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Therapy Tuesday: Why I Chose Therapy

July 27, 2019

I sat here for 10 minutes trying to think of a poetic, witty way of saying this…

I’m in therapy.

Why am I sharing this?

I am not seeking validation or attention. I’m just so tired of amazing people feeling ashamed, being criticized, or not seeking the help they need.

I’ve said so many times…

Some of the things we go through aren’t about or for us–they are for someone else.

Adeea Rogers

My cousin, Pastor Antonio M. Matthews, says when you tell your own story you take your power back.

And so here I am, sitting in a coffee shop at 10:31 PM MST on a Friday night writing this post. I won’t go into great detail about my sessions or share who my therapist is, but on Tuesdays I will share my reflections on themes and patterns I’m working on. So whether you’re nosy or you think this will be insightful, you’re welcome to continue reading.

The first thing I wanted to do in talking about my therapy journey was share the reasons why I decided to seek professional counseling.

My sincere hope and prayer is that this post encourages or affirms those who want to or are in counseling.

And I also hope it helps others understand, empathize, and support those in their lives who have confided in you that they are in therapy.

I have unhealed trauma

Honestly. I’m not ready to discuss what that is. Some know. Many don’t. But this unhealed trauma causes me to struggle with vulnerability, intimacy, and trust. I’m not talking what you normally experience when you first meet someone. I mean the effects of this unhealed trauma surfaces at the wrong times and with the wrong people and I don’t know how to deal with it in the moment.

I am triggered more than I would like

I am realizing I have triggers that cause me to feel anxious, nervous, with a tight chest, rapid heartbeat, and lose focus.

One trigger is tone of voice. Because of things I’ve heard (and still hear), HOW people talk can impact me. Unfortunately, not everyone is sensitive or aware. The only person I can influence is me. So I’m in therapy to help identify, and learn coping skills when I am in triggering situations.

I want to learn how to communicate

You may be saying, “huh?” I have a degree in Communication with an English minor. You may have watched me on Periscope or participated in a webinar I taught. You probably thought communication was the last thing I needed to work on…

When it comes to close friendships and relationships, I struggle communicating. When I would try to communicate dreams, desires, displeasures, even the mundane–I was told for a long time that my thoughts didn’t matter and didn’t make sense. I eventually just stopped talking about me period.

I desire emotional intimacy (even in my friendships) and I realize not feeling comfortable communicating my thoughts doesn’t help me achieve that.

I realized “this ain’t it”

I was sitting across from one of my dearest friends right after Memorial Day . Although we talk and stay in touch, we hadn’t actually seen each other in several years. Seeing her was such a joy–but a joy that I honestly couldn’t fully enjoy. So after we caught up on all that was going on with her and her family, she said, “so what’s up, sis?” I started to give my standard answer, but I just couldn’t. So for the next 30 minutes or so, I shared what was really going on and how I was really feeling. It was during that outpouring that I FULLY realized how I had been feeling for the past several months “ain’t it.” I mean, I knew it before. But in that moment of vulnerability with a sister, I knew not only was this not it, but I had to do something about it.

I will definitely share the story of how my friends and family stepped in and stepped up to cover, care, love, and protect me during this time.

God can heal in many ways–including therapy

I am a Christian.

I love Jesus.

I follow Jesus.

I read my Bible.

I pray.

I am active in a Bible-based ministry.

My mom is a Pastor and is my forever Pastor.

And I’m in therapy.

People and institutions who claim to love and follow Christ MUST stop stigmatizing, criticizing, and condemning those who seek therapy.

Seeking counsel and advice is a sound Biblical principle!

Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.

Proverbs 13:10

When we are struggling mentally or emotionally, that is strife (conflict). And sometimes because of societal perceptions, stigmas, even our own negative self-talk–pride causes us to not seek help. But just like anything else in life we can’t or don’t know how to handle–we seek advice. One of the wisest things you can do when you’re conflicted internally is to seek counseling.

Plans fail for a lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.

Proverbs 15:22

Surely you need guidance to wage war, and victory is won through many advisers.

Proverbs 24:6

Aight boom. (I just hit my fist in the palm of my hand when I typed this)

This is especially for those who say that mental illness, depression, and the like is a form of “spiritual warfare.” Managing and overcoming emotional and mental struggles takes many advisers–including a therapist.

If you want to stick with the military theme of this scripture–your therapist is part of your tactical team. In warfare there isn’t just one person that handles communication, logistics, transportation, weapon distribution, cooking, setting up your base, etc. When you’re fighting for your emotional well-being, it takes multiple people that can help you mentally/emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, professionally, etc. A therapist is just one of them.

And guess what?

God calls, uses, and equips ALL of these people to help heal us internally.

Before I move on, let me say to anyone who is in a church that doesn’t support, speaks against, and criticizes therapy…

FIND ANOTHER CHURCH!

Listen. Please don’t allow your current church situation make you think it’s this way everywhere. There are SO MANY PASTORS AND CHURCHES who preach, teach, and model wholeness and wellness. There are churches who have counseling centers and take significant time and resources to have ministries that speak to the emotional and mental well-being of its congregation.

Trust me, there is a community of Christians that will support your journey to wholeness. FIND THEM…

I get to talk to someone objective

My therapist is an objective 3rd party. She doesn’t love me so much she doesn’t want to acknowledge or challenge me on my issues. And she is not so critical of me that she can’t see good qualities and progress. She doesn’t have a dog in the fight so to speak. Her discomfort with my emotional state won’t cause her to say things just so I can “get better.” And she won’t manipulate me to keep emotionally unhealthy because it benefits her.

