When does healing begin? I like to think healing begins when you recognize something has happened that has impacted your ability to be free in your mind, body, relationships and spirit. When you recognize that you are hurting to the point that you are not the person you know you can be then the journey has begun.
Now healing doesn't happen over night. It's a process. A true journey. Once you start doing the work you may recognize there are other things happening or happened in your life that exacerbates your wounds. Sometimes you have to repair those things before you take a big dive into addressing anything else. Healing is about creating stabilization so that you can focus, prepare and repair.
Sometimes healing feels so heavy and long. You might even say to yourself, "I thought I was past all of this!" Sometimes what we think of as being healed was really tucking some stuff away in a closet only for it to find the most opportune time to jump out. Hence the journey. You can become tired, weary and afraid. You are going somewhere where you will truly reflect and make some decisions about your life, health and relationships. When you release pain, throw away responsibilities that weren't yours to carry and free up space within yourself for peace and joy, oh what a feeling!!! To be free. To be comfortable in your skin. To feel joy.
Then there is the maintenance of being healed. What you have learned about yourself and the new coping skills you have internalized must be maintained. "How do you do that?" We'll save that for another day.
So when should you seek a therapist support? When carrying the load is so heavy that you feel stuck. When you can't figure something out because there is so much fear, doubt, insecurity that is keeping you from thinking critically. When your relationship with self and others begin to suffer. When you begin to parent in the way you never wanted to parent. And whenever you feel like it. No one has the right to tell you when and how to heal. You determine that. And when you have then you have begun the journey towards healing.