Get Out Of Your Own Way with Sam DeSalvo

I've Spent $18,000+ in Therapy, Heres What I Learned

August 08, 2023 Samantha DeSalvo Season 1 Episode 15
Get Out Of Your Own Way with Sam DeSalvo
I've Spent $18,000+ in Therapy, Heres What I Learned
Show Notes Transcript

Therapy doesn't have to be scary, and it isn't just for people who have had major trauma. I am here today on a solo episode to talk about my therapy journey and what lessons and realizations I have had over the past 4 years...



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hello, my friends, and welcome back to another episode of the get out of your own way podcast. I'm your host, Sam Savo. And if you're just stopping in for your first time being here, welcome, welcome. And if you're back for another episode, Hey, I'm so glad you are back. And on this podcast, we talk all things, healthy living from wellness to motivation, productivity, and business. And lately I've been doing a lot of guest episodes. I've done three guest episodes back to back, so I'm glad to be here doing a solo episode today. Because as much as I love the guest episodes and bringing other people's expertises in, I really enjoy doing solo episodes and just chatting with you guys one on one. So. Right now, it is a Thursday night. I had plans to go out tonight, but change of plans, I am staying in recording this podcast, and that's probably for the best, because I always record on Thursdays, and I was going to put it off until tomorrow, Friday. But change of plans and I'm recording so it must be meant to be, right? And right now I'm sipping on a Skinny Marg. It's, my recipe is the cucumber jalapeno tequila and the bubbly strawberry seltzer. That's the only seltzer I had in my fridge. I would have preferred it to be the watermelon flavor, but That and some lime juice and that's what I'm sipping on right now. So wherever you're at, I hope you have your favorite beverage, whether it be a cup of coffee on your way to work or if you're chilling just like me, I hope you have your favorite glass of wine or even a mocktail in your hands. So I'm sure that you saw today's title of the episode and we are talking about therapy today. So I am a big advocate of therapy. I think everybody should be in therapy regardless of what your life has looked like. And I have been in therapy for about four years now, which is pretty crazy. And I think people think that you need to have these crazy stories or this childhood trauma to be able to start going to therapy. And I just don't think that's the case. There is a saying that everybody goes to therapy for the people that won't go to therapy. And I think that is so true. I think therapy is just great because it gives you a person to talk to that's unbiased in your life. They don't know the other people. They're not voting for anybody else in your life. You know, wanting you to be with them or without them, anything like that. So I just think it's great to have somebody that you can talk to. And it kind of saves you because you're like, I wish I had someone to talk to about this, but I'll just save it for therapy. I mean, that's kind of what I do. I find that to be my place of comfort, my place to vent. And I don't find myself venting to people that I shouldn't be venting to about topics that I should not be venting to them about. So, that's kind of my take on it. I started going, like I said, four years ago. That's where that number comes from, the 18, 000 in therapy, because every time you go, it does charge you, and you have to pay a co pay, too, along with your insurance. So, I did the math, and that's kind of how much I've spent going every other week for four years. And I've had two different therapists, which I will get into in a little bit of why I've had two different ones. But I wanted to talk to you guys today about what I have learned in these four years, what things have been revealed to me and my personality and things that have been unraveled and I've worked through and healed from slash continue to heal from. And I hope that you guys can learn something too. Maybe that you'll resonate with something in this episode that you didn't know that about yourself either. And you heard me say it and you're like, wow, like that's something I could work on as well. And it's kind of like the tools are just the. The things that therapists have given me to work with. So that's kind of my goal for today's episode is talking about what I've learned from therapy, why I started going to therapy, and also how you can find a therapist. I think therapy is one of those like taboo topics. I think at least now in 2023, it is becoming more relevant and more normal, but I grew up in a household with parents from the 50s slash the 60s. So in their mind, if you go to therapy, you're messed up and that labels you as someone that needs help. And I think that generation kind of sees therapy that way. They don't want to label themselves as someone that needs help, someone that's vulnerable. So they kind of shy away from it, but I think it's one of the best tools and something that has helped me tremendously over these past four years and just navigating adulthood too. So, like I said, I started going four years ago, and it kind of happened because I was talking to somebody else. So I used to work somewhere where I was really close with the owner, and I would vent to her a