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The Heartbreaking Reason I’m Going to Miss My Therapist

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In 2017, a person I considered a friend for years told me in one of those “our friendship is over” type of messages the following sentence: “I hope you find a good therapist because you’re a looney.”

Despite her trying to be hurtful, she was right — not the “looney” part but I did I need a good therapist. It would take six months and a lot of painful situations to happen before I started looking for one, but her last wish before being blocked came true… I found an exceptional therapist.

In the beginning of May, I took the plunge and started looking for a therapist. I was in a rough spot mentally, emotionally and physically. I had caught my husband talking to other women just five months after we said “I do.” I was starting to realize my friends were not the kind of people I wanted to associate with any longer. I was the heaviest and unhealthiest version of myself I had ever been. I was taking multiple medications for depression and to sleep, and so on. My entire life felt like it was falling apart and I felt like I was suffocating. So, I explored the web and I found a woman who was close to where I lived. I emailed her, we chatted on the phone and set up an appointment for 7 p.m. on a Friday night in mid-May.

From the moment I walked into her office, I knew I had found someone I could not only trust but someone I completely vibed with. Nothing was forced and everything felt comfortable. Our connection was immediate and it was like I had known her for years. Our first session lasted an (accidental) hour and a half. I left her office that evening and immediately called a friend of mine to tell her how ecstatic I was. I just couldn’t believe I had gotten this lucky so quickly. I’ve been going to therapy on and off since I was 16 years old and had never been able to connect with someone so strongly before.

Months went by with a lot of ups and downs and a lot of changes and she was there through it all. She helped me through all the pain in my new marriage, letting go of the friendships I had held onto for so long, with motivating and encouraging me to become a healthier version of myself and so many other bits and pieces of this evolution part of my life. I was always telling people: “Gosh, I wish I could clone my therapist 20 million times so everyone could experience having someone like this in their lives.”

Now I wish I could clone her for myself. Last week, I contacted her asking if I could reschedule our appointment due to some money issues but she said not to worry about it, and asked if we could talk whenever I was available. You know when you get that feeling that something is off? I immediately wondered why and my anxiety came into play. “I wonder if it’s something with my insurance,” I thought to myself. Or maybe she was just going out of the town for the holidays? I honestly never thought she would say the words: “I’m moving to Baghdad for a year and I leave in two weeks.”

My first thought was, “oh my gosh, that’s exciting!” She has been all over the country working with the military and applied for this exact job three years ago, so of course she was going to take it. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime in her eyes. But then, I remembered this affects me. I had become so dependent on our Friday evenings together. Every situation that arose or problem I needed help figuring out wasn’t that big of a deal because I knew I always had therapy soon.

Last night was our last session. We talked about the week, a few things that were bothering me and then we started talking about where to go from here. She referred me to a colleague she’s worked with for years and trusts. She said, “you’ll love her… probably more than me.” I’m not sure how that would even be possible. She said we could still be in contact but she is not sure how often or how quickly she will be able to respond. Honestly, I’ll take whatever I can get. I walked out of our last session with “I’ll speak with you soon”s and “it’s not goodbye, it’s I’ll see ya later”s with tears in my eyes. I cried all night. I felt like I had just lost my best friend… again.

I will say that I am a completely different person today than the anxiety-filled, lost-feeling and negative woman who walked into that office six months ago. She helped me find my voice, my strength and my truth. She’s helped me through multiple situations and has taught me how to handle things in a healthy way. She’s helped me grieve losses and celebrate my triumphs. I am now a person who wakes up early and goes to the gym every morning, who writes down my goals and what I’m thankful for daily and who meditates every night before bed. And all of this progress without a single antidepressant. Never in a million years did I ever think I could be this positive, uplifting and different person. I was so lost for so long and never even considered what the future would be like for me. Now all I have are dreams and ideas for my future.

But what do I do now? I can’t help but feel sad and scared, knowing I will have to figure out how to do this life without her for a while. Yes, I’m a strong woman and I know I am capable of getting through everything all by myself, but I’m also terrified. And honestly, my heart is broken. I’ve dealt with so much loss this year, including the loss of the person I thought I was, and now I’m losing her. It is so much easier facing your demons when you know someone is in your corner, cheering you on and helping you through. Especially if that someone feels more like a mentor than someone you pay to listen to your problems.

Change is so hard and it always will be. It’s scary, unsettling and sometimes heartbreaking. Unfortunately, it is also inevitable. Who knows what the next year will bring? I might not even be in the city when she comes back from overseas. I have big dreams and it’s time to start making them a reality. And no matter what happens, whether I see someone else or I communicate with her by email for a year, I know I will be OK.

Going to therapy is honestly one of the best things you can do for yourself, in my opinion. I feel like everyone and their mama should go. No matter who you are or what you are going through, finding someone you feel comfortable with and can trust is truly one of the biggest blessings in life. My wish for anyone reading this is that you find the courage to find a therapist you feel comfortable with; that you let yourself be vulnerable and watch your life transform before your eyes. Basically, my wish is that you find someone like my therapist.

Photo by Billy Williams on Unsplash

Originally published: January 28, 2019
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