Disclaimer: This list is not just from my own therapists but also stuff my friend's therapist has told her and she told me. It includes my own tips for some as well. Also, these are in no particular order.
1. Recovery is not linear. Everyone has setbacks. What really matters is how you handle said setbacks.
2. Everyone's recovery happens at different paces. Everyone goes through different things and has different brains so recovery from any issue can span greatly in how long it takes to heal.
3. The work is hard and you are constantly learning new things about yourself. If it seems too easy but nothing is changing, you might need to push yourself a little harder.
4. Don't push too hard. If you do, other symptoms can arise that make getting better that much more difficult. (For example, I tried to heal from news about my grandma's chemo not working too fast and began having daily panic attacks and psychogenic non-epileptic attacks/seizures. Below I have linked more information about PNES/PNEA.)
5. Recovery may be a lifelong battle. (This is something that appears to be true for me.)
6. The only way to truly improve is to be completely honest, no matter how difficult it is to be truthful. Therapists are willing to work at your pace since they know some people take more time than others to have the ability to be honest.
7. You are not your thoughts and feelings. They are part of you but they don't define who you are.
8. You don't always need to react to your feelings. Sometimes it is most important to feel them physically.
9. If one type of therapy doesn't work for you, there are other options that can be tried. I, personally, have done dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and intensive short term psychodynamic therapy (ISTPD). They have all had different, but still beneficial, effects.
10. It is okay to need medicine. If someone needed heart medicine, would you prevent them from using it? Of course not! You'd help them to stay healthy. Why should mental health medicines be treated any differently?
11. There is one word that is very unhelpful... "Should." It comes across as judgmental, whether you are aware of that or not. It took me 4 years of therapy to learn that.
12. If you don't feel rapport with a therapist, it is completely acceptable to get another therapist. It won't hurt their feelings. They know that not everyone works well with every therapist.
13. Don't beat yourself up for stuff that you haven't learned yet. Everything takes time, and often additional help, to learn.
14. Saying "no" is okay. It doesn't matter who it is to, boundaries are important for everyone. Without them, you will burn out very quickly.
15. You don't need to put effort into a relationship if you don't feel the other person is doing the same.
16. Other people's feelings are not your responsibility. You can't control their feelings and behavior, only your reaction to it.
17. It's normal to have negative emotions towards people you love. In my case, it causes anxiety but that doesn't stop it from happening.
18. No matter how difficult it is to do, listening to your body is extremely important. Doing this helps to prevent burnout and intense, unbearable emotions.
19. It's okay to not be okay. Everyone has struggles, whether they are shown or not.
20. YOU MATTER! Whether you feel like you are, or not, you are important.
Thank you for reading. I hope some may be helpful to people. Feel free to subscribe, heart, and/or comment to tell me your thoughts on my writing.
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