lot about what was happening in my life, and she was honestly the best. She was so great. She would listen to all my stupid stories at the age of 18 years old. Like, obviously, I'm just learning life at that point. I'm still learning life now, and will continue to. And I would vent to her and she would give me advice of what her therapist would tell her. And at that point, I was very unaware of therapy and all this stuff, so I would vent to her and she would say, Hey, this is what my therapist said and blah, blah, blah. This is what she would say about this situation. And that's how she handled a lot of situations. And then eventually, I just was like, Like, who is your therapist? Like, is she open for new clients? And, the owner at that point had stopped seeing her, and she was all set with her, so she was able to pass down her name to me. And I reached out to her, and she was able to take me, because Some therapists won't take a person if there's a conflict of interest. So if I was going to a therapist and say my brother wanted to go to the same one, sometimes they don't allow that just because there's a conflict of interest there. So like I said, there was no conflict of interest because she had stopped going to her, but she was a great referral and I started going at that time because I was in a relationship and I was pretty invested and I, I was having a really hard time because there was conflict with this person's sibling, and I could not for the life of me understand why. I thought I was a nice person, and I wasn't doing any harm, so I didn't understand why I deserved any of it. Like, I'm not the type of person that would intentionally hurt somebody, and I would like to think most people aren't like that, but... Maybe there's a select handful out there that are like that, but I definitely did not resonate with that category. I was always trying to put an effort where it was needed, and I just wanted there to be peace in everybody's life. I didn't want to cause anybody any trouble, and I could not understand for the life of me why I was causing this person trouble. So it was eating me up. I was Like I said, I was putting in the effort. I was trying so hard and I just couldn't see it from their point of view. I would beat this so hard. Like I would beat it dead and go back and forth over. I would drive myself mental. Why, why doesn't this person like me? What can I do to make this person like me? Is it a personality thing? Like I would beat myself up so much about it. And also it did put a huge strain on my relationship at that time. So that was eating me up. So I just wanted to fix this situation. But... Like I said, I would just think about it so much, it would consume me, it would consume my personality, and I knew that I had to talk to like a professional about it and get their insight on it because of course everybody in your life is going to be biased towards these situations. They're going to tell you, Hey, just leave. Just leave. You don't deserve that. You deserve so much better than that. And like, Sure, that's great advice, but it's a lot easier said than done. And, or people will say, hey, that really sucks. Like, I'm sorry that you're going through that. And that's also great, but that's not enough in that moment to stop you to stop you from thinking about it. So at that point, I knew that I needed to get more help and I needed like a professional that didn't know the situation at all. They didn't know the people involved. They How I should navigate through this so at that point, like I said, I asked the owner of the restaurant Can I go to your therapist? and that's the reason like I that's like the stem of the reason I started going and There was obviously over the past four years a lot of other issues. I've came up To make me be very happy that I've had somebody to talk to. And, yeah. I, I feel like therapy's one of those things that some people see it as a, like, temporary, like, fix or, like, or a temporary thing that they go through and then when they feel better, they're all set with it. Where... Maybe I'll be at that point one day or my life will just be different that I'll feel like I don't need it or I'm not in that stage anymore where I don't know. We'll see. But I kind of see it as one of those like proactive things like going to the gym where you have these like set appointments to work on like your mental health just like you would with your physical health in the gym. Say, You got diagnosed with a disease and they're like, oh if you were healthy and you did take care of your body And you did work out you'd be like dang like I would have been in the gym all those years So that's kind of how I see it instead of like hitting rock bottom then going to therapy and then having to dig myself out of a hole I kind of see it just has like a preventative thing that I try to stay as level as possible and I don't go into any deep dark holes that I have to crawl out of and As of right now, I still enjoy going, and I could definitely see myself now spreading it out a little farther. So maybe just going once a month, or once every other month. Like, kind of do it like that way instead of not going at all. But we'll see. I know everybody is different when it comes to that. For sure, everyone is different. But let's jump into... What I learned from going to therapy over four years and I just want to