A couple weeks ago I went to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, an annual celebration of all things tulips. I had never been before, but it was a gorgeous sight to see. The drive is not close, but my family and I were able to turn the adventure into a full day trip.
This post will showcase those photos, but the topic will be completely unrelated.
Today I want to talk about therapy. Counseling. Seeing a shrink. There comes a time in most peoples lives where this is a necessary step to take in order to heal from trauma. Trauma can take many shapes and forms from loosing a loved one, to loosing yourself.
I’ve gone to therapy a few times in my life, but usually because I was forced to go. I went when I was very young, probably around age 6-8 to help me process my emotions because I was an outspoken child from the beginning of time.
The next time I went to therapy was age 17. I was ordered to see a counselor because I had a few bouts of skipping school. It was a court order, so there was no negotiating this one. I’ve come a long way from my high school escapades.
My only memories of tiny Brittany therapy are playing with animal figurines in a sand box. I also remember this was the first time I learned my arms were double jointed. Random. My 17 year old memories were strictly check list related. I showed up, talked very minimally, got my check for being there, and left. I didn’t like it much.
The older I get the more I understand the power and value of therapy, but I also realize that this is not always the answer for everyone. Society tells us that if we are experiencing troubles that we need to go talk to someone about it, and there is complete validity there, but I don’t think there is a one size fits all method for everyone.
There is no shame in going to counseling. These people are specialized in pulling us out of our funk in ways we may not be capable of doing alone. But is speaking aloud about our trials the only way to heal our wounds?
Long time blog readers will know I’ve been going through a phase of life where I feel lost. I’ve always been an open book about my struggles because we ALL have them, and there should be no shame in speaking about them. In fact sharing my life on this blog has been hugely cathartic for me, and many of you guys relate to the words I share.
There is no time limit on when we will heal from pain, and we are each on our own journey, and we each heal in our own way. Per the request of friends and family, and eventually from my own mind I decided to try speaking to a therapist the last few months about things I’ve been dealing with.
I have a hefty amount of residual trauma from relationships, friendship, not properly dealing with my stress, anxiety about what I can and cannot eat (thanks to an autoimmune disease and restrictive/binge eating habits), and occasional depression that accompanies isolation and poor weather.
SAD is real ya’ll.
None of these feelings or emotions define who I am, and I have stayed extremely positive (for the most part) throughout all of this because I know it will pass. I also know that traditional therapy has not been for me. I find my therapy outside in the woods. I find my therapy on a run with rain falling on my face. I find my therapy drinking coffee with a friend. I find my therapy by believing all things happen for a reason.
I find my therapy by just breathing. By being. By living in the moment. By eating a balanced diet that works WITH my body.
I was on a solo hike last week and my mind looked like a bee hive at the peak of honey production. There were so many thoughts and emotions swirling around my brain, and I left that mountain feeling so calm, and so at ease. My therapy doesn’t come from sitting on a couch with a specialist that may or may not know what I need, my therapy comes from diving deep within myself and allowing myself to sit with my emotions, the happy, the sad, the good, and the bad.
I’ve been in a really good place lately, and this post is coming to you from the tail end of most of this, but the revelation of these thoughts just came to me. I in no way think standard therapy is a bad move, in fact I’m glad I tried again because it confirmed this isn’t the only answer for me. I took some of the tools I learned and was able to utilize them on my own.
Ultimately the moral of every story is that we need to do what is right for us as individuals, not what is right for someone else. Sometimes we need a push, and sometimes we need to be drop kicked off a cliff. Whatever that shove may be for you embrace it fully and chase after what makes you come alive. When one area of life gets out of balance it can turn into a snowball.
Spirit, mind, body. All must be balanced.
Our world has tucked mental health under the rug and topics of depression, anxiety, fear, and loneliness are taboo. No one wants to talk about them and no one wants to admit they feel them, but we ALL feel them. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t! We are molded to believe there is something wrong with us if we aren’t feeling like a cast member of The Wiggles all the time.
But that’s not real life.
The next time you find yourself in the midst of chaos, trauma, or pain, remember these feelings and experiences are serving a purpose. Don’t try to run from the pain, but instead try running towards it. Let these natural human feelings work their way through your soul and morph you into someone new. Let them teach you about who you are.
Find what works for you in moving through this time of your life whether it be therapy, painting, meditation or hiking. Eat well, rest often, and stress less. When all else fails, find a field of tulips to tip toe through, I dare you not to laugh in the process.
Where do you find your therapy?
