Hi. My name is Brook Powers. I am a 29 year old woman. And I’m a therapist. No, not the massage kind or the physical kind. The mental kind. Yup, Psychotherapist if you will. I have been doing this profession for just over three years (though my mom and BFF would stake claim that I started much earlier) and do love it on most days. Sure, it’s tough from time to time. Yes, occasionally I get exhausted from listening to sadness and depression. And a big double yes, that I get frazzled by bureaucracy in healthcare, but we’ll save that for a later read. Mostly, I enjoy my work because I can see how it contributes to making a better me (and hopefully a better you).
Like most people… excuse me… all people… I have my own crap. My parents had me at a young age and were married and divorced twice before my current age. I was a latch-key kid. I have a relationship history with lengthy breakups that should have ended much sooner than they did. I’ve had the typical white, western, woman body image concerns and negative thoughts about myself. I have made some less than desirable decisions. But, I have learned how to learn from them.
Contrary to popular belief that therapist’s are always analyzing you, most of us are probably analyzing ourselves. I have spent a long time learning how to right my wrongs, make peace with myself, and learn gratitude. This is still a work in progress and I anticipate it being an ongoing process until death.
Here is what works for me: I like to work out regularly and think about different ways to push and motivate myself. I recently completed my first half marathon. I was a personal trainer for a few years during grad school and it’s a big part of my health and my therapy practice. I spend a lot of energy thinking about food, nutrition, and healthy recipes. If my thoughts trail during session, I am probably thinking about food. Oops. What were you saying? I meditate and have been trying to cultivate a regular yoga practice. I get 8 hours of sleep regularly and before you envy me, know that it requires discipline and often puts me in the boring category. I am usually pretty mindful and present when talking with friends and family and hopefully have made significant progress on what my BFF once complained of as lack of tact? Say what? I thought I was just honest?. And no, Dr. Phil is not my icon. I constantly work on my relationship with my boyfriend, always thinking about how my decisions effect his feelings, trying to communicate healthy and effectively, and attempting to keep it fresh and fun. I do my best to let those who are important to me, know it. Exclamation point. I work greatly on my judgements of myself and of others… all others. And WOW that’s hard sometimes when conflicting values are at stake!
Let me emphasize that I try. And sometimes I fail. I am not perfect (In fact, I call myself a recovering perfectionist). Sometimes, I want to throw tantrums and occasionally I do. Sometimes I am willful about eating healthy and pick the not-so-great option… followed by a big bowl of ice cream. From time to time, when I think I have made great progress accepting my own curves, I find myself looking in the mirror with disdain. And there are plenty of days that I “should” be feeling overwhelming gratitude and instead am overwhelmed with feeling that I should have this or that.
From here, I remember forgiveness. I try to forgive myself for being fallible. And the cycle starts over. Do my best. Make a mistake. Forgive and repeat.
I am looking for a content life, filled with many happy moments, and the strength to cope through the trying times. And this is how I am attempting to do it…