Being in therapy is great. I spend an hour just talking about myself. It’s kinda like being the guy on a date. – Caroline Rhea
Sorry guys for the jab, but I could not resist. I started therapy yesterday for the first time ever. I told myself before I left for my appointment it’s what the cool kids are doing, so I must be cool too. I know a lot of people who have been in, or are currently in therapy, and I think they are pretty cool.
I have been pretty nervous about starting therapy. I haven’t been so scared of the therapist calling the police and taking my daughter away. I haven’t had those dark thoughts in quite some time. I have been fearful of being labeled something that would make me seem crazy to others, but I am done worrying about what others think of me. I am my own person, and I am tired of living my life the way others think I should, just so I can be perceived as normal.
I got myself pretty worked up yesterday about going to my appointment. My nerves were shot, and I was nauseated with heartburn all day. What made me nervous the most was actually having to talk to a complete stranger about my experiences and feelings the last four years. I have been writing the blog for almost two weeks, and I have been pouring my heart out into it. However, hiding behind a computer screen exposing my soul to everyone is quite different than actually sitting face to face with someone. I feared no judgement from him, as I am sure he has heard a lot of people say the same things, or even worse. It’s just the opening of the heart, and the pouring out of the soul to someone whom I have never met that made it extremely frightening.
I arrived at my appointment right on time, but the therapist, Dr. S, was busy helping someone in dire need. I waited, but as time went on I started to panic because I had to pick up my daughter from pre-school. Thankfully, in mid-session, my husband was able to let me know he could go get her. I felt dumb for not planning for something like that, but I didn’t even think that other people might be in more need. How silly of me.
Dr. S took me back to his office, and I cringed at the leather couch and chairs in his office. How cliché! I also cringed because I was wearing shorts since it’s so hot outside, and I sweat profusely when I am nervous. I sat down on his lovely leather couch, and he started reading my intake paperwork. He was very calm, and his office felt very informal. I think it was probably the children’s toys in the corner that made it feel that way, so I felt very relaxed and comfortable. My fears just kind of melted away, it was very strange to me. Dr. S started asking me questions, and I just let the words flow out. I was fidgeting with my hands the entire time, and sitting in the corner of the couch, but I do that even in more familiar environments.
We didn’t get too in-depth about my problems this time. He asked me some background information, some family history, my own history with depression, etc. He knows about my dark thoughts towards kiddo and myself, he knows about my family history with depression and other mental health issues, and he knows about my blog. The entire time, he looked right at me as I talked, except for a moment or two when he looked down to jot something on his paper. I think that is most important in making someone feel comfortable enough to open up about such painful things. The person needs to be looked at, eye to eye. It shows you’re listening, and interested in what the person has to say. I know it made me feel relieved.
After we were done, we talked about Germans, since I had written down my mom has a typical German personality (sorry Mom!). The side of my family that deals with mental health issues the most is my mother’s side, which is German. Dr. S taking the time to talk about Germany, and German personalities was a great way to connect with me. We laughed quite a bit, which just made the whole thing even easier.
Dr. S didn’t diagnose me, which I do not expect to happen any time soon. He did ask a lot of questions that lead me to believe he was exploring Bipolar Disorder, but that doesn’t surprise me. He did tell me that he thought I was a very private person, and that I am strong-willed, that I prefer to do things on my own without any help. I have NO idea where he got that from (sarcasm alert!). I have always been incredibly shy, and none to eager to open up about myself. I have also been horrible at asking for help on anything. Even in school, I loathe group projects. I hate relying on other people. I have been burned with that in the past.
Over all, I am pleasantly surprised by the whole thing. Therapy seems like it is going to be incredibly helpful for me. As soon as I left the office, and got home, I started talking to my husband. Almost immediately I felt the nerves melt away and my body relax. By the time kiddo went to bed, I was so exhausted from the nerves and tense muscles, but I felt happy and relieved. I haven’t felt like that in quite some time.
I felt so good this morning when I woke up. I felt happy and relaxed. I have been in such a good mood, my husband told me I must be feeling better because I am getting sassy with him, in a joking manner. I am feeling good about this new adventure. I am feeling so good, in fact, I am not confident in my college path. I dropped out of Social Psychology a few months ago because of anxiety. I know that now, but at the time I made excuses, saying I hated Psychology. I do not hate Psychology, I am actually quite fascinated by it, but I let my anxiety take control of me. I couldn’t handle the pressure, so I quit. I know that now, and have decided to go for it again. I have wanted to be a Social Worker for a while, and help people. I think therapy, even just the one session, has shown me it is possible to get back to normal, whatever that is for me now. I can be confident in myself again, and I can be awesome at whatever I decide to do. This is me, this is what I want, so I am going to do it.
Look out world, a new me is here! I will not let my anxiety get in my way again. I am going to be confident in what I do, and in who I am. I am awesome, and that is most important.