Well, I did it. I had my first therapy session.
I was terrified, both about opening up to someone I don’t know and about figuring out how to pay for it. My insurance doesn’t cover all of the cost and we don’t have extra money. But I went anyway.
I drove my car in an unknown area to a place I had not been before and I got lost. It was 45 minutes away, but it was important to me that my therapist was a woman and that it wouldn’t be likely that I would ever need to interact with her outside of therapy. At one point my phone said I had arrived at the office, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. So since I was downtown, I parked and got out to walk around. This is what scared me most all night. I was terrified of someone trying to hurt me as I walked around with no clue where my destination was. I ended up calling my therapist and I was going to cancel since I was already scared out of my wits, but she told me how to find the office and she told me she would stand outside and look for me (which was super nice seeing as it was like 4 degrees outside). I ended up making it to therapy and I am pretty proud that I got there at all.
I chose a woman as my therapist and she was actually really calming and understanding. My first visit was basically taking stock of who I am. She asked all about my background (who my parents are, are they married or divorced, am I married, etc.) and she did get specific about some areas of my past. I found that going over that stuff was helpful for me as well because there are areas of my past that were cloudy or confusing because I had never taken the time to think about them. I could also see areas where some of the events of my past are affecting me today, but I didn’t see them until I sat down to tell a stranger all about myself.
We did go over the reason I sought help in the first place and we talked a bit about that. She said that she would like to see me every other week, but I can’t afford that so we will try to do it every month. I hope that I can figure out a way to see her every other week though.
I am really happy that I finally started therapy and it is showing in my life. I am having more good days and I am more productive. Just getting that stuff out to someone without having to worry about hurting them was an amazing feeling. I don’t really have friends that I can just talk to about all the super personal things in my life so my husband is my only sounding board. He is my best friend and I love him and being with him, but it’s difficult to discuss things with him without being a jerk. You know? Like just because I have a feeling, doesn’t mean it actually means anything but I need someone to hear it and understand it. He would hear it and take it personally and then try to solve the problem because he always wants me to have the best. He really is a fantastic husband.
He has a hard time understanding that just because I tell him about my issues doesn’t mean I want him to fix them. I just want someone to stay on solid ground so I can sink down in the sand as I tell him about my troubles. Then when I’m done, he can pull me back up with him and we can move on with our lives. If I talk to someone who is also on sinking sand, we both end up sinking and then we are stuck in this sadness/anger for a long time until we can eventually climb out ourselves.
That’s what it felt like to talk to a therapist. I got real and blunt, but she is impartial so she was on solid ground. After crying my eyes out, we ended the session and I was able to easily stop and get back to the business of getting home. Therapy worked because there was a limit to our time, so issues couldn’t be dragged out all night like they can at home, and she wasn’t upset with me or sad about what I said so I didn’t feel guilty. I knew I could tell her anything because I didn’t have to worry about it getting out to anyone. So I let it all out, had no guilt about it, and I moved on.
I know that its hard to get yourself into therapy, especially if you don’t have money. I have spent years telling myself that I wanted to do this but it took some serious issues to get my butt into gear and get the ball rolling. There will probably come a time when she won’t be able to see me anymore because I can’t pay, but I’ll take the therapy I can get and cross that bridge when I come to it. I can say that therapy is a good idea for anyone because everyone needs that impartial person to vent to. If you have been wanting to do it, do what you can to get there. You deserve it and you will benefit greatly. I wish I had done it earlier. Honestly, I wish I had started therapy in college (a.k.a. 11ish years ago). If you can do it now, do it now, even if you think you don’t need it. It will help so much.
Have you been in therapy before? Any long time therapy experts out there? What has therapy done for you? What do you love most about going to therapy? Or maybe you hate it? Tell me why in the comments!