There are times when stuff just doesn’t make sense, and out of nowhere things go haywire. If you haven’t experienced that, trust me, you will. In life, you experience one hurdle to just turn around and face another. What about those moments that things don’t make sense? Or those times when you feel judged unfairly by those around you? An unexpected breakup, death, financial woes or family drama can have you spinning.
That’s where therapy can be a godsend, but saying goodbye is grueling. You see, I recently had my last session with my therapist. It was something I wanted to avoid. In six years, I have gone through two therapists, because as life would have it one moved to another state, and now I had to say goodbye to another one, because things had changed for her.
Black Culture and Therapy
I have been open about my therapy although in my culture it isn’t readily accessible or pursued. Black women struggle with being the “strong one” and most rarely have a safe place to vent, or even discuss what their struggles are. But I decided to take a risk and give it a try.
You may be thinking, “OK, what’s the big deal?” Well, for me it was simply the unknown. It was territory in which I felt I would sink or swim. But I had it all wrong! The more I went to therapy, the more I realized why people so often resist it. It isn’t cheap, as we all know, even with insurance. But here’s the real issue: It’s work.
Doing the Work of Therapy
Therapy is more than just talking with a stranger. If you want to experience real healing and change in your life, you have to take what is given to you and apply it. You have to actually do the homework and do what your therapist asks you to do. You have to dig deep and explore emotional spaces you have avoided. That can be terrifying. You have to face things.
But it all pays off.
Strange as it sounds, when it all comes to an end, you’ll experience an entirely different kind of emotional pain. The finality of that last therapy session feels almost surreal.
In every last session, there’s a plan and a lot of informal conversation, referrals and a wrap-up. But this felt different for me! I felt like a relationship was ending, and I was out on a limb. I told her I was mad that she had to go!
As the final minutes came dwindling down, she leaned toward me and said, “Kandis … thank you.” I just began to cry silently with my head down. I told her how much I appreciated her, and how she helped me experience so much growth in my life. She took my hand, looked me in my eyes and said, “You did the work. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t have seen change, and I’m proud of you. Continue on.”
That’s what I want to leave you with, curvy girls. Continue on.
Today, I said goodbye. But now? On to more!
About the Author: Kandis Draw is on the advisory board of Curvicality. She is a cancer support advocate, classical pianist and lover of all things sparkly.