I can be a “masterpiece” and a “work in progress” at the same time

Because I built my platform and business living my life on social media, that sometimes comes with some assumptions and expectations. Some times people think that you have to have it all done, figured out, and tidy before you share yourself and your gifts with the world. Just because I have work to do doesn’t mean I’m not still God’s masterpiece–His signature statement.

It makes the good things in my life feel “gooder”

Sometimes the lie Satan (the devil, the enemy, or as old folks say “sleufoot”) perpetuates is that nothing is right, good, or working in your life. This level of despair often leads people to want to hurt themselves.

But therapy is not just hashing and rehashing the pain. It helps to identify and amplify what brings you joy and is good.

In one session, my therapist told me she sees a powerful, accomplished woman when she talks to me. And that stuck–because I had forgotten. If you’ve never experienced emotional turmoil, you can forget even what you know and believe about yourself.

When I decided to go to therapy, I also started journaling. The first thing I do is write,

Today, I am grateful for…

And I list at least 3 things I’m grateful for.

Brene Brown says that almost everyone that has overcome any trauma or pain had this in common–Gratitude.

It helps me recognize patterns and triggers

My therapist often asks about how I felt during certain moments and situations. Not just how I felt emotionally, but what was the physical response. And that helps me recognize even subtle triggers.

One of the things that we are exploring is the patterns of my choices as it relates to the people in my life. This is very deep work that we’ve only scratched the surface on.

It pushes me to be intentional with my self-care

At the end of each session, my therapist asks,

“How are you going to take care of yourself this week?”

I try to think of something before I get there. Some days I have answers. Other days I don’t. Some days I’m proud of the answers. Some days all I can say is “sleep.”

If nothing else, it makes me more conscious of caring for myself throughout the week.

It helps me get out of my head

Hello. My name is Adeea and I overanalyze EVERYTHING.

EV-ER-Y-THING

Some of my friends are vigorously nodding right now.

Last week, I was weaving this beautiful spun story of how a relationship with a dear friend had met its demise and how they were never going to reach out to me again and how I had to figure out how I was going to move on.

Therapist stopped me and said, “do you think you can have a collaborative conversation with them rather than just think of all the different ways it won’t work?”

Face. Cracked.

That question made me pause and realize that I think up a bunch of scenarios that likely won’t even happen. And doing so causes me unnecessary angst.

It helps me trust my intuition, inner voice, and God’s Spirit in me again

I’ve experienced situations that caused me to stop trusting my intuition, inner voice and God’s spirit inside me. Lies, manipulation, emotional and verbal abuse caused me to question what I knew to be true about life, love, and myself. Therapy helps me reconnect with my inner voice and God’s spirit and voice and to address my emotions in a way that honors God’s signature statement–me.

It helps me realize all of my feelings aren’t “wrong”

An extension of my previous point. I’ve been told more times than I care to count (even recently) that my feelings are wrong. Therapy helps me realize that not all of these feelings are wrong. They are only viewed that way when it doesn’t serve the person saying it.

And the beautiful thing is that my feelings that do need to change for the better are influenced in a way that empowers–not demoralizes.

So there you have it…kudos to you if you’ve read this far. I appreciate your taking time to read the heart and spirit behind my words.

If you read this and you’re considering therapy, I hope it influences you.

If you read this and you’re in therapy, I hope it affirms you and encourages you to continue to do your own work. I also hope it affirms your journey.

If you read this and you know someone in therapy, I hope it causes you to be kind, gentle, and empathetic with them.

No matter where you are on the spectrum, I pray for you as I pray for myself.

The day I’m writing this post, Tituss Burgess released a new EP. I saw him perform “I’ll Be Alight” on The View. Whether it’s family issues, relationship woes, or physical, emotional, or sexual trauma, I leave you with this song and these lyrics…

I’ll be alright. I’ll be just fine. There no real scars. I’ll heal in no time.

I’m going to make it through. My world didn’t start with you.

“I’ll Be Alright” by Tituss Burgess

2 responses to “Therapy Tuesday: Why I Chose Therapy”

  1. Sonja Palmer says:

    Thanks for sharing your most inner thoughts. I will keep you likfted in Prayer.

    Sonja

  2. 4HzGlore says:

    Well done my dear.

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ADEEA R. ROGERS

Adeea R. Rogers, known as The Trendy Socialite, believes her calling is to help empower others to develop and pursue their purpose. And as a result, she is known as “The Purpose Pusher.” Adeea seeks to equip others with the motivation and tools necessary to create and design the life they want. Adeea believes in creating the change you want to see through creating events, communities and movements. She created International Natural Hair Meetup Day (INHMD), giving women around the world the opportunity to guide each other in their natural hair journeys. In July 2015, she co-founded Black Biz Live, a community-based initiative where black owned businesses are featured on livestream platforms. Adeea’s perspective on living a purposeful life, personal branding tips, and content marketing ideas, cause her to be a sought-after event host, workshop facilitator, speaker and panelist. She also hosts a podcast, The Trendsetters Podcast. Adeea has a profound love for three things: Her Savior, Jesus Christ, Starbucks, and Statement Jewelry.