It seems like most people entertain the idea of going to therapy only when they have exhausted all other efforts to “fix” what isn’t working with their lives. It is unfortunate we aren’t all encouraged to do this earlier in life, as it could set us up for healthy course correction before we reach the midlife-crisis age.
My decision to go was based on my curiosity around why I had ignored my own feelings and tolerated the resulting pain in my relationship for such a long span of time. Why did I do this? Why didn’t I speak up for myself? I was at a loss, so I turned to a professional for help.
For anyone that has not gone to a therapist there are many different types. I went to a “talk” therapist who walks you through your experience and probes you to find our own answers. I found that most of the questions she asked me about the situation resulted in my not having the faintest idea of why. This triggered a savage desire in me to know more, learn more, read more, do more. I was on a quest for understanding and healing. I went for about a year and then took a break. I am still thinking about going back to explore my attachment traumas in greater depth.
The other action that I took was to join a coaching program called Thriving Community: Women Supporting Women Through Divorce. I just happened to see an add that popped up on Facebook and I joined the public group. After being on the site and having the daily support of women going through all the challenges faced during divorce, including emotional, financial, and legal, I made the choice to join the coaching program. The group is run by Julie Danielson, a life coach that lives in Alaska. She has students across the country. She has a very self-empowering curriculum that makes you take your power back and be responsible for your own behaviors/programming that contributed to the failure the marriage.
This was the beginning of my self-help reading bonanza, which continues to this day. Tip: You can get electronic and audio copies of many of these books through your public library. I read a bulk of these on my phone while commuting to and from work. Some of the starter books that I found helpful were:
- When I say No, I Feel Guilty – Manuel J. Smith
- Welcome To Your Crisis – Laura Day
- You are a Badass – Jen Sincero
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – Mark Manson
- Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway – Susan Jeffers
- Should I Stay or Should I Go? – Lundy Bancroft
- Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay – Mira Kirshenbaum
- The Seven Principals for Making a Marriage Work – John Gottman, Ph.D.
- The Relationship Cure – John Gottman, Ph.D