Why Therapy Is The Best Investment You Can Make In Your 20s
I’m so unapologetically screwed up, by the time I considered therapy it probably should've been forced on me by law.
Before choosing to dissect my flaws with a psychologist, I tried swiping through pages of self-help books like Christine Hassler's "20 Something Manifesto" and Dr. Meg Jay's "The Defining Decade." But no book could prepare me for the days when depression hit heavily and getting out of bed was harder than paying back student loans.
My 20s have been a blur of inebriated nights, overdraft fees and mind blowing excitement. The constant emotional rollercoaster finally prompted me to spend boatloads of money on a therapist for some solid, life-changing advice.
Entrusting a stranger to unravel my traumatic childhood memories while forcing me to be uncharacteristically vulnerable was as terrifying to me as Kanye West running for president.
Some days I just want my therapist to STFU for being so right. Without our chats, however, I have no idea how I'd cope with anything.
Here are a few reasons why going to therapy practically saves your life.
You finally stop living in denial.
Somewhere between a flurry of relationship drama and constant work/life discontent, my flaws stopped being beautiful and I possibly needed to be on Iyanla: Fix My Life.
Having a professional uncover my deeper behavioral issues made it pretty difficult to justify my actions. With her assistance, I no longer carelessly file emotionless sex under "daddy issues" or self-medicate stress with daily happy hours.
You can no longer blame your parents.
Through therapy, I stopped pointing the finger at my mom and dad for not raising me in a "Brady Bunch"-style household, and it helped me take responsibility for my own destructive actions.
No doubt venturing into my younger self's trauma uncovered why I'm so emotionally impaired, but now I can control which direction my adult life takes.
You realize you're not alone (or crazy).
I've never had a shortage of friends and acquaintances. But even though I'm constantly surrounded by familiar faces (and frenemies, for what it's worth), it's still hard not to feel like I'm on an island. Does everyone cry in the women's bathroom at work? Am I the only one whose five-year plan is still buffering?
Short answers: yes and no.
You may not visibly see how everyone is dealing with life's currents, but the reality is we're all struggling to find our way.
Therapy will reveal fake friendships.
Saying "yes" less and ditching old habits also means saying "bye-bye" to friends. It won't be as dramatic as Lauren Conrad and Heidi Montag's split, but it'll be painfully eye-opening.
Lesson learned: Not everyone will subscribe to your ongoing personal changes.
You'll cherish quality time with yourself.
Once upon a time, I hated even going to the movies alone. Now, instead of filling the silence with sketchy people, I welcome the idea of being by myself. Lounging in sweats for a solo Netflix viewing, having chill day or traveling alone trumps any wild night out with artificial encounters.
You'll redefine love, and it will suck.
I blame romantic comedies and Beyoncé for my relationship goals. But just like discovering how Disney princesses f*cked my sh*t up, each therapy session rips off those rose-colored glasses and shatters my irrational thoughts on life and love.
I also wiped my dating history clean. It's better to be single and have a firm grasp on reality.
You develop self-trust.
With or without a helping hand from a therapist, trusting yourself is harder than sitting through MTV's VMAs. Naturally, we binge on the opinions of others instead of confronting our constant need of approval.
The end goal? Owning your unwavering confidence without second-guessing yourself.
You’ll learn to be on your best behavior.
If your therapist is any good, he or she will hold you accountable for your screw-ups. Armed with newly learned tools to help you avoid emotional benders, you'll be conditioned to behave in ways that complement your healthier mental state, not damage it.
Nothing will make sense anymore.
Therapy will shake up your life so much your former comfort zone will transform into a place you no longer recognize. Long gone are the days where retreating to a taco and tequila bar was all you needed to cure your boyfriend drama.
The beauty of therapy is learning how to handle life in new and improved ways. It always takes a little discomfort to grow anyway, right?
You won’t be 30 and f*cked up.
Now is the time to become an improved, more well-adjusted person. Figuring out how to thrive no matter what life throws at you only makes for a smoother sail into the next decade.
Your 20s are for wild discoveries, fearless experimentations and life-changing transformations. So why not toss your inhibitions to the wind and ensure you don't ruin your life?