Maybe you should talk to someone, really you should consider it

I never thought I needed therapy. I felt fine, well fine enough.

My family seemed somewhat, kind of, sorta normal.

I had landed internships throughout college, graduated with honors, and started a full time job in corporate tech.

The people around me brought me joy, inspired me to do more, and there wasn’t much drama or heartache — well most of the time there wasn’t.

I try to think back at the momentous moment where I became open to the concept of therapy.

Was it after a handful of my early-in-career friends shared their positive experiences with therapy?

Was it when I was venting about my day to a loved one and was told “go tell a therapist this, don’t tell me”?

Or was it the fact our world is under a global pandemic, we’ve been self-isolating for about a year now, and there’s an increasing amount of grief happening in our world right now?

For many people, including myself, therapy or mental health isn’t frequently talked about. It’s a topic where I fundamentally understood its importance, but struggled to understand how it fit in my life.

I started seeking out ways to fit therapy in my life after reading about the mantra of “I miss you when I blink”.

“I miss you when I blink” helps me live in the moment. It slows me down and makes me absorb each instant instead of rushing, because I know already how much I miss things that happened in the past — how they’re right there behind my eyelids but also gone forever.

—Mary Laura Philpott, I Miss You When I Blink

Through this new concept of “I miss you when I blink”, I began to understand how much life I’ve lived and how much sped by without me taking the time to understand what it all meant. Perhaps, I was blinking too fast or not realizing with every blink that moment would be gone forever.

There were too many times others would ask me, “how are you doing?” and I would quickly flash a smile and say, “I’m doing great, what about you?” out of instinct rather than telling the truth — Afraid to face the fact that maybe I wasn’t doing that great or not sure how to seek help and be vulnerable.

The bottom line is, how am I really doing? How are you really doing?

Mental health, healthy boundaries, and self-love has become a new priority of mine.

It became this way because one day I woke up and had someone at work ask me, “how are you doing?” and I couldn’t help but tell the truth with tears streaming down my face — “I’m not doing that great actually…”

It became this way when I started to realize why sad songs were SO sad. That sometimes you don’t get the things you want no matter how hard you try. That sometimes the people you love are only meant to pass through your life and not stay forever. That maybe what once brought you joy no longer does because you outgrew it.

It became this way after a close friend of mine gifted me a book, ‘Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb that describes a therapist finding a therapist of her own. Leading me to realize that it’s time for me to invest in myself. To discover who I really am. To heal the parts of me that may have recently broke or have been broken for a while.

It’s been six months since I started therapy and I’m starting to see myself differently. I’m starting to appreciate myself more. I’m starting to forgive myself. I’m starting to become a stronger version of myself.

When I meet with friends, family, and co-workers I can’t help but bring up the book ‘Maybe You Should Talk to Someone’ and share what I’ve learned from it.

Is there someone or something you’ve misjudged?

If you had to write your obituary this very moment, what would yours say?

Who or what keeps reappearing in your dreams at night?

I’ve had so many people share their favorite book and proclaim how much it changed their life. This book has become mine. I knew it became mine after I drove to my local Target and told myself if I saw the book stocked, I’ll buy out the entire section. I had four of these books in my car trunk for the longest time, shifting back and forth on the 405, waiting to find new homes.

Sometimes it takes a book like this to slow things down.

A therapist who can give you a variety of frameworks to approach situations in life.

A song or curated playlist with lyrical brilliance making you feel every emotion in your body and the most seen you’ve ever felt in your life.

A walk or bike ride immersed in nature to recharge.

A cookie or piece of chocolate to feel a tiny bit more whole.

A group chat that sends daily vlogs on what we’re doing or just checking in on how everyone is doing.

A social media post or video that makes you stop spiraling out of control all together because you seek comfort knowing there’s others out there experiencing something similar.

A group of friends who will hand you a glass of wine and do tarot card readings on what the universe is telling you to do to heal.

A family member or cute pet to cry ugly tears with and hold close.

A journal or laptop to find the release you need.

There are days or moments where I’m happier than ever, and other times where I just don’t know what I’m feeling — anxiety, hopelessness, sadness, anger, regret, shame, confusion, a colorless blob of goo.

I’m figuring it out day by day and know that it’s only human to feel this way. Feel what you need to feel. Let it pass through you but remember to move forward in your own time. Baby steps, we got this.

It’s okay to prioritize your mental health and put yourself first. Maybe you should talk to someone and if you can — be there for someone who needs it too. There’s so much we don’t see or know until the first few words come out.

Shout out to my friend Meera’s ‘passing through’ playlist for this 🎵.

Here’s a sprinkle of resources I’ve collected after speaking with others that I’d love to 🎁 you:

  • A number to call when you feel alone here.
  • A place to explore online therapy here.
  • A song that makes me feel uplifted here or here.
  • A podcast with uplifting frameworks and stories here.
  • A book that helped me escape here.
  • A interactive activity and emails to try out here.
  • A therapist and wellness coach with helpful content here or here.
  • A show that makes me laugh out loud here.
  • A sweet treat that makes my stomach happy here.

This article is possible because of the loved ones in my life that allowed me to soak up their love and learnings.

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Product Marketing Manager @Microsoft, prev T-Mobile, BCW Global, Peach, Jumpstart + Design Student ‘19 | leahshin.com 👩‍💻

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Leah Shin

Leah Shin

Product Marketing Manager @Microsoft, prev T-Mobile, BCW Global, Peach, Jumpstart + Design Student ‘19 | leahshin.com 👩‍💻

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