Mental illness lies. Even worse, it is a very good liar. The value of therapy is that someone objective can challenge those lies. Even better, they can teach you how to challenge those lies for yourself. Here is an example from my therapy session yesterday:
Me: I just want it to be easy.
Therapist: What to be easy?
Me: I dunno, all of it?
Me: Because I’m not good enough. I’m just a failure otherwise.
Therapist: Well, you made it through law school.
Therapist: And passed the bar exam in Massachusetts.
Therapist: …And those are presumably difficult things. I mean they do have something of a reputation.
Therapist: So, maybe that is just your brain lying to you? Maybe if you look at what you’ve actually done you would have a different view of yourself?
Me: (Pauses)…I mean, I guess….
Seriously, that woman deserves a freaking medal for putting up with all the bullshit my anxiety and depression manage to come up with.
The point is, no matter how convincing the lies of your mental illness are, know that they are lies, and that you are worthy of good things and happiness. Yes, it might take some extra work, and it may be a constant battle. You may need people to point out your reality vs. your mental illness. But you are worth it.