preface this by saying I know that I'm gonna still be learning I can make another episode of this in like a month's time Just kidding, but I can make an episode of this in another year and there'd be so much I learned about myself again So I just want to share some insights of the different things that I learned and I hope that you guys resonate with some of This and can bring it into So the first thing that I learned when I started going to therapy was to stop trying to change other people. So I told you guys why I started going. I was very consumed with why this person didn't like me or why they thought negatively of me. Like I could not wrap my mind around it. And what my therapist taught me was to stop trying to change the other person and to take it for what it is. So, Stop obsessing over what it could be and just figure out what you're going to do about it next so I Was very obsessed with the potential of things and where it could gone or where it could have gone Like how it could have been different or what I wanted for my life, and if it didn't match up perfectly I had a really big problem with that So she really did teach me to sit like stop like stop obsessing over The narrative I made in my head about it, and to just look at it for the facts of what it was in that moment, not what it could be, not what it could have been, and now ask myself, like, am I going to be okay with this? And if not, what are you going to do about it? Like, are, if this person never ends up liking you, or you never get your desired result, like, are you going to be okay with that? And what are you going to do about it? So, like I said, that was something really big for me. Like, that did not come naturally to me. I, Would be very upset over why this person didn't like me, instead of just saying, well, they don't, and now my decision is to X, Y, and Z. So I had to let go of the stories I made of my head of what I wanted for my life to look like or what I had desired for the outcome to be, and just look at it for what it was and make a decision from there. So I had to accept the facts and. not micromanage the situation. I had to stop tailoring myself to get the desired results that I wanted. And I had to be like, okay, well, if you're not okay with this, then here's the other option. So like, if I wasn't okay with this person's sibling not liking me, and that was that big of a deal to me, then I had the choice that I could like leave that situation and find someone that their siblings did like me. And we did have the family dynamic I wanted. So she really shifted me out of. Micromanaging and obsessing over why not why not why not and just looking at it for what it is And I get to choose what I want out of my life from that point. So I will say that I Stopped caring as much like I wasn't obsessing over and I just knew like yeah This is just how it was and I dealt with it for a pretty long time and although it did affect me it didn't affect me the way that I started going to therapy for it and I definitely think it put a toll on that relationship, like I'm not saying that, and it's definitely not like what I wanted for my life. I knew I wanted that, that dynamic, that is something I wanted, and I think that was the driving factor to things, but like I said, I could stop. Obsessing over that situation, and then just go back to my life, like, what are the things that I can control? I can control how I think about me. I can control what I want for my life. I can control, like, how I think of myself, the values I hold for myself. Or, I could also know in my heart that I was a good person and I wasn't doing any harm. So, I kind of had to take the focus away from that and, like, pour back into myself. And, it definitely also helped me. moving forward to see things for what they were instead of, like I said, thinking about the future or thinking about what things could be if this happened, if this happened, if this happened, if I'll be happy if this happened, I would be in a better situation if X, Y, and Z. Like, it helped me move out of that mindset and be like, well, we're here now. This is exactly the reality that you are in. What would you like to do about it? Do you want to keep living your life like this? If not, okay, let's make a change. And I feel like that really helped my life so much in so many different ways because I was able to look at things for the facts and not romanticize things for what they could be or what they could have been. So, I would like to say that is the first thing I learned in therapy, which I think has helped me a lot in a lot of areas, whether that be future relationships. Jobs, family, friendships, just looking at things for what they are and not obsessing over The fantasies that you create in your head. So, moving on to number two, is I am a very empathetic person. I care, I guess this kind of goes, they all go kind of hand in hand, right? This makes up my personality. I care a lot about what... Other people are going through. I have a strong desire to want to help people and help them become a better version of themselves. So I feel like I'm always saying, like becoming a better version of you, or be a better this or, you know, becoming your fullest self. Reaching your fullest potentials. Like, those are things that are Always coming out of my mouth, which people are probably annoyed with, because I do love you