99 thoughts on “Where I Find My Therapy”
LOVE the pictures. So gorgeous. In the 30 years I had lived in WA, I’m ashamed to say I never went to the Tulip Festival. It will be on my to-do list if I head back ‘home’.
My therapy is journal writing and kickboxing.
I had never been before this year! It was time.
Wonderful post and the photos are great! 🙂
Thank you! 🙂
Your words are as beautiful as your photos! Therapy really does come in so many forms. As a sufferer of anxiety and depression I too have found a balanced healthy diet and exercise are my go tos, but cooking, painting and writing are also very healing for me.
Cooking and writing help me too! Forcing myself out of my bubble is huge. 👊🏻
So true what you say about a healthy diet, and the elimination of sugar, as sugar can add to depression.
When my sugar intake is high, my whole world is off. Total drug.
Yes, not only does it depresses the system, but it will also add to whatever joint or muscles pains I may be having….so I try to to take only natural sugars and very limited process sugar.
I love your authenticity here about your sturggles and being opening about therapy, past and present. Your highschool ways make it sound like you have lots of stories to tell 🙂 I love that you find peace in breathing and just being- I know that for me its working out-getting the bloog circulation and body moving clears my head and calms my nerves. Cooking as well. xo
I do have some stories, that’s for sure. All of them have shaped me into who I am today! 😝 Blood flow is HUGE. Cooking totally helps me too. ❤
Loved this post…and that whole paragraph about having residual trauma & not properly dealing with lots of stuff that all just builds up- I absolutely get it, but I’m not as eloquent as you to be able to articulate it as good as this 😉 And those tulips!! Just joyful – so many great photos, well done you 😀
Dawww, thanks girl! I just let my fingers spew my word vomit hahaha. ❤🤗
I have a therapist and I couldn’t live without her. I started having panic attacks and got super depressed after my last breakup. My good friend recommended my therapist and I’ve been seeing ever since. Every session isn’t the best session of my life but I always leave feeling re-energized and ready to take on the world. This is a great post Brittany. Thank you for talking about such a person topic. I know many people that are ashamed and choose not to speak about this subject. You ROCK! but I already knew that. I love when you mention how stuff builds up when you don’t deal with it, that’s why I started having panic attacks, scariest time of my life.
Oh my heart aches for you with those panic attacks. I can’t even imagine. I’m so happy that therapy has helped, sometimes those built up emotions need to be DUGGGG out by someone else. Thank you for sharing your story. ❤
“Sometimes we need a push, and sometimes we need to be drop kicked off a cliff.”
I’ve always needed the drop kick, unfortunately. I wish I could let life do its thing more easily, but the control freak in me is way too bossy. This is definitely something I’m working on! I saw a therapist off and on about a year ago, but didn’t seem to notice much change. Reflecting on it now, I think I didn’t give the process enough time, or maybe the therapist just wasn’t the right fit. In any case, I’m almost ready to try again. I could use someone telling me I’m not crazy. Or maybe that I am. Whatever life wants to throw at me next.
As always- WOWTHOSEPICS. 😀
I wonder too if perhaps the woman I saw just wasn’t the right fit, but ultimately I know I feel better being outside and doing what I love. Perhaps one day I’ll find another person. You’re def not crazy, at least not any more than the rest of us. 😝
Tulips are my absolute favorite flower! I really enjoyed looking through your pictures.
To answer your question (and I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better about life – I, too, know what it’s like to feel lost, and recovering from that and realizing what you’ve learned is so good), my therapy comes from journaling. Writing has always been an outlet for me, but having a space where my thoughts can spill out unedited and completely private is absolutely essential for my emotional/mental health. It’s good to actually visualize what I’m feeling, and it clears my mind in the same way a good hike does for you 🙂
I’ve recently tried to get into journaling and the times I do it help!
GiGi Eats Celebrities
You know where I find therapy.
Dude how could I forget to add that?? Hah! DUH! I’d be lost without you.
Great post! I have to add the tulip festival to the list for next spring!
It’s great that you are so open and honest about your experiences with therapy. I know a lot of people who use it sporadically, as a way to “check in” with themselves. Nothing wrong with occasionally talking to someone, especially when going through a particularly rough time! I’m glad to hear you found it helpful, and got back on track!
OH, and I’ll be back in Seattle this June, so if you want to meet up for a coffee (something I also find therapeutic as hell), let me know and we’ll find some time to hang out!
Yes the tulip festival (early April) is def something to see at least once! I’m only in Seattle two days a week for work (I live in Kitsap) but I would come over that way for some coffee! Will you be there all month? You’re in Issaquah right?
