Why President Obama’s Farewell Speech Reminded Me of Advice From My Therapist


As many people watched President Obama’s farewell speech, I didn’t expect to be reminded of advice from counseling sessions from years ago. The moment he began to talk about his family is when I felt the most emotion. Why?

I was reminded of what positive healthy relationships should look like. While discussing past relationships, and potential new ones, I was advised, “Stop accepting crumbs instead of the whole cake.” Who doesn’t enjoy a visual metaphor using a dessert?

So how does this relate to a speech about democracy?

In one session, I was asked a simple question that instantly hit a nerve.

“Do you think you deserve love?

The logical response should have been, of course, I do. Instead, I started crying.

At that time I was still punishing myself for past mistakes surrounding feelings of guilt. I realized I was viewing myself in a negative light and allowing myself to be treated as someone who deserves to be reminded of their faults. In order to change that, my self-perception had to change. The hardest step was to remove the crumbs! It took time, but the result changed my life.

The people we allow into our space and to occupy our time can have an effect on our mental health. Being in toxic relationships can result in repeated cycles of negative self-talk, which can lead to darker thoughts. I am thankful that through counseling I was able to see the “why” of my actions and make a change.

My life has completely turned around. I have been in a healthy relationship for two years. The kind I’m reminded of when I watch the President talk about his wife. I’m supported, I’m acknowledged, I’m loved for who I am, and I am in love with my best friend.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Photo source: New York Times video


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Mental Health

Mental Health Survival Pack

A list of items that you can carry on you to help with your mental health.
A woman's hands, holding a pencil over a piece of paper as she begins write

Writing Through the Emotional Roller Coaster of Mental Illness

I have sat in front of my computer today not really knowing what to say or where to begin. I just feel like I need to write. So come with me on a journey with no destination. Hopefully, the views will be interesting. I’ve been trying to ignore it, but it’s gotten to the point [...]
Two images of girl with make up on one side of their faces

This Makeup Artist Is Challenging People to Wear Their Mental Illnesses

Beauty blogger Yasaman Gheidi is bringing visibility to mental illness in a beautiful way. On Monday, the 27-year-old makeup artist known online as lilmoonchildd, launched the “Inside Out Challenge,” a social media-based challenge which asks participants to visualize their mental illness using makeup. “This project is about changing the way we approach mental illness and removing the [...]
college athlete running up empty bleachers

8 Things I Hide as a Collegiate Athlete With Mental Illness

Anyone who lives with mental illness may know that sometimes there are things you feel you have to hide and keep to yourself. Not because you don’t want help, but because you don’t want others to have to deal with what you deal with every day of your life. I, for one, have become very [...]