Although I asked my mother if I could go to therapy when I was 13 (see my previous post “It’s Official: I’m Crazy?” for details), once I started therapy a year later I quickly soured on the whole idea. Don’t get me wrong, I never doubted that therapy could be useful for people, but I became very skeptical about its usefulness in my own life. My very first therapist was a man named “Gary,” who I soon found out was treating my father. Although I tried to explain the depression and despair, Gary decided instantly that my mood issues must be directly related to my father’s drug addiction. There was just one small problem with his theory: until Gary started talking about it, I was blissfully naive/ignorant of my father’s continued drug dependence (my father’s official sobriety date ended up being about 2 months after I started therapy). Of course this minor detail wasn’t enough to deter Gary from his theory. And thus began my skepticism.
Over the years I’ve attempted therapy several more times and was either unimpressed with the therapist or had to discontinue due to insurance reasons (it is very rare that I have positive words for President George W Bush, but he did sign the parity law in 2008 that eventually ended the ability of insurance companies to limit mental health visits if there were no such limits for other providers).
Given my skepticism, you know it took a lot to decide to try therapy again. It happened when I started to realize how bottled up my emotions have become: when I realized, after waiting for over a year to breakdown over the loss of my favorite grandparent, that the tears just couldn’t come out; when I spent hours staring at a blank computer screen and couldn’t get the words out; when I realized that I hade become paralyzed by my feelings.
Step 1: admit that I need help. Check.
Step 2: find a therapist. Shit.
You would think that working in a hospital would give me tons of leads on finding a good therapist. You would think wrong. After staring blankly at a list of over 250 possible providers, I ran into a good friend who was currently in therapy. Fortunately, she was happy give me the name of her therapist. Okay, now comes the hard part.
Step 3: actually call and make appointment
This took me a few days, but I didn’t drag my feet nearly as much as normal. And finally…
Step 4: keep appointment and see therapist
Today was the big day. And drum roll, please… I loved this woman! Once she started talking energy and quantum physics, she was speaking my language. I know one session isn’t a whole lot, but it’s honestly the most optimistic I’ve ever felt after a therapy session. And this comes from a hardened skeptic. Could it be possible that I might become one of those people who actually gets some benefit from therapy? I eagerly look forward to learning the answer to this question.