On April 1st of this year, 2017, I celebrated one whole year of going to counseling.

HOLD FOR APPLAUSE. 😉

For over two weeks I’ve wanted to share with the internet-sphere what counseling has done for me, but didn’t have the words until now.

Let me preface all of this by saying that the way I talk about counseling may make it seem like all sunshine and rainbows, but that is far from the truth. Don’t get me wrong, counseling is WONDERFUL and I do not hesitate to say that I think most people could benefit from it. This is for certain: counseling is difficult, but the process is essential.

Going to counseling has caused my thought process to completely change. What I would once obsess over, I now have the proper tools to utilize in stopping those thoughts. It has caused me to have more courage; to step out and have difficult conversations. It has been a beacon of hope for me when my anxiety was an overwhelming storm. I have gone into sessions walled up and feeling hopeless, but never have I left that way.

It has caused me to realize some harsh (but necessary) truths about myself.

I am a textbook perfectionist. I view being perfect as being the only way I can be accepted (or even accept myself), which is obviously untrue. Through this constant striving to be perfect, I RARELY feel like I am enough for people. Worth and perfection are things my counselor and I continue to discuss. (That’s a whole blog post in and of itself.)

All of that to say, I continue to go to counseling. I know I will never, ever, ever, EVER be perfect (I laugh at the thought), but I also know I still have work to do in my life. I’ve made A LOT of progress through counseling. This is something that I (and my counselor) have to remind myself of. It’s easy for me to forget the progress I’ve made when it seems to have stalled.

Counseling has changed me in the best way possible. It has made vulnerability a habit of mine. It has absolute transformed my relationships with friends, family, coworkers, etc.

I will be an advocate. I will any questions people may have.

I will continue to break down the stigma regarding counseling.

– J

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