YES YES YES!!! You know how much I’m alllllll about this!! The stress/anxiety/etc from food and crazy intestines and whatnot… Work… Exercise… Life… You name it. I love how you share that therapy isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation with lying on a couch while a person asks questions. I find my therapy is reading books outside and staring at trees as their leaves shimmy in the wind. Which I’m about to go do right now. 😉
THAT sounds like a great idea. I can’t wait for consistently warmer weather to sit out and read with. 🤗❤
Absolutely beautiful photos!! And thank you for sharing your journey and experiences. I think getting those tools from a “professional” – at least for me – was all I needed. I didn’t need to spend hour after hour on a couch in an office, talking. I took those tools and used them, each time I needed them. Exercise, writing, journaling, hanging with friends, examining internally why I might be feeling certain things, why a pain has resurfaced…all part of the process. Kudos to you for taking care of you.
Great points, and great tools! The professional is a great push in the right direction. Some utilize it more than others and that’s totally ok! The internal examination is a big part of what helps me. 👌🏻
Same here. Everyone has to find what works for them!
Great photos! Black tulips are lovely! Really like your message, too — my therapy’s on the top of a desert foothill, or anywhere there’s a long, long horizon with the Sierra mountains at the end of it. Thanks for the reminder to be mindful of living in the midst of this beauty.
I had never seen black tulips before! I was enamored.
I have also been to therapy at times in my life and, like you, some of those times I did not want to be there and did not use the time effectively. For me, it was the stigma of not wanting to feel like I was being “fixed”. I felt like something was wrong with me as a person, not like I was going through something and needed help. The last time I went to therapy it was a one time occurrence and I just needed to talk to someone with no strings attached. I never saw her again, and it felt great to get things out there.
I find therapy in silence. I find therapy in a beautiful morning, a rainy afternoon where I take a nap or in a great phone conversation where the person and I just talk about our interests, no strings attached.
P.S. I LOVE THE TULIPS!
I like the idea of a one time deal, just to get things out there. I also like finding therapy in silence, one of my favorite things to do. 🙂
I love so much of what you wrote here and that wrote it and shared. There’s so much power in not being quiet and letting yourself be seen 🙂 I feel like I’ve been dealing with a lot of similar things, and reading this and relating is definitely one good form of therapy. Along with for me writing, creating, being active, and talking to others (I’ve seen a therapist too, but talking to friends and family is important too). And yes too to striving to meet ourselves where we’re at. And those pictures are amazing! PS check out The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan (chapter 2 is the tulip).
Thank you for sharing, we are all in this together! I will check out that book, thanks!
Ahhhhh! So many beautiful photos! And the black tulips are making up part of the German flag 🙂
But also a great, powerful post. Therapy, in any way we chose to seek it, is what helps us get back on track. Thanks for sharing!
I love those tulips! 🤗
kathy @ more coffee, less talky
i went to therapy for the first time in my life when i was going through some awful PPD and it saved my life. since being treated, i’ve never felt the need to go back but i agree with you re: natural therapy – doing things for yourself to make you feel balance, happy and good.
I totally understand it’s the only answer at times! I don’t think it’ll be my last time going, but for now this works better. 🤗
Another wonderful post. My mood goes to hell in a hand basket without a daily exercise fix.
When the blues hit me, I don’t fight it. Recognizing that the tightness in my throat is just a physical symptom of the problem is half the battle. A walk in the woods, a ride on my bike, even mowing the lawn with its meditative repetition help tons. I journal nearly every day too. If it gets bad I seek out a compassionate friend for conversation.
That’s a great reminder, that often the feelings are strictly physical and it’s our minds that take over.
Something happens after 30 or 40 minutes of aerobic exercise. Not unlike how my body responds to albuterol when my asthma flares up. Everything just calms down. This is why Flogini calls my bike commute my meditation. Not surprisingly she’s an avid bike commuter too.
Brilliant. Yes the 30-40 minute range is the sweet spot!
Brittany 🙂 Thank you for stopping by my page. Awesome post! I really connected with your post. I really appreciate you speaking out about mental, spiritual, and physical health issues openly. Everyone deals with trauma and problems, and I feel like it is important to tackle the topic so that people become more perceptive and aware of their own health and have guidance/alternatives on where to turn to when they’re going through stressful situations. Thanks Brittany!! 🙂
Thank you for reading! We all are more alike than we realize!
Thank you for sharing you journey with us. We’re all in this together.
You made a very good point about the purpose our troubles serve in our lives. They are not meant to defeat up but to sharpen us, to make us stronger and more capable.
We Bahai’s firmly believe we will be tested time and again with the difficulties until our weakness becomes our strength.
