Nothing is Wrong With Me, So I Go to Therapy

it's okay to go to therapy

Okay, so this title may be misleading, but hear me out. 

I have been in and out of counseling for most of my life. I thought it was to handle trauma, but it has become much more than that for me.


When I talk about therapy, I am often met with – ”Oh no! What’s been going on?” I wish people knew that therapy is not solely for coping with trauma. 

You don’t have to have a major life event happen for therapy, though I do recommend it should that happen. 

In fact, you don’t have to have a reason. We meet with our primary care physicians to check in on our physical health, even when something might not be apparently wrong. Why do we think something must be catastrophic or wrong to go to therapy? In fact, isn’t it better to regularly check in on our mental health BEFORE something happens? 

Life in seasons

I find it telling that the year is divided into four seasons. It’s a reminder to me that nothing in life is constant except change. I used to hate that. I like routine and consistency. I really don’t think I have a spontaneous bone in my body. 

When it came to counseling, I felt ashamed that I had not gotten “over” some of the things that kept coming up in my life. 

Have you ever watched a movie that you watched as kid many years later as an adult? I remember showing my daughter Lilo and Stitch for the first time. While she saw a cute little girl playing with an alien, I saw Lilo’s sister struggling to raise her all on her own. I. Wept. 

It reminded me that events in the past have a way of coming back around and affecting us differently in various stages of our life. Healing, growth, and coping are not linear. It’s seasonal. 

Let’s talk about meds  

If someone had a headache, would you tell them to just think positive thoughts?
If someone had cancer, would you tell them to go for a walk?
If someone were severely ill, would we tell them to simply get over it? Sometimes our bodies don’t function as they should, so we have medicine to help counter those challenges.

Our brains are inside our bodies. Why do we think that they are free from illness, too? 

My anxiety medication allows me to play on the floor with my kids instead of becoming fixated on the pile of dishes in the sink. My medication allows me to have deep and meaningful conversations with a friend instead of swimming in guilt knowing it had been months since our last heart-to-heart. My anxiety medication allows me to feel like myself rather than a shell of myself. Medicine is meant to help us heal. It may be for a season, or it may be for a lifetime, but receiving medical attention is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s brave. 

Stay in your lane

Counseling has changed my life, my husband’s life, and our life together. It has given us the freedom to love one another without the need to fix the other. I love my husband. I love my counselor. But what I love most is that they are separate.

Allow yourself to seek help when you need it. You cannot bulldoze your way through challenges and expect an outcome. Counseling/therapy teaches you skills to cope and overcome, and those skills are ones you will want in your life toolbox.

Remember, mental health is health. Happy Mental Health Month, everyone.

Jessica Hauerwas
Jessica is a nonprofit leader who loves bopping around Lafayette for the best burgers or bands in town. She is the Executive Director of Downtown Lafayette Unlimited where she runs the day-to-day nonprofit. She and her husband Chris have three littles at home (Jane, Clark, and Louise) where there is lots of giggling and always a cup of coffee brewing. Jessica is passionate about community-building and empowering working mothers. Jessica also volunteers for various organizations, is a member of the Lafayette Re-Entry Coalition, a graduate of Leadership Lafayette, and a survivor of being a mother of three under 4.