The first appointment is important. The next one is downright crucial. Often people make the first appointment as testing waters, or on a loved one’s coaxing. The second call is left up to them, and reflects the determination to seek help. Learning: Make the call.
It’s not an overnight fix. Give yourself time and patience. You’re making yourself a better person and it deserves all the time it takes. You are not on a deadline on this project.
It’s going to be a try-fall-rise-repeat process. You will go back- to your fears and insecurities- and you will walk away from them. Sometimes, more than once. But every time will be stronger.
Don’t filter your thoughts. You do that day in, day out anyways. Talk through your thoughts openly. You never know when you stumble upon an amazing insight about yourself.
It’s good to tell people, but not take advice from them about your mental health. This is medical healing. Just like you wouldn’t ask your bff to check if your hernia is getting better, you shouldn’t ask her if your OCD is less consuming now.
Sometimes, you’ll not want to listen to the advice. Sometimes, you’ll go against it. And that is not wrong. But just remind yourself, to go back.
Labeling isn’t healing. Maybe you went in, seeking a strict diagnosis, a name for this ‘problem’. Article scouring sprees have left you seeking out a title for what you believe plagues you. But that isn’t all there is to therapy. Be open when you are offered a solution, without defining what’s wrong.
Medicines aren’t candy and your therapist isn’t your friend. She is paid to do what’s best for you, not give you validation in your dark thoughts or actions. This might make you NOT want to go in sometimes. It is ok to take some time to process these thoughts, but even if you want to call it quits, make an appointment and do it there. You will thank yourself for facing the music either way.
The therapy is to heal you, honesty will help get there faster. You pretend enough for 23 hours, let this be 1 hour be your time to be honest- especially with yourself.
Talk to people you trust- it makes the journey less lonely. You might find support in surprising avenues- like a friend who seemed happily married from a distance, or a work colleague who was acing the presentations. This may help you realize you’re less alone than you thought on this journey and life.
Therapy helps, once you’re ready to get help. Nagging someone to see a counselor will not have any positive effects. It is more likely to close their mind to this route to help forever if pressured.
This is your journey, don’t make it about anyone else. Be a better person and a better friend to your own self first. Forget about disappointing your family or friends, or not being strong enough to get better faster. Therapy isn’t a punishment or a performance and shouldn’t feel like one.
If you know someone who needs a little help in life, talk to them. Reach out. Be there for them.
People need people.