written by Raven Johnson
A year ago, Sis went to therapy. Sis was living her dream: She was settling into full-time entrepreneurship, doing what she loved the most, and preparing to become her MCM’s wife. Then life hit her, and grief made the everyday execution of that dream diﬃcult. Sis had not realized that she was struggling until she looked down and saw that grief had snatched 30 pounds from her. After being told by doctors that her chest pain was not from heart or lung dysfunction, but from a high-stress level, Sis knew she had to make a lifestyle change.
So often we’re told that our partner is supposed to be our support system through life changes, such as these. However, although her partner was ready and willing to accept that challenge, Sis felt that her wholeness was her responsibility – not his. Sis decided to do the work to bring her best self not only to her marriage, but also to her business, and to every environment that she would enter in her new life.
Sis was skeptical about going to therapy at first. She was a smart girl. Why would she need anyone’s input on how to thrive in a world full of dreams, but challenged by life’s disappointments? All of the Black female therapists that she’d contacted had waiting lists. Would therapy be as eﬀective if the therapist wasn’t Black like her? Could her wholeness wait for schedules to align? Was she supposed to spend her hard-earned money on something that wasn’t a guarantee? Since Sis was a Christian, wasn’t Jesus supposed to fix it?
A year into therapy, Sis is grateful that she did not let the unknowns of these questions stop her journey to wholeness. The smartest decision she ever made was going to therapy. Not only did she learn coping mechanisms to address the grief that she initially sought therapy for, but she also gained insight on strategies for balancing the various life transitions she was experiencing. She found that her therapist would rarely offer her opinion (which was annoying at first); instead, she guided her towards drawing her own logical conclusions, making her own decisions, and being able to do so independently. Sis took the opportunity to enlighten her therapist on her experience as a Black woman, a Black lover, and a Black entrepreneur, so that she could better understand how the techniques her therapist suggested would be uniquely applied. She found that each step on the journey to wholeness was priceless and that therapy was just as much a priority as anything else she spent money on – or more – so every week, she went back. Sis identified that if God created chiropractors for when our backs hurt, podiatrists for when our feet ache, and tutors for when our brains tire, then therapists are there for when some part of our souls need healing and that is as good a reason to seek professional help as any.
Sis learned that the journey to “wholeness”, through therapy, has no destination. It is about learning to work towards wholeness, while we are constantly redefining what that even means, as we grow. A year in, Sis considers her entry into therapy one of the most impactful boss moves she has ever made. She realizes that the next mountain could be grief or it could just be the next thing that God entrusts her with. However, a year ago, Sis went to therapy and now she feels so much more prepared for whatever that might be.
SIS CAN BE YOU TOO!
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