just for where you are right now. I'm not, you don't always need to be striving. I do, if people come to me and they're struggling with something or they want to better their lives in a certain way, I have such a strong desire to want to help them and help them get past this Roadblock or obstacle that they are facing and I have found that this actually is a flaw of mine So I have this podcast, right? I have a platform that I legit just want to help people but at the same time it's literally a fault or a flaw of mine because What happens is I kind of obsess over helping somebody or if, what happens is if I give someone advice and they don't take it and they're still just self sabotaging their life, it aggravates me and it actually kind of gets me upset because I'm like, you came to me for help, but you're not taking it. So I don't want to hear your pity party anymore. And that's so harsh. And I've learned that. But in the moments, like, those were things that I was facing, and I'm sure I still face them too, and I just have to give myself these small reminders. But I would just get way too attached to situations. I wanted to see them come out of the under I wanted to see them come out of the other side. I wanted to see the underdog win. Like, these were just things that really meant a lot to me. So, I had to learn that. But something my therapist taught me was The I guess the affirmation or just telling myself I give back what is not mine to feel so just focusing on my own Emotions my own problems and that those other things belong to them at the end of the day Like I harness so much for myself already. I don't have the capacity to take on like actual other people's problems I'm a listening ear. I'm here to talk to you. I'm here to give advice But at the end of the day, I know that people Need to find things out for themselves because I'm that way. I'm the type of person that you could tell me exactly how something's gonna go. I'm like, cool. I'm gonna go find out for myself now. So I'm sure I'm doing the same thing to other people. And I really had a hard time with that on the other side of things, because I was giving advice and I was like, you're not taking it, so don't come to me for anymore. Where. In retrospect, I should just be a listening ear and just ask questions or rhetorical questions that make their own wheels get spinning because We listen to ourselves at the end of the day and when people are giving us advice, it's not always Soaking in like a sponge sometimes kind of just like bounces back because our heads are already too loud and that's something that had kind of had a I had to come to terms with. So, that, that has been really an interesting journey to, for me, is to learn how to just, like I said, harness my own emotions and be responsible for my own and not to take on anybody else's. And I think that's improved my friendships a lot because, like I said before, I would be really upset if someone didn't take my advice and I kind of take it personally as if they didn't respect me or what I was telling them. And they didn't respect themselves either. That's kind of how I saw it in my head. Whereas now I can be a little bit more sympathetic instead of, yes, empathetic. I don't know if that's right, but now I can just look at it as they're going through a lot and they need to figure out these things on their own, just like I've had to figure out my own lessons on my own. And I'm just here to listen and be a supportive person in their lives, someone that they know they can turn to and look at as a good friend. But I'm not here to solve their problems because at the end of the day we kind of have to come to all those things on our own timeline. And then moving on to the last thing that I've learned in therapy over four years is this is also, these are all interesting to talk about on this podcast because I kind of feel like it's what has made me end up here. But something, this one's more recent that I've learned is that I'm addicted to striving and achieving. So I kind of am also addicted to chaos, like I always have to have a lot of things going on in my life and the reason I think this stems from or what we've tracked it back to in therapy is that my dad is also a very like chaotic person. He always has to be doing something, he's always busy, he works, you know. 10 hour days. And then he comes home and works in the yard till the sun goes down. Like that's always been his personality. And he kind of thrives in that environment, which I think there is a whole different set of therapy that's probably needed there. But what I've learned from it, because at the end of the day, we are all conditioned by our parents. So we are, we are basically downloaded by them. And whether you want to believe that or not, I think that's very true. So I really like to watch. their personalities closely and kind of see what characteristics I've picked up from them. And of course there are things that I love that they carry, but then there's things that I don't love and I'm like, do I have that? And if I do, like, how can I combat that? Or how can I work on that and get a little bit better? So that's what I've been diving in to therapy this year. So some people call that childhood trauma. I would like to say that I didn't really have too much trauma or any and all that matter, but I definitely feel for you if you did. And I'm