Ononde Thelemaque - West Palm Beach, Florida
I first contacted Stephanie after my boyfriend of three years suddenly and abruptly ended our relationship. Needless to say I was shocked, heartbroken, and devastated. Questions flooded my mind like, "What is wrong with me?", "What did I do wrong?", "Was I not good enough?", "Why did he leave me?" I was convinced that he left me because of something I did. I felt that perhaps there was some reason why I wasn't good enough for him and that it was all my fault the relationship had ended. Furthermore, I later came to learn that during the relationship he was seeing another woman. This only added to my pain and suffering. As a result, I became depressed and was left feeling alone, sad, worthless, and unattractive. For someone who knows herself to be a very "strong" person, I couldn't understand why or how I had let myself get to the point of losing myself, my identity, and my self-esteem. I felt like the world was against me and that my life was passing me by.
After a few sessions with Stephanie, I started to understand how part of my depression was coming from my negative self-talk. Together we identified some of the lies I was telling myself and reframed them with the truth. I learned that we can't choose our experiences but we can choose how we respond to our experiences. I am learning how to respond in healthier ways. I am also learning about the need for healthy personal boundaries, why they are important, and how to effectively establish them. I see now that my failure to establish and enforce healthy personal boundaries in my previous relationship was part of the problem.
Since then I have made a lot of positive changes. I'm starting to put myself first and to love and appreciate myself more. I am now setting healthy boundaries for myself regarding my life and understand that sometimes people will come into my life and won't stay for long but they are there to teach me something. My life is so much easier now. I lean more and more on God now, and when I get lonely or depressed, I trust in Him. Jesus is healing my broken heart. I acknowledge some of my flaws and I'm working on them. One area of growth that I'm working on is my tendency to care so much for others that I become a "caretaker" and ignore and lose myself in relationships. I'm learning how to better care for myself. I know that I first need to love myself well before I can truly love another well.