist about how much I have grown since the ending of my five-year relationship. So many things began to surface for me.
The insight I have gained through therapy has been invaluable. I realized that I had left my relationship because I loved myself and I wanted to grow. Not just professionally or academically, but I wanted to grow into the person I was meant to be: a devoted mother and competent student doctor of clinical psychology.
When I first started seeing my current therapist, my son and I had seen another one previously — whom I once had deemed to be without enlightenment. Back then I thought — could the previous therapist not see my potential as a human and a mother? What is wrong with this picture?
Today the thoughts became clear to me. It was not him who had ceased to grow spiritually. It was I. Over the past five years, I had stumbled upon a little roadblock, a pebble. That pebble was me. I had been avoiding me all along and the pain I knew I had to endure to grow. I told my therapist today I can see now that I had wasted the previous therapist’s time and the energy he had invested in my son and me. I had not been ready to embrace change and the pain that accompanied growth.
The depression in my life had my son and I so stuck down in it that I could not see past my own pain to truly help us. Leaving such a long relationship was a risk I took, which has forever changed me as a woman, psychologist, mother, and doctoral student. I had been afraid of the risk of truly finding myself. I view this now as an absurdity of my inability to grow and mature into the person I am becoming now. Through therapy I have grown … I have cried … but I have made it through. The depression I had endured for over five years was coming to an end. Casually, I wondered if I would miss the safety of my sadness.
In the last year of my relationship, I decided to get healthy. I began eating healthily, exercising regularly, and forming meaningful relationships with other professional women outside of work. I believe these changes were just a preface to my lifting off and taking the risk of psychological growth. I now know that in order to gain everything, one must risk everything. Before I went into my last therapy session, I had a very emotional time knowing that I had come so far.
I sat crying and thanked myself. I thanked myself for the courage, will, and determination it took to begin my journey of mental wellness. Today, I feel like a completely different individual — an individual capable of growth and succeeding beyond what I had thought possible at one time. I will not miss my sadness, nor will I miss the beauty I failed to see in myself before. I am no longer scared of change, risk, or the possibility of depression. These things are a part of life we all must endure. I now look at problems as opportunities to grow spiritually and intellectually.