I admit, 2020 has felt rough, but for me personally, it was nothing compared to 2019 (now that’s saying something, eek!).
Long story short, 2019 brought a lot of conflict in my life, a lot of self-sabotage, and an immense amount of suffering. I attempted to take my life, more than once, in fact almost every single month of that year. I remember vividly that once December came around there was that excitement of the holidays being close and the fresh feeling of a new year just around the corner. I needed out of this dark dark place that I had constructed for myself.
My talk of suicide does not come easy. It does not feel comfortable for me to share this publicly, and I also know there are many people that face this in their lives at some point or another. As I began to share this topic with my community, I was taken aback at how many people could relate, and shared their own experiences with me. Up until that point, I felt alone in it, and I felt so much shame around it too. I really want to be part of the change where we can normalize talking about hard things like this, because we are all human and we all need to feel connected and less isolated from ourselves and each other.
Please do not mistake my ability to share this topic so freely in that it is a light topic, it is not. It can feel heavy and awful. I have chosen to be vulnerable and I’ve worked through a lot of demons to get to this point. I do not judge anyone on their journey, I only know mine. And, in saying that, I really hope if you are reading this, and you experience these scary thoughts, that you can reach out and ask for help. I would gladly talk with you about it and support you if I can.
Now, back to the story.
My partner and I were working with a psychotherapist because we were having a rough go, she had come recommended by friends. We felt really lucky because we were able to see her for free. Free! Her visits were covered by our health insurance (what a gift!). We saw her every week for about 6-8 months, and even though we learned things about each other and gained some tools, there was something about her that rubbed me the wrong way. We shared truthfully what we were going through as a couple and after the 8-month journey, she fired us.
Actually, she fired me.
It felt surreal. Here was a professional who was meant to help people like me, people that are struggling with mental health and thoughts of suicide. The reason she fired me was the very reason we went to see her. She said that because I was suicidal, she could no longer work with us as a couple and said until I took care of that (whatever that means), we were no longer her clients. It hit hard at first, and then I realized how something about her never really aligned with me. I kept telling myself that being triggered by her was a good thing, it meant I was growing and being uncomfortable is part of growth.
Boy was I wrong. I knew that feeling all too well. My gut had been telling me all along. I knew she was not the right therapist for me, and ultimately for us, so I thank her for being blunt enough to fire us. The sad part of it was that she ended our sessions abruptly, never making sure we or I was safe or complete. She also never followed up to make sure I was safe either. She really did not come through as a mental health professional.
I also felt embarrassed to admit that if we were paying money for her visits, I’m sure we would have stopped earlier. Way earlier, in fact. That goes to show that just because something is free, it doesn’t mean it’s the right fit or the right way to go.
After that wake-up call, I knew who I needed to talk to. I knew it all along. My long time registered counsellor, Magdalen Bowyer, or Magi as I’d come to know her. She and I connected in 2014, and I had chatted with her on and off through the years. Whenever she and I met, I immediately felt like I had come home to myself. She is the best counselor / mentor / guide, HANDS DOWN, that I have ever worked with. She has a gift. She never tells you what to do, she only guides you to be able to connect with your own wise self, leaving you feeling empowered and hopeful.
I began sessions with her and immediately felt progress and relief. This was a big turning point in my evolution and healing and I am so thankful for her and the resources that were available to me at the time, which includes my loved ones and community (friends and family).
In retrospect, I think some of the trauma I was faced with in 2019 was earthed up when I decided to officially and legally change my first name from Tyra (Tahera) to Freya. There’s a part of me that deeply believes Tyra faced her death in 2019 so that Freya could take up space and be where she was meant to be all along. With death, comes grief, anger, denial, negotiation, resistance, suffering and pain.
I’m on the other side now and Freya is feeling soft and free.