Therapy – I like it, I love it, and I want some more of it.

I have been attending in person therapy since mid-February. After using online therapy for a while and finding that I needed more help than was available with that program, I decided to find a therapist I could see in person. And by “decided” I mean after having yet another breakdown that left me in tears in the middle of the night, I begged my husband to help me find someone. 

With the combined blessings of having an advocate in my husband and insurance coverage through Medicaid, I was able to find a therapist that actually takes Medicaid and doesn’t charge me a copay. My appointments have been a tremendous help on my journey to getting well again, but as anyone who is covered by Medicaid will likely know, appointments can be difficult to get and sometimes end up being weeks and weeks apart. That’s not the greatest recipe for wellness, but I’m working with what I can get for now. 

In the nearly four months that I’ve been attending sessions with this therapist I’ve gone from weekly, to biweekly, to once every three weeks or so, depending on my therapist’s availability. It can be frustrating to not have a more regular schedule, but I try to just be happy to have access to this service at all. 

It can be really frightening to watch the debate about our health care system go back and forth, wondering if I will still have insurance coverage in the coming months, or worrying about my diagnosis of Generalized Anxiety Disorder and if that will be counted as a preexisting condition that may prevent me getting private coverage later. Right now I’m trying not to focus too much on the unknowable, and instead put my energy into working on the things I actually control. Definitely easier said than done though. 

My next appointment is on Monday, after about a three week gap since my last one. It has been a fairly chill three weeks, but I’m still pretty happy to be seeing my therapist again. I know I’m lucky that the first therapist we called really meshed with my personality, because for many people starting therapy means trying out a few (or several) different people before finding a good fit. 

Everyone goes into therapy needing something different, so if you’re thinking of seeking out a therapist to talk to I suggest sitting down and writing out what you think you’d need/want from therapy. Having some concrete ideas may help you weed out options that won’t work for you, or make it easier to recognize when you’ve found someone you like.

For me, I needed (still need) an empathetic listener who doesn’t make me feel judged, a positive force that helps me acknowledge the good in my life, and a guide through coping with the difficulties that come with having Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Luckily, my therapist has managed to fill all those rolls and more in the relatively short time we’ve been working together.

I’m not totally sure what we’ll cover in the next visit because in the last several sessions we’ve mostly talked about my anxiety surrounding our big move. As my previous post mentioned, moving took a lot more emotional energy than I anticipated, so it’s been an effort to recover from all that. Moving had been such a huge worry for me that I sort of don’t know what to do now that it’s been accomplished. 

Of course, I have a laundry list of things that need to be done, from finding a regular doctor to getting my wisdom teeth pulled, but it’s been about a month of living in this new place and I still haven’t managed to make any of those important calls. Talking on the phone is a serious anxiety trigger for me so I guess my next few sessions will likely delve into how I can handle this struggle. 

A major part of my sessions deal with learning coping skills to help calm me when I start feeling my anxiety ramping up. I hope to write a blog post eventually detailing my favorite techniques, but honestly, I have to practice and implement them more before I can write about them. It’s just really hard to want to focus on my anxiety when I’m having okay days and not necessarily knee-deep in all the tension, ya know? 

Being constantly nervous is exhausting, so when my nervousness levels out I usually just want to relax and enjoy myself while I can. Obviously this is not proven to be a very productive strategy. Being disciplined doesn’t really come naturally to me, but I know my life will improve a great deal if I can just get these tasks done. 

I will try to check in again before my next appointment, but with anxiety it’s impossible to predict how the rest of the week will go. 

Until then,

Be well, friends. 

P.s. Is there anything you’d like me to talk about on the blog? I still have several ideas I want to write about, but if there’s ever anything you particularly want to read about then leave a comment! 

Here’s the note my therapist gave me after our first session. I’ve kept it on my wall or in my wallet as encouragement ever since.

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