“Not until man is tried doth the pure gold distinctly separate from the dross. Torment is the fire of test wherein the pure gold shineth resplendently and the impurity is burned and blackened.”
And of course Tulips are amazing for your health!
That is a fantastic quote! Thank you for sharing, and I couldn’t agree more. Also, I was indeed channeling my inner Tiny Tim while I tip toed through the tulips. I was getting multiple stares, no shame.
Hang on there! I find my therapy in going for a stroll. Take care! 🙂
Great place to go! A walk is very calming. 🤗
Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness
I couldn’t agree more, everyone is unique and has their own way of dealing with things. I’m with you, one of my forms of therapy is definitely hiking and being out in nature. It’s so calming and therapeutic. I find that after a couple of hours of getting lost in the mountains, I’ve found the answers to questions I’ve been thinking about.. Sending you lots of good vibes, Brittany! Also, these photos are absolutely gorgeous. Wow! I need to go to a tulip festival sometime.
Yes! I know that feeling of finding the answers all too well. 🤗❤
An Unrefined Vegan
No one knows YOU better than you – – if you find peace, clarity and calmness in the great outdoors, then that is where you need to be. Total credit for trying whatever it takes, though, to feel “right.” I tried out therapy, too, during my first marriage. What I realized was that I was telling a complete stranger everything that I’d already been working on in my own head. I didn’t need someone sitting opposite me, nodding and asking obvious questions. But – that in itself was a learning experience. Therapy isn’t for me. A good run, a long walk, a heartfelt conversation with a close friend, writing, hugging a loved one, spending time w/ animals, cooking, sipping a cup of tea…all of those things heal me. Love you.
Yes! You make an excellent point about hot no one knows us quite like we know ourselves. I feel the same way every time I go to the doctor, they don’t quite understand the symptoms we describe like we do.
We’re awful similar, but I already knew that. It’s why I love you so. ❤
Very beautiful pictures and I think they are related to your post….flowers are also great therapy. Great post and good advice, as a Christian I also bring God into the mix for me, as He is a Present Help in the time of trouble. Sometimes I just wonder, as we look for complex ways to help us heal, if we may not be missing out on the very One who could help us.
YES! God has been a HUGE guiding force for me as well. Excellent call out.
Absolutely, for me also. I think that along with seeking professional help and taking whatever medications may be offered, if people who are suffering from anxiety and depression would turn to God and put their trust in Him, they too would see big changes in their emotional lives.
Girl, preach. I’m with you on that, in fact that was precisely why I wasn’t keen on therapy because really when I leaned on God I felt the support I needed. Have a strong faith is key for times of trial! ❤
Maybe one day others will learn to also fit God into their schedule, along with their medication and therapy.
Where do I find my therapy? Not in tulips… http://www.ctvnews.ca/lifestyle/red-and-white-canada-150-tulips-blooming-orange-for-some-gardeners-1.3401236
Hi Britt – very true piece and yes I agree, find the therapy that works best for you — whether it be running, hiking, writing/blogging photography or traditional — and embrace it. Those tulip photos are amazing!! -Kat
We are all unique! Makes the world go round.
Your photos are truly beautiful!
My therapy is my dog and also my free time in the kitchen -it’s enough 🙂
Love that! And thank you! ❤
Simply stunning and thank you for sharing
Thank YOU for reading. ❤
The pictures match perfectly with the message. So many colors and rows of tulips, like so many emotions and paths in life. It makes me VERY happy to hear you’re in a good place. My therapy is running- but you knew that, but I also like to talk things out with my sis. She’s like my therapist ❤
My mom is mine. HA! ❤
I think these pictures are beautiful. I love flowers and tulips are high up on my list. Having freshly cut flowers in my home is one of my own therapeutic methods: surround yourself with things that make you happy. I actually believe standard therapy is for everyone, although you have to be in the mindset to accept it and not everyone is ready or willing to deal with the stuff that comes out of therapy sessions. That being said, I also feel like we need more than standard therapy to heal and part of that is solo hikes, good cups of coffee and tulip festivals. If you feel like the standard therapy isn’t helping, I’d say keep trying along with doing all the other things which bring you peace. Also maybe a different therapist would be helpful. It’s hard to find a good fit.
I love you. Blows kiss.
I think a different therapist is indeed needed. I was more than in the right mindset, but the slow moving progression and minor details weren’t working for me. I have slight PTSD of having to go through 7 doctors to finally find a diagnosis of what was going on in my body and fear that happening again. Perhaps I’ll find another therapist, but I’ve been putting my moms college degree to use in the mean time. 🙏🏻
LOVELY PICS!! (as usual!) Tulips are soo pretty!