really sorry if you did face any of that, but some people. Do see it as childhood trauma. Like I said, I kind of just like to call it my preconditioning, and so back to what I was saying about my dad is that he is always doing something. So if he would come home from a full day of work and us kids, whereas sitting at home on the couch, he would not love that. He would be like, What are you doing? Like, go find something to do. And he would kind of bring in this like anxious environment that we should be always up to something. And that definitely got very deep into my soul that I always had to be doing something to almost feel not anxious. It would make me feel very anxious if I was doing nothing. And also it made me feel worthy that if I was doing something like that was part of my, my value and my worth. So I have recognized those. Emotions and I'm able to see it a little bit more clear now as in in my life I have to be doing a million things. I feel better like genuinely feel better in my soul if I have a lot going on in my life if my schedule is jam packed and I have a lot to do in my day and My business is booming and my podcast is going well this and that like I genuinely feel better And I feel like a lot of people can resonate with that Like of course you feel better when things are going well in your life But the busier I am, it was almost as if I was more worthy, or if I had more. Side jobs, side hustles, things like that. I was doing better in life than I was before, and that is not good. That's pretty toxic for myself, and I always felt really good if I was accomplishing something, too. And that has led me to always feel like I need to have something I'm working towards or striving towards and just becoming addicted to always striving towards something in my life. And I would hit burnouts after a while because that's not a sustainable way to live. So, I had to stop putting so much in my day and I felt as if before, like, I could never catch my breath. I never had a minute to breathe and I would almost do things like half assed because I had so much to do in my day that I felt like I was never doing anything really good because I was splitting myself up into a million pieces. Like, this is such a... Weird example, but it registers just so well in my head. Like when I would do the dishes I wouldn't slow down enough to just do the dishes and do them well, I would have to either be multitasking doing it in between cooking a dinner or whatever it may be in them rushing through it and just feeling so chaotic It that while doing it, that I wasn't even doing it well, and I'm sure that translates to so many other things in my life, and when I see people doing things really slow, it really irks me because I'm like, there's such a more efficient way to do it, but I know in their life that probably works because they probably do everything. A little slower and they do a better job at it. So there's a lot that goes into this whole category of being addictive to striving and achievements. So some things that I have been doing to kind of heal from this is to stop adding so much to my days and being okay doing nothing. So that's been really interesting for me because right now I'm really not okay, like, doing nothing. It's getting a little bit better, but if I have, like, a slow night or nothing on my agenda for the night or I'm alone, whatever it may be, I kind of find it uncomfy. I'm like, okay, so what can I do? But I've tried to add things into my routines that are kind of like doing nothing but still doing something. So. Reading has been one that I've been trying to read at night or if I just have like a lull in my day Because I don't want to spend too much time like on my cell phone and like just scrolling aimlessly on social media So things that are like proactive that don't involve like my phone so Walking easton is always one going out in nature spending time in nature Journaling, reading my book, what's another one? Oh, like trying new recipes, so like learning to cook an actual meal, and learning what I enjoy doing. So, something I've learned recently that I enjoy doing is dancing. So, I know that kind of fits into the category of doing something, but to me, I'm just on this mission to learn about my... Authentic self, what makes me happy, what makes me thrive. So, that's kind of what I've been trying to fill my time with instead of striving towards like business goals, fitness goals personal goals, financial goals. I've been trying to just strive towards. We're not even gonna strive. Just figure out who the heck I am underneath all those masks. Because at the end of the day, I kind of do think that's what they are, is masks and they kind of cover up this chaotic state. Like if you're always in chaos, you don't have time to spend with yourself and face the music for who you really are. So you don't get to know these quirks about you. You don't get to learn what makes you you and what makes you tick and what makes you happy. So I found this journey to be really interesting and it's definitely still a journey like I. I'm not even close to being done, and I don't feel necessarily that I've made too much progress, but I also, I know I have come a little bit of a ways because I wouldn't be able to talk about it if it was the other way around. So, just the last thing on this topic is something my therapist shared with