“Why do you go to therapy?”

My therapist rarely asks me to do anything outside of session, but when she does, it usually involves writing.

Yesterday during my session, we were talking about EMDR and how when we tried it a few weeks ago, my brain fought it so hard that we pretty much got nowhere. We haven’t tried it again since then. I’ve been pushing to try it again because I genuinely want to try to do better at it, I want to do anything I can to help myself.

I made a comment along the lines of how I feel too broken to be fixed. Like I’m too broken to even do EMDR, the thing that’s supposed to help.

That led to her asking me why I go to therapy if I feel that way, too broken to be fixed. I laughed and gave her my sarcastic answer of “because I love spending money that I don’t have,” but I also tried to answer her more honestly. She told me to write about it. To really write about it and give it a lot of thought, (and no sarcasm). She wants me to be vulnerable because ultimately, it will help me be able to do EMDR. If I can write in a vulnerable way, it’s a good first step.

So, why do I go to therapy?

While this question might seem easy on the surface, if you look a little deeper, it gets complicated. I go to therapy because it helps. Or, because I want it to help. I want to feel like I’m doing something, like I’m actively trying to better myself. It makes me feel like I’m still fighting. If I’m putting in the work, if I keep showing up, things will get better.

My life isn’t, and never will be, easy. But going to therapy, choosing to trust someone, choosing to allow someone in to see the parts of me that would scare most people away…I don’t know. It just feels important. It feels important to see that there are people out there that are okay with me. That what I feel, what I’ve gone through (and what I’m going through) is acceptable. The way I feel about life is okay because of all the shit I’ve been though.

Not going to therapy would feel like quitting. It would feel like I was giving up. Giving up on myself, on life, on the hope of ever feeling better, giving up on healing, any of it. I refuse to do that. I’m not going to give up. I have come too far and have survived this long, my story deserves a happy ending. Or, a better ending.

I want to be the absolute best version of myself that I can be. I’m never going to learn how to do that, or what that person would even look like, by guessing. I’ve lived, and am living, my life in survival mode. I don’t know how to stop living like that, how to live in a world where I’m not constantly feeling like I’m being threatened by something. But I’m just not going to stop learning how to do things better. I’m not going to give up on myself.

So I guess those are some of the reasons why I go to therapy. It’s an incomplete list, that isn’t all of it, but it’s a start. I’ll still have to actually write about it on pen and paper. It will be interesting to see the reasons I come up with when there’s a pen in my hand. It will probably end up being a lot more personal and vulnerable than this was, which is exactly what she’s going for.

Why do you go to therapy? What do you get out of it? Would it feel like giving up if you were to suddenly stop?

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