In May of 2015 my parents asked me if I thought seeing a therapist would be beneficial for me. At first, I was almost hurt that they asked this. I thought to myself, “is there something wrong with me? Do they want me to change who I am?” but I quickly realized this was an act of sentiment, not hatred.
The past few months leading up to that May were some of the toughest of my life. In February, I lost my grandfather who was my best friend, due to cancer. Then, in April my mom found out she was diagnosed with cancer. I remember this night like it was yesterday. With my parents being divorced, my dad and step-mom were driving me back to my mom’s house and when we arrived, they got out of the car and followed me into the house. I immediately knew something was wrong. Then, my dad let the words escape his lips.
My mom was crying before my dad even said anything. I knew she was scared but I knew she was more worried for me than anything. So, I didn’t cry for her. I kept it in until I was alone hoping to ease my mom's nerves. Then, I got in my room and thoughts flew into my mind, and I couldn’t help but cry.
This terrified me. I thought ‘I just lost my grandpa to this and now it’s going to take my mom too?’ These thoughts started to make who I was fade away. I wasn’t the outgoing girl I knew anymore. I was quiet and lonely.
It’s common for teens to feel shy about going to a therapist or psychologist. Immediately there might be worry about being judged by others. There might be concern that others will think that he or she has a mental illness. However, most teens find that spending time with an adult outside of their family and who is giving them one-on-one attention enjoy the experience very much, according to adolescent therapist Yu-An Chien.
For me, therapy definitely helped me. It helped me be able to actually process my feelings instead of keeping them bottled up, which is what caused me to lose myself there for a while.
I went for about a year and a half and then me and my parents decided I was back to my normal self, so I no longer needed to go. However, in the long run I think that might have been a bad decision to stop at all.
A couple months ago I finally accepted the fact that I was drifting away again. I think I have been since my sophomore year. I would come home from school and take a two to three-hour nap and then get up for maybe an hour or two to eat dinner and possibly shower, but definitely never do my homework.
I was very depressed but I didn’t want to accept it. I wanted to get through it by myself, so I tried to for the next two years when just recently I accepted that I couldn’t do it on my own and that’s OK.
Now, I’ve been going to therapy for about three months and this time I had to start taking antidepressants, which was a hard pill for me to swallow, but I did it. Sometimes they make it easier to do the little things. For instance, before the medication sometimes when I would get in the shower I would just stand there feeling the water on me and not actually wash my hair and body, or I wouldn’t do my homework.
Now, it doesn’t feel so difficult to do those small things but I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily happier yet, but I’m getting there and I’m OK with that. I’m still growing and I’m happy I’ve finally come to terms with it.