I had therapy yesterday. We talked about a lot of things. The latest self-help book I read and what I learned from that. The tough relationships I am dealing with. Feelings and progress and challenges.
The last couple of times I have gone my therapist has had to do less talking and we have done a lot more highlighting my progress. I have had less challenges and nothing that has felt like a crisis.
At the end of my appointment when we usually talk about setting up my next appointment my therapist asked if I felt like I really needed to set up a “next” appointment. We talked about how well I am doing with the tools I have gained. We talked about how proud she was of me and all the work I have put in to my recovery and the amazing success I have had. She told me that in her opinion I have accomplished most of the goals I set when I came to her and in her opinion I was ready to graduate.
Wow. I did not expect this to happen so soon. But when I evaluate how I am doing things now compared to months ago it is incredibly different. It is more healthy. I feel good. I am managing. And it is time.
Don’t get me wrong, there is still so much work to do. I have some big, big issues that I am not ready to move past and tackle yet and things will never be easy for me. Things that are easy for normal people like self care, self love, internal validation, not seeking outside approval, accepting compliments, over-responsibility, self-blame for everything in the entire world, control, and a million other things will always take 100 times more work for me than for other people. But I have the tools and I am doing the work. And it is a little less exhausting than it was in the beginning.
I am not recovered. I am not “better”. But I am better than I was. I am healthier. I am stronger. I am happier. And I am proud of myself. After a lifetime of never feeling “good enough” and a total inability to feel pride I feel it today. This is one of the biggest accomplishments of my life and something I thought was impossible. I feel so good about this. And optimistic for the future. And a tiny bit terrified that she thinks I can do this on my own now 😉
Mental health is a never ending journey and the process of recovery is multi-faceted and difficult. For me it has involved so many things I never thought I would do. I will continue with my meds, I will take care of myself, I will be prepared for setbacks, I will let my therapist know when I am ready to tackle the next big scary things, and I will openly share my struggles to help stop the stigma surrounding mental health. But for today I will revel in my progress and take a minute to be proud of myself because that is a feeling that I have not been able to feel before. And I have worked SO. DAMN. HARD for it. And it feels really fucking good. ❤