My therapist asked me to write about my own success story as a kind of graduation out of one on one therapy. To start with how I felt when I started with her a year ago, and end with how I feel about myself today. This is what I wrote.
A year ago I started therapy. I was anxious, even scared, about what it would be like. I wasn’t taking care of myself. I wasn’t bathing, or sleeping well, or putting on clean clothes. I worried about everything. I had just broken up with my now ex-boyfriend and my entire world was upside down. I had to move back in with my mom and I didn’t want to. I was worried about living with her because we didn’t have the best relationship when I was a child.
I learned pretty quickly that my therapist was non-judgemental, and open to discussing whatever I needed to talk about that week. She gave me a safe space to not worry about what might be thought of me, and to reflect on myself with her gentle guidance. At the same time, I started doing things that let me feel in control of my body, since I couldn’t control anything else in my life right then. This took the form of several piercings, some easily visible, some more intimate. I changed my hair. I started wearing make-up more often. I showered. I put on clean clothes.
I got a puppy, and I started cleaning the house. I slowly stopped worrying about the things that had bothered me- if my pup was safe, if I was safe, if I would have a place to live. My piercings became less frequent, though I still got a few new ones, as well as a tattoo. The word WORTHY on my foot. Because I am.
I learned to look at things that had happened to me in a different way. My mom did the best she could for me. Not all the bad things that happened to me as a child were her fault. She loves me and thinks I’m just fine the way I am. Realizing that made a big difference in how I felt living with her and her boyfriend, and things got better.
I realized my ex was even more of a self-centered, bullying, and verbally and emotionally abusive asshole than I had let myself see before we broke up. Good riddance to bad garbage. I stopped talking to him completely and blocked him on social media. There was nothing good he brought into my life. I felt good about that.
All of these changes, and talking about these things while my therapist reframed them for me to consider made me see I am worthy of my own love and affection. I am worthy of others’ love and affection. I am worth working on to become a better, strong, more emotionally secure person. I’m worth taking care of. I am, all of me, worth it. I’m smart. I’m capable. I’m a good craft artist and a great dog mom. I can and do learn new things all the time. I can take care of myself and I can be my own success story. I am not a failure.