me is there's a difference between goals and values. So goals have an end date on them. Whereas values are something you'll always be striving for in your life. So a goal you may have is I want to make 100k this year, whereas a value is I want to be better with handling my finances. And I found that to be really interesting because she's like, it's very important to have these things in your life, but sometimes they can get toxic. As in, it's always good to have these values that you're working on and getting better at because that makes you a better person. You don't want to have no goals that you're not working on at all, but... She explained, like, where it can get toxic and kind of the avenue that I fit into. And she even said, like, goals are important, too. Just don't be addicted to always having one to make sure that you're valuable. Like, you're worthy just the way you are right now. And that was something pretty interesting for me to learn that, one, there was a difference between those things. I was like, oh, really? And There are healthy amounts to it. So, like, another value may be that you want to become a more joyful version of yourself. Whereas a goal might be, I'm going to try three new hobbies this week. Both kind of go together, but you can see if you always were just striving after goals and achievements where that can get toxic. Whereas in values will hopefully always benefit you because you're becoming a better version of who you already are and who God made you to be. So the last thing that I want to leave you guys with today is where you can find a therapist. So if you resonated with some of this today that, like I said, I didn't have any crazy childhood trauma or anything that I found out and I blocked out completely, you are still able to go. Like, you are still valuable and worthy enough to go to therapy. Like, you're still deserving of that kind of service. I think some people are like, well, I need to have something really messed up with me to be able to go. That's not true. And I hope that you, if you resonate with any of these today, I hope you go on your own little self discovery journey of how you can just work on these things and maybe there's other things inside that you really want to work on and maybe this sparked something for you to finally make that jump if you're really nervous about going. And if you guys have any questions, like about actual therapy, like, is it awkward? Is it ever weird? Or what do you talk about? How do you start talking about it? Do they ask you questions? Like things like that. I would be happy to answer them. So you can message me on Instagram at Sam DeSalvo, S A M D E S A L V O. And I would be happy to talk with you guys and share more information. But so where to find a therapist. So, like I said, the first therapist that I found was through a referral. So that's always a great way to find someone else that, you know, they liked them. Hopefully you'll like them too. And they have credentials that worked for somebody else. So. Referrals were the first way, and then the second way that I find to be beneficial is online. So, I'm sure there's so many different resources if you're just searching Google Therapist Near Me, but the one that I have specifically used is psychologytoday. com, and there's so many different filters that you can select. So, I explained that I was going to say I said that I was going to explain why I switched therapist at one point. So my first therapist was amazing. She was super easy to talk to and made me feel comfortable like never being in therapy before. It was like talking to a friend and I thought she was so great, but then I kind of just felt like I grew out of it. Like I grew out of that environment where it felt like kind of talking to a friend or a sister. I wanted actual tangible advice or more. psychology, psychological advice, like why I am the way I am, why I think the way I think, and I just felt as if I grew out of that, but it was a great stepping stone because I don't think I would have been ready for where I'm at now, off the rip, like back then. So at one point, I knew I was ready to make the leap too because I had became, I had, I had been saved. And I knew it was time to get a Christian therapist because my old therapist would say things like, you know, God or universe, whatever you believe in. And I'm like, no, I believe in God. Like I want, I want to talk about that. I want to apply scripture, things like that. So I also knew at that point it was time for me to find a Christian therapist. And I just like looked on the psychology today. com, put on the Christian filter and I found a great therapist. She's amazing. I'm really happy with the decision that I've made and all the progress that I've made over these past four years. It's so crazy. But I hope this episode made you feel guys more, I hope this episode made you guys feel more comfortable. And if this is something you've been putting off, I hope you take this as a sign to go out and just do it. And you will learn so much about yourself. So, of course, guys, you can always connect with me on Instagram at Sam DeSalvo. Please share this episode with somebody else that you think would find it helpful. You never know the impact that you could be giving to somebody else's life. And don't forget to rate and like this podcast. And I'll talk to you guys next time.