Monday, January 21, 2013

One Giant Step for Ryan, One Small Step for...

It loomed over my head this past week. I grew more anxious and nervous thinking about it. I have long since wanted to do. I needed to do it. I knew that once I did it, that things in my life would begin to improve. But still, I couldn't bring myself to do it. Maybe I was fearful of the change. Maybe I was afraid of being brutally honest. Finally, on Friday, it happened. I don't know why; perhaps I just grew so tired and fed up of weighing the decision in my mind. But I mustered up the courage and the balls to do what needed to be done, what would make things easier for me and those around me.

I made an appointment with a therapist.

With all this buildup to my dialing a phone number and scheduling an appointment, I began thinking about stigma. In larger society, mental health has long been a topic that people never discuss. Moreover, seeking help or treatment for one's struggles with mental health is seen negatively: psychotic, weak. For me personally, I don't really care what other people have to say about me seeing a therapist. It's not them that have to live in my body, my mind, and go about life in my shoes. It's me. But what I found astonishing was how much I fought my own self in making the appointment. I kept wondering if it was the right thing to do, if maybe I just waited things out, I would start to feel better. In hindsight, societal views on therapy may have subconsciously influenced my actions. Mostly, however, I knew that I was just getting in my own way: fearful of change, progress, and confronting my past. Something I've long done and need to learn to stop doing.

I don't know what therapy will do for me, but I hope it will open new doors and help me to resolve issues I've long fought with. I don't see it as a way of saying, "I give up. I can't fix my problems." Rather, I see it as a way of saying, "I need to develop introspection, and therapy will not only help me in doing so, but also provide perspective and insight onto influencing factors unbeknownst to me, but visible to a knowledgeable professional."


  1. Dido. Seriously. I have counselors available to me for free of charge that have published studies and specialize in Mormon homosexuality. Several friends have suggested I go see them, offered to go with me to show me how to get started, and even started walking there with me.

    Yet. For some reason - I can NOT make myself go. My parents were pretty vocally against therapy when I was younger. Not sure if that has something to do with it - or if it's something else.

    Usually I end up just telling myself that I don't know what we would talk about - how a therapist could help - or that it'll be better in a few days.

    Anyways - best of luck to you. Maybe one of these days, I'll get up the nerve to go.

    1. I know a lot of people who are against therapy because their parents were so against it. But if you feel safe in going to these sessions and are able to do so, remember that it's you who has to live your life, no one else. Your own personal happiness should be valued and attended to. Feel free to message me if you ever need to talk or vent!