Little Wellness: I Had My Last Appointment With My Therapist — Now The Work Begins.

A few months ago I thought that the solution to all my problems was to completely take myself out of the picture. I’m better now and here’s how I did it.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

When I left New York, it wasn’t just because I wanted to buy property in Atlanta like I told everyone. I was about 118 pounds. I wasn’t eating. I wasn’t showering. I was barely sleeping or I was sleeping all day. When I was awake I would listen to the same songs over and over again to drown out the voices in my head. My body, my mind, it had felt like my entire being was betraying me and all I had to hold it together was scotch tape.

Moving to Atlanta things became significantly harder. I left behind my support system, but that was slowly dwindling due to the pandemic. I was closer to my family and I was even making friends, but something was still wrong. I felt wrong.

I had never really dealt with any of my past trauma and as a result, I did everything I could to be “happy.” I chased happiness like it was a drug. I did anything and everything I could to stop the anxiety that I felt every second of every day. This ultimately led to some bad decision-making. I let people in my life that I should have been strong enough to fend off. I started dating and I let the men I was dating do things to me that should never have been done to anyone. I allowed people to treat me as worthless as I felt inside and then I just broke.

I remember feeling like I could burn the entire world down. It was like all the pain that I had experienced in my entire life had somehow bubbled to the surface. I wanted to hurt anything and everyone who had ever hurt me or betrayed me. Even though I tried to keep it inside it was spilling out of me. I felt like I didn’t have anyone that I could talk to. I didn’t trust myself. I didn’t recognize myself. I remember thinking that my mom had another kid so she didn’t need me around. I remember thinking that my friends would just move on. I came up with every rationalization I could think of. I wanted to disappear. I had experienced so much pain and I believed that only a truly evil person could be punished in this way. I believed that I was the common problem and that my life just wasn’t worth living. It wouldn’t matter how much love or support people were giving me, I just didn’t feel it. I had to protect the people that I loved from the destruction that I was causing. It wasn’t anyone’s fault, I just wasn’t myself and I needed help.

In truth, it wasn’t the first time that I thought taking my own life was the solution to all of my problems. There are phases to this process. Fortunately, I have been strong enough to never reach the planning phase, so my attempts were in thought only. I do think that I had to be broken enough to build myself back up.

I had gotten ten free sessions of psychiatry and therapy through my job. I used this service called Ginger and I came ready to do the work. I was given a life coach who helped me to understand the patterns of anxiety and gave me exercises that I could use to stop negative thoughts. I did that for a while until I was able to schedule some time with a therapist and psychiatrist. I was ready to resolve my problems so when I went to therapy I talked about…everything. It was a lot, but my therapist helped me to put things in perspective. She taught me about closure, forgiveness, dealing with my emotions, and reframing my pain. My psychiatrist prescribed medication that would help me deal with the physical effects of my anxiety and depression so that I could begin to heal.

I had spent years, knowing that there was something wrong with me and doing almost nothing about it. I never want to feel that way again. I just didn’t know what to do or how to deal with any of it, so I reached out for help and worked with medical professionals to figure it out. I’m not out of the woods yet, but I’m better now. I feel like I have a future and I’ve stopped blaming myself for my past. More importantly, I have the tools I need to prevent me from experiencing those dark feelings again.

The one question I’ve never been able to answer is what kept me going during that dark time. That’s part of the work that I have to do. I want to get to know that inner strength and rely on it in a positive way, not just at times when I feel like my world is falling apart.

I finished my last free session with my Ginger therapist, so for the time being, I’m on my own again. It’s up to me to ensure that I’m doing everything I can to avoid falling back into that deep depression. It’s up to me to continue to use the tools that I’ve learned to better understand myself. It's up to me to continue to take my meds until I am healed enough to deal with my problems without it. Now, the real work begins. I’m ready for it. I’ve never been so ready to show the world exactly who Kawaun Lovell Harvey truly is.

Here’s what I learned from this experience:

Lesson 1: Psychiatry, therapy, it’s out there and it’s waiting for you. If it weren’t for my therapist and psychiatrist I would likely have fallen back into the same destructive behavior that I am prone to. I remember thinking about how much I didn’t feel like myself, how I no longer trusted myself. I remember feeling overwhelmed by everything and everyone around me. I couldn’t talk about it to my friends or my family because even I had to recognize how crazy I felt. Going to a therapist, getting on medication, helped me to understand why I do the things that I do. Talking about my trauma allowed me to begin to get closure on it. Taking the medication gave me insight into what my negative impulses are and how I could better manage them.

Lesson 2: Forgive yourself. I had done some pretty bad things to people who probably deserved it, but it just wasn’t me. I had done some pretty bad things to myself and that wasn’t me either. I had to learn to forgive myself for not being “strong” enough. I had to forgive myself for not being attractive enough or smart enough or fun enough, sexy enough, fashionable enough, rich enough, responsible enough, I just wasn’t enough — or so I thought. Once I started the process of forgiveness, I realized that I had everything that I needed already. I was more than enough, more than I could have possibly imagined. I never felt that way because of the walls I had built up around myself that were filled with anxiety, depression, and mostly pain. I had to begin to heal for those walls to come down, and that healing didn’t truly begin until I learned how to forgive myself.

Lesson 3: Being your best self is a journey, not a goal. The sad truth is that we’ve built a society that is meant to break you in every way possible. You will be tested and you will fail. You’re supposed to fail, you are meant to stumble, you are meant to fall. Unfortunately, there’s no better way to learn. There is no end to these challenges, they just come with life. It takes work, daily, to be your best self. When you put in that work, the challenges, society, it just doesn’t seem so frightening anymore.

Here’s what I’m doing about it today:

Although my free sessions with my Ginger therapist are up, I am seeking long-term treatment. There’s still a lot of work for me to do, there’s still a lot of tools that I need to learn and there’s still a lot about myself that I haven’t fully realized.

Part of the reason I started this blog was to find a way back to me. Even more so, I wanted to use my voice to connect with others who are going through the same pain. To my surprise, it’s working. I’m reaching out to myself and reaching out to others with my words.

Additionally, I’ve been keeping up with my daily routine. It involves a very long skincare regimen and about a million products for my hair. I take my meds religiously and I even find time to meditate and write down my goals. I bought new clothes and I take the time to put together outfits because I want to present myself to the world in the way that I see myself. These are just some of the minor changes that I’ve made in my life that involve taking care of myself.

The biggest change I’ve made was building the support system that I needed simply by telling the truth. I’ve become very open about therapy and my medication use. It bought me closer to my friends, my family and helped make me a stronger person overall.

I work every day, to be the best person that I know that I can be. This is the gift that I give to myself. Little by little, day by day, I make the effort, I put in the work so that I can look in the mirror and see the version of myself that is more than enough — for anything or anyone.

Check me out on social: Follow me on Instagram. Join me on Twitter. Watch me on TikTok.

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My name’s Kawaun, I’m a writer, and most of the time I have something to say.

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Kawaun Harvey

Kawaun Harvey

My name’s Kawaun, I’m a writer, and most of the time I have something to say.

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