To the Graduate Student I had Therapy with | My Letter to “Steve”

To the Graduate Student I had therapy with from Fall 2014 – Spring 2015, this letter is for you.

Dear Steve,

We both know your name isn’t really Steve. Just like my name wasn’t really Raquel Lyons, but RL. I don’t know if you remember me or not, just like I won’t ever know if you happen to find this letter. But it’s the closest thing I have to letting it go, and it’s time for me to let you go farther than I have.

I’ve been reading over my old notebooks this morning. In the quiet of the household with my Mom out at the hairdresser’s and my Dad sleeping, it’s been quiet and I’ve been reflecting.

I found the notes I took after most sessions with you, Steve. How I have fond memories of you.

You linger in my thoughts sometimes more than I’d like you to.

But you had a significant impact in my recovery journey. You were there from the start, and yes, I know as well as you likely do that had we all known I was dealing with OCD, we wouldn’t have been paired up together. You’re just a graduate student after all. No offense. A little sapling. A banana nut muffin. A golden one too, with little gold flecks of positivity and awesomeness exuding from it.

I miss you, Steve. It’s too bad we couldn’t have met in another life, in a different way, but I guess I can just count my lucky stars that I got to meet you in this way at all.

It’s true that I’m glad to have met you and known part of you at all, rather than nothing.

You gave me the gift of hope. Of having faith that things will get better, and I really, really needed that. Whenever I was caught up in the negativity and the desperation, you still had hope, you still had faith in me, and I was awed by that. But you helped me to have faith and hope in myself, something I hope I now exude like a lighthouse to others around me. And that, of course, is with much thanks to you.

I’m glad that you exist. Even now.

I know, Steve, that I shouldn’t be checking up on you on social media, but sometimes I do. ^^’ In a way, it reminds me how much I didn’t really know you. And, that’s kinda weird, if you think about it. But here’s hoping that with this letter, I can do less of the actual checking up on and more of the just thinking about you, wondering where you are and how you’re doing and letting the mystery stay a mystery.

You told me once that I was a fighter, that you cared about me, that you were proud of me and that you could see me going off to do great things.

Well, Steve, I’m doing a lot of those great things now. Even if you’re not aware of them, I’m doing them, and that’s pretty snazzy. Again, maybe the mystery is just meant to stay a mystery.

I’d just like to say, Steve, thank you. Thank you for all your hard work, your support, your wisdom, and your sapling-ness. I don’t know how my story would have played out otherwise without your aid in my journey. Yeah, a lot of what you were saying may have been coming from the professionals at the counseling center, but that’s okay. They were still right anyways.

You made me aware of emotional expression. You made me aware, indirectly, of body language cues–things I had never ever known about in all my 21 years beforehand.

You gave me hope when I was losing my own. You gave me positivity and this magical glimpse of a well of unlimited positivity that you had in store–one which still amazes me and of which I am grateful for having witnessed.

We created a strong therapeutic alliance. Granted, on my part I became like a stinging jellyfish that wouldn’t dare to let go of you at all, but, what can I say? You were that good. πŸ˜‰ lmao

I was open and honest with you, even when I didn’t want to be, because I was there to get help and you were the person who was going to help me. You and the other therapists at the counseling center. You and my friends, my family and myself.

When I scratched myself, I told you. When I was suicidal, I told you. When I tried to kill myself that first time, I told you. When I had a method with me on my person, I told you. I hadn’t always wanted to. But I trusted in the process. Even when I went through the plethora of emotions of anger, shock, anxiety, fear, doubt, worry, and relief when I was to be taken to the hospital that very afternoon, still, I knew it was for the best.

I do apologize if that had any negative effects on you. I think to myself now that had I been in a better state of mind, not only would that not have happened, but I wouldn’t have put you in that position. However, I was sick, and I didn’t know WHAT I was doing, and so I do apologize for that misguided behavior. I can say, at least, that hospitalization really did propel me further in recovery. Maybe it’s just something that happened that turned out better than expected.

Maybe one day we’ll cross paths again. I know for myself that’d be a MASSIVE exposure, which would be totally awesome in a hugely anxiety provoking fashion XD


I hope this letter sits well with you, out in the world wide web, just hanging out on a bookshelf. For now, my thoughts have shifted and I’m no longer constricted in my reflective mood. Now, I’d like to go out and make some shit happen. Good shit, by the way. It is possible I will use, maybe in the far away future, these old notes for some good blogging material. We’ll see.

A coloring page and a nap are calling to me, now.


Wishing you the very best.


xx Stay Safe,

— Raquel


4 thoughts on “To the Graduate Student I had Therapy with | My Letter to “Steve”

  1. I absolutely love this! Both as someone who got counseling from a grad student (in the same time period as you) and as someone who will be a grad student counseling others, this letter touched me. I really really like this post, and I’m so glad that you were matched up with a good counselor.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh how ironic we were both getting counseling during the same time period by graduate students! Hehe, that’s pretty cool. πŸ™‚

      And thanks so much!! I’m glad you liked this post, and yes, Steve was hella awesome, hehe. It’s interesting how we can be so greatly impacted by those of us around us. πŸ™‚ ❀ ❀

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!

      Liked by 1 person

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