A few of my fellow bloggers have asked me over the course of my blog why I don’t do group therapy. I thought it best to write about it a blog post.
Group therapy is just not something I am comfortable with in my life, it is effective for most people, but for me, it gives me a ton of anxiety because it is a place that you share with others.
That statement might sound weird considering every day I share another piece of my life here on my blog. But it feels safe to talk about my diagnosis and everything that comes along with it because I am behind a screen. I can write what I want to talk about in my own set time, and I can focus on the topic without the anxiety that comes from social situations and my social anxiety.
It has everything to so my social anxiety that I deal with on a daily basis. Being around people that I have never met and sharing my story is something at this moment I am comfortable with. My past experiences in group therapy. have all been really bad to the point where I gave up on the concept. Let me explain.
I was twenty-two when I first tried to take my life, and that landed me in the psych ward for a week on a 51/50. Everything was new and I was very vulnerable because I had just attempted to end my life and I really still wanted to at the time. How could I share that with the people, who at the time I didn’t I identified with, and tell them how I really feel? There was just no way.
Still, I was forced into group therapy. It was the scariest thing in the world to have people share their experiences with me. I didn’t want to be a part of the whole thing and as soon as it started, I wanted it to end. I chose not to share my story each time they forced me into the group therapy sessions, and my anxiety hit a high peak (high for that time.) I decided right then and there that these types of social situations were to be avoided at all costs.
Since that time, I have turned down every offer from my psychiatrists and therapists to try group therapy, for the last ten years.
I realize now how that is probably working against me, but I am just not comfortable with sharing my life face to face with people. At least not yet. I know now that my diagnosis was right, but that took me three years to figure out and seven more before I could share my life through my writing. I know that for some people group therapy works, and it means the world when my fellow bloggers recommend that I try it.
My biggest fear comes from the place where all my bad thoughts about social anxiety come from, people not accepting me for who I am. When I am out in the world I think that people will know that I am Bipolar (It doesn’t bother me as much anymore because I am sharing my story with the world right now) but there is a big difference between writing about my issues and talking about them with complete strangers.
I am comfortable here writing my story and within the confines of my memoir.
Its logical for me.
Still, as I work towards getting my life back on track especially with my anxiety, it might be time to open up to the idea of group therapy. It has been ten years, and as much as I have resisted I may need to think about more effective ways to combat my war with anxiety.
People can change. Maybe its time for me to change too.
Always Keep Fighting.
Photo Credit: Tegan Mierle
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