My therapy = riding my bike. 🙂
Right?! I’ve never experienced flowers like this before.
Love this. Traditional therapy definitely isn’t for everyone. I’m glad you have found the therapy that works for you!
Love these pictures. So, so gorgeous!
Thank you friend! ❤🙏🏻
Girl we all go through those phases. Traditional therapy didn’t work for me either.. lately I’ve been spending time with my Bible and working out to cleanse my mind, body & soul of the issues I battle. and puppy snuggles always work too 🙂
Such beautiful photos!!
Yessss. Prayer has been so helpful for me. 🙏🏻🙏🏻❤
I started going to therapy for my eating disorder recovery process at the beginning of last year. Over the past year and a half, I learned soooo much…with one of the biggest things being awareness of my feelings and just sitting with those feelings (rather than ignoring them/thinking of them as nonsense). I decided to take a break from seeing a therapist just to see how I can handle myself and the things I’ve learned, but I do feel like I’m ready to go on with my life without checking in with an outside party on a weekly basis. And it’ll always be there in case I ever feel the need to have it back in my life 🙂
YES! The “sitting with feelings” concept has been huge for me, and oddly enough I discovered that idea reading a book. I’ve read so many mental health related books from a range of ideas and topics. Truthfully those have helped more than therapy for me. I’m glad your check ins were helpful, they definitely give great tools for continuing in this crazy world we live in!
Great photos! I’ve forgotten how much I really really like the black tulips, so thanks. Looks like you went on a great day, weatherwise. On therapy, I’ve only tried it a couple of times, and probably didn’t give it enough time, but I didn’t want to do it after two times, so I stopped. I think you are right about balance of body, mind, and spirit. You have some really good advice about not running away from feelings.
I had never seen black tulips, they were magical. Therapy can be great, but alas is not always the answer in my opinion.
Amazing pictures. Ι’m sorry to hear about the troubles you’ve been through but I must say you remind me a lot of myself, I myself have had issues in the past caused by toxic relationships and bad anxiety management. I’ve also been able to overcome these issues (not entirely of course but to a great extent) with exercise and with hiking in nature. During my therapy at that difficult time the advice she gave me, since back then I barely had any hobbies, was to go out and do all these things. So I agree with you that therapy itself isn’t cathartic on it’s own. But I also believe that self knowledge is also very important when in comes to preventing anxiety from getting in the way of your life again.
Once again, great post.
Thank you for this wonderful comment. I’ve done so much reading and digesting of words to grow my self knowledge and it’s been so helpful. This is life, and moving with these times instead of running from them has been hugely helpful. And of course, nature. 🌲
Taking a break from fixing dinner and reading your blog post and seeing the peaceful and beautiful tulip pictures was very therapuetic. Then the kids starting screaming in the back yard and the moment was lost. Thanks for that moment of peace this evening.
😂 if even just for a moment, I’m glad I could help. Thank you for reading. ❤
Fantastic! Happy I stopped by to take a look at your pictures. I can smell the sweetness of the tulips just looking at them! Now I’m prepped to go out for a jog in the forest.
Wahoooo for the forest! 🖖🏻
Being in nature (and especially at the beach) is my favorite form of therapy. You are so right that there are multiple forms of therapy and finding what works best for you is important!
Nature is so healing. ❤
Wise beyond your years Britt. I love your perspective and how you are so relate-able. I too find nature to be therapeutic and feel most relaxed in my solitude. And those tulips…ahhhh! Beautiful photos and beautiful prose!
WILLA HELLO! Oh my gosh, makes my day to see this comment. Thank you. ❤❤
I love this post and I love how open, real and raw you are. Life can be and IS so hard. I think part of life is just struggling and suffering, figuring out how to get through the hard stuff and hopefully becoming stronger through it all. I think therapy is awesome too and I love that you’re sharing your experience. ❤
I always love your beautiful pictures and the hikes and nature that you share. You are a beautiful soul and no doubt have touched so many lives.
Life IS hard, but once we know that is totally normal things get somewhat easier! At least mentally. 🙂 Your words have made me smile. ❤
I just nominated you for the Real Neat Blogger Award!
Oh how kind, thank you! ❤🙏🏻
You are very welcome! 💚
Always such a pleasure to read your words and I am beyond happy that more and more of us are starting to talk about our mental health. And while most of us go through seasons that can look pretty similar with our mental health, we do need to realize everyone will find help in different ways. And that’s OKAY. Thank you for your words (again!).
So much truth! Thank you for reading and commenting! ❤❤
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