Going to therapy was a major turning point in my life. In late 2015 was still in the wake of a major breakup that came as I was starting my career in marketing. I didn’t know my worth, what I wanted to do with my life, who I wanted to impact.. I had no direction at all. I had just turned 23 and was fresh out of college. I was working my first real job 8am-5pm, Monday through Friday, earning a great salary and living with my parents. I didn’t have a fraction of the responsibilities I’m accustomed to now, and I had a good social life and started diving deep into the local music scene. On the outside, I was doing all of the things you're supposed to do as a young adult. But inside, I felt like I was drowning. I wasn’t truly happy, even though life wasn’t bad. It was one of the most confusing feelings ever, and finally after letting myself suffer for months I sought out a therapist to just talk about what was crowding up my head so much.
The first session we had, I must have cried the entire time. He asked how life was going and I couldn’t explain anything without sobbing. But it felt good to just talk about it, and dump out all of the heavy emotional baggage I had been carrying around. I talked about my self destructive habits, about how I wanted to quit smoking cigarettes but couldn’t, about how amazing my family is and how I just wanted to feel like I fit in somewhere in life.
Most of my life I’ve felt like a loner. I could get along with anybody, but I didn’t feel like I had anyone outside of my family who really understood me. I’ve always been introspective, even since I was little, but somewhere down the line all of my me-time became sad and lonely. I compared my path to others, I acted against my true self to try and fit in places I didn’t. And it started to make me feel like I had lost who I was.
Therapy helped me sort out what was authentic and what wasn’t. I learned how to return to being the most genuine version of myself I could be. The version I knew I could be - not the one who was hurting herself and holding herself back by not taking care of herself. I had to realize my own value and respect myself above everything. I set boundaries, I set goals, I became inspired to help people.
I went to therapy for about three months in early 2016. Not long after that I went from being employed full-time in an uninspiring job that left me with little personal time, to becoming self-employed and financially unstable (at first) yet emotionally happy. I moved into my first house with some beautiful friends and while it wasn’t easy, I was thriving. I kind of flipped from where I started, I was truly happy although life was overwhelmingly stressful. But my sense of self empowerment grew and I learned how to be more responsible and earn every dollar I needed. I was feeling like my life was great on my own, I had a sense of being a part of something bigger than myself that mattered. By the beginning of 2018 I knew my path, my purpose and my worth. Not long after that, I found a life partner that loved me for who I am and only wanted to help me succeed along the path I had found. It was the biggest gift ever after trying to do everything on my own for so long.
We still have a long way to grow, but we are both happy and healthy, living together in our own house, and have two little fur balls that make us feel like the most perfect family. My lifestyle continues to improve as I make more goals for myself, like eating less processed food, and avoiding added sugar and foods that don’t make me feel like my best self. I feel more energized to keep my body healthy and strong. I feel more focused in my work and my career. I feel like I’m the person I always knew I could be, and I know it started with that crucial moment of vulnerability with my therapist three and a half years ago
There are so many things we can do every day to take care of ourselves. Drinking plenty of water, breathing and stretching our bodies, smiling, spreading kindness to others.. even reading this post is a form of self therapy if it’s inspiring you or making you think in new ways. No one can escape the need for self care. It gives yourself a fighting chance when it comes to life's struggles, and makes your victories feel that much better. Check out this inspiring video from Be Interactive about how therapy should be as normal as exercise.
I’m so thankful for the Bassnectar Team + Community for taking care of each other, for making therapy more accessible, and for starting conversations that need to be had. And there are plenty more resources out there too - I just learned about a new project called Backline.care. It’s a free health & wellness resource for the music industry. Music is healing to so many but the lifestyle toll of traveling and touring and juggling life can be pretty damaging to artists, teams and crews. It’s amazing to see this resource emerge in an effort to combat that and provide tools for self care and places to go when it feels like it’s too much.
When it all comes down to it, you have to empower yourself to take care of yourself. You’re the only one with the power to change, and we all believe in you.