So What's Therapy Like?

May 1, 2018

A couple of months ago, I decided to briefly share my struggles with depression. I was deeply touched by the amount of support I received from readers and friends as well. I was terrified when I first published that blog post but now I feel so much freer. It is wonderful to finally be able to be honest with my myself and if I helped someone do the same then that is even better.
For those that do not know, May is Mental Health Awareness Month. One of my twitter friends (@MacnMahalia) had tweeted about not seeing enough people share their experiences with therapy. Therapy is always thrown out there as a way to treat mental illness but nobody ever talks about what it's like. 
Admitting that I needed help was definitely a hard pill to swallow. I had stopped going through therapy as a teenager because I felt like I didn't need it anymore. I still suffered from depressive episodes but I held it all inside because I couldn't understand what was happening and I also didn't want to admit that something was wrong with me. It was when I was about 25 that I decided to find some help once again. I just couldn't deal with it anymore.
My insurance didn't offer me a whole lot of options, so I just the office that was closest to me. When I made the phone call, I was asked some questions in order to see if I qualified to receive services. Then, I was given an appointment to come in. At that appointment, I was assigned to a therapist, who will I refer to as Ms. H. I was lucky enough to find a therapist that I liked right away. Ms. H was great. The first couple of sessions were definitely awkward because I dislike talking about myself so there was a lot of silence. But, Ms. H was very patient and never pressured me to talk if I didn't feel up to it. Over time, we developed a rapport. Our sessions weren't just about talking, Ms. H helped me set up short and long-term goals as well as improve my self-confidence. She would give me little exercises to do in between our sessions to help manage my depression. I became more aware of things about myself, both positive and negative. But most importantly, I learned to accept having a mental illness. 

Therapy is definitely not a magical cure. And it is a process that takes dedication and patience. Like I mentioned before, it took several sessions for me to even say something. But once I started talking (and crying), the words just kept spilling out. It got easier to communicate.
Sadly, my time with Ms. H was cut short because she was transferred to another facility. And I did not like her replacement. Let's just say, she was pretty biased and was very quick to suggest medication (which I will elaborate in another post). So, I stopped going and found other ways to cope. But I do not regret going to therapy. I still struggle with my depression but I learned how to manage it. I can recognize certain triggers and it's gotten a little easier to ease myself out of those dark days. It helped me realize that my feelings are valid and that it is okay to receive help.

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