I Lie to My Therapist

By Carmela KJuly 26, 2021

“How are you doing this week?” my therapist asks me every Monday at our 3 pm meeting.

“I’m good, how are you?” I respond with a smile plastered on my face.

She tells me that she meets with some clients twice per week, but she doesn’t think I need that. Because I am doing “just fine,” she says.

I continue to tell her my latest stressors with work, and we talk through boundaries and coping strategies and brainstorm ideas together. What I don’t tell her is… I am actually not fine. Not even close.

I wake up each day resenting the sun for rising and instantly feel a pit in my stomach, knowing I am about to take on another full day in a job I despise in a life I despise even more. I struggle to make it to the end of the day, and when I do, I just want to melt into a puddle on the ground. I don’t want to see my friends, I don’t want to engage in my hobbies, I don’t want to work out, I don’t want to cook dinner. I want to sleep for a month straight and put my life on pause. Then, I want to wake up and make my life into something beautiful and simple. A job that I love helping others, time and energy to do the things that bring me joy. People with who I can be myself around and feel safe. Enough money to live comfortably. A feeling of peace and acceptance.

Instead, I feel intense dread. I know I need to make a change, but I feel frozen in place. Lost. Confused. Exhausted. I feel like I’m barely hanging on, losing my grip. In my darkest moments, a voice in my head whispers,

“What is the point anyway?”

I don’t know. I feel hopeless and empty. I feel like I don’t belong here.

One day, I came across a T-shirt on the TWLOHA website that said: “Hope is Real.”  The description read: “There is a boldness in your breathing, a spark still within you that threatens the darkness you’ve known. And even on the days you don’t see it, know that we do. And know that we will always hold that hope for you.”

I cried when I read it. Something about it touched the part of me that is still alive, the part that knows I deserve to feel good.

Some days, I don’t feel like I have the strength to keep going. But I have proved myself wrong for 24 years now. I am strong. I continue to hold this hope for myself even when I don’t feel it.

On the hardest days, I tell myself my only job is to keep existing, one breath at a time.

I feel like a mess. I feel like I’m falling apart on a daily basis. I don’t have my life figured out. I don’t know how to not feel miserable every day. But you know what I do know? I don’t have to lie to my therapist. I don’t have to feel ashamed and suffer in silence. I don’t have to pretend to have anything figured out or under control. I don’t need to pretend that I understand life. I am stronger than the depression, the anxiety, and the trauma. I belong here. And so do you.

Whatever you are facing, there is always hope. And we will hold on to hope until you’re able to grasp it yourself. We encourage you to use TWLOHA’s FIND HELP Tool to locate professional help and to read more stories like this one here. If you reside outside of the US, please browse our growing International Resources database. You can also text TWLOHA to 741741 to be connected for free, 24/7 to a trained Crisis Text Line counselor.

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Comments (15)

  1. Emily

    Thank you for your raw honesty. Im glad this is a space where you dont have to lie, where, maybe, you dont want to lie, where there is freedom.
    Its refreshing to read something so honest and raw that doesnt tie up with a bow at the end. Something that is okay with being messy.
    Thank you.

    Reply  |  
  2. Ana

    I’m afraid. I’m afraid because it’s 11am and I’m still in bed. I’m afraid because I just can’t see any reason to keep going, I can’t convince myself that I need to face all this today.
    I’m feeling weak, I want to cry and give up of everything.

    I can’t keep going through this. I’m not feeling connect with my university, with my old passions, with my family, with anything. I feel like I’m just floating around.

    But I know that I will get out of my bed, smile to my mom and say “yes, I’m great, what a beautiful day”.
    I don’t know for how many days I can do it, I feel like I already run out of energy.

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA


      You don’t have to lie. To us or those you love, so please know we are a safe space for you to share if you want to. You can always email our team at [email protected]. And if you are in need of help, please also don’t hesitate to say so. Feeling the way you’re feeling happens, and it’s such a challenge in those chapters to stay, but we are truly rooting for you.

      With Hope,

      Reply  |  
  3. Joan

    Thank you for sharing. I hear you. I have sat in the parking lots of therapist’s offices drinking to feel bold enough to walk in the door and then walk in and feel the pressure to name all the positive things of the week. I get the reason to name them, but the other stuff I can’t say to anyone else…I should be able to say it to my therapist. May you be bold and speak up.

    Reply  |  
  4. Madeline

    Thank you for sharing. It is extremely difficult to be so vulnerable and honest, and we are extremely lucky to have a safe place where people can be open about their struggles. Thank you, to you and TWLOHA 💕

    Reply  |  
  5. Eliza

    This is exactly how I was feeling about therapy the other day – I was upset with myself that I struggled to actually tell my therapist I’m struggling. Let’s make it okay to say everything we need to say in therapy. Thanks for your honesty.

    Reply  |  
  6. Hanna

    This is exactly how I feel. Like I can’t take one more step, like all the air has gone away. I’ve been the one to always cope, no matter what happend to me, but I’ve reached my point of no more, I just can’t do it anymore. And I try and try to tell them, but no one hear me. I wish I will survive, I wish that hope will find me and that life will defeat the loneliness and tiredness.

    Thank you, for sharing.

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA


      Thank you for sharing something that we’re sure was difficult to write. Know it’s OK to feel the way you’re feeling, to not have the energy or will to continue. But we hope remembering or even realizing you’re not alone in this, that there is still always the possibility of better days and moments, can provide you with a bit of a spark, even to just keep breathing today.

      Please reach out to us if you want a safe space to share more. You can email our team at [email protected] anytime. You can also text TWLOHA to 741741 to be connected to a crisis counselor. They’re there to help you.

      Sending you both hope and love,

      Reply  |  
  7. Janna

    I can’t be honest with my counselor. I don’t know how. I’ve covered up and pushed down emotions my whole life that now talking about them seems pointless and even just naming the emotions is hard. I’d rather be numb.

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA


      Perhaps you could share this blog with your counselor or even your comment. Maybe writing down your feelings, as best you can, is a way to start sharing how you’re genuinely feeling? Your emotions are not shameful or wrong. And your counselor is there to help you through them, remember that.

      There is hope.


      Reply  |  
  8. Tauren Gess

    Keep living!

    Reply  |  
  9. Kelly

    Carmela, I feel as if I could have been the one writing this, it is that close to how I feel. Everything resonated so deeply, The pretending, the feeling of dread, feeling stuck, exhausted, When I read this part I almost cried, it is literally what I want too, almost word for word.
    “I want to sleep for a month straight and put my life on pause. Then, I want to wake up and make my life into something beautiful and simple. A job that I love helping others, time and energy to do the things that bring me joy. People with who I can be myself around and feel safe. Enough money to live comfortably. A feeling of peace and acceptance.’

    And when I read what was on the T-shirt I did cry. Because in it is acceptance, which brings peace, even if only for a little bit at a time. And for me, more than anything, there is also connection. One that says ‘I see you. I understand. You’re not alone.’

    And we aren’t. And we’re ok.

    Thank you so much for this. 💕

    Reply  |  
  10. Kelli

    I had the word fine placed into the following acronym and for me, at least, it had a profound effect on me:
    F’d up
    Emotionally Unstable.

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA

      Hi Kelli,

      While these words may resonate with you, please know they do not define you. They are part of your story and experience but they are not who you are. Accepting our struggles is essential so that we can begin to heal and treat, but your existence does not have to be defined by this.

      With Hope,

      Reply  |  
  11. Sammy

    Thank you for reminding me my therapist is here to help me.

    Reply  |  
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