Hi! I’m Ellie, the creator of this website and blog. I am a Star Wars lover, an avid reader of psychological thrillers, classic movies, positive quotes, fast food, coffee, and pretty much anything sweet! I have struggled with my mental health “officially” since middle school. However, I could make a case that it has been longer. I officially started therapy when I was about 12 years old. Unfortunately, my therapist recently needed personal time off, but I saw her until I was about 23, about 11 years total. I began going to therapy because I deeply feared going to sleep at night. I was anxious about something happening (burglars, murderers, kidnappers, etc.). When I stop to think about that anxiety, it is not surprising because when you turn on the news – it can seem like that is all you hear about. It almost felt like my ears perked up when I heard about news like that because then I could be on the lookout for my family. However, it caused my family more harm than good. I would keep them up for hours with anxiety. I would not sleepover anywhere for fear of being in a house I did not know as well.

I was lucky to have such attentive parents who saw this problem and addressed it: Cue, the wonderful therapist who walked into my life. As a 12-year-old, I was apprehensive about starting therapy. How was that going to help me sleep better? Well, it did. My therapist specialized in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). For those who are unaware, Psychology Today defines Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as:

A form of psychotherapy that focuses on modifying dysfunctional emotions, behaviors, and thoughts by interrogating and uprooting negative or irrational beliefs. Considered a “solutions-oriented” form of talk therapy, CBT rests on the idea that thoughts and perceptions influence behavior.

Once you identify these perceptions as negatively influencing your life, the work to rewire your brain and change your behavior(s) begins. This is not easy, but it can be done. We created steps to change my sleeping behavior and the thought patterns that made me anxious. It helped familiarize me with the facts – how likely is someone to break in? I began to challenge my anxious thoughts logically. After the hard work, I got better sleep and had sleepovers, which at 12 is a big deal!

What is my point? That you should all go to therapy to sleep better? No, my point is if there is something in your life that is bringing you down or a habit you cannot seem to kick, whatever it is – therapy can help! We live in an age where getting help is OKAY and, in fact, healthy. It is admirable to see people working to better themselves. I have always thought that it would be a much more loving and peaceful world if everyone went to therapy. It wouldn’t be perfect, but many animosities, anger, pain, etc., would be dealt with, which can change how you feel about yourself and how you treat others. You realize you are human too. You make mistakes, and that is okay, even part of the process, but what will you do the work to rectify the mistake? Work through it! It’s kind of like a knot in your back; it might not come out immediately, but eventually, with time, if you keep working on it, it shrinks, and voilà, it is gone! Have a great week, friends!