Getting Honest About Therapy

Now, as we all know, life is hard. In fact, it can be downright difficult at some times. It’s just the way it is.  Sometimes it just all gets to be a bit too much. Then we don’t always know where to turn.

I guess a lot of my issues started through middle school and high school. I was bullied for over five years because of the music I listened to, the way I dressed and just because somebody has to be the kid that gets picked on.

All throughout high school I had panic attacks four to six times a week. I was silently suffering because I thought I was going crazy.

When I got to college, the panic attacks mostly subsided, and I found my niche where I fit in with a group of friends. College had its ups and downs, but I was mostly fine, just the occasional bad day or panic attack.

Until half way through my junior year. That spring semester brought back what felt like the torment I had put up with in middle and high school. I was made to feel stupid and worthless by people I had thought were supposed to be my friends. I wasn’t sleeping, and I was having spells of crippling anxiety and depression.

Summer came and I ran away to summer camp to become a counselor and distance myself from the people who made me feel atrocious for existing.  I was feeling healthy, better and hoping that the start of my senior year would be better.

It wasn’t.

I was once again talked down to by peers, struggled getting motivated to go to class, eat or even shower. It just didn’t seem worth it to me anymore. I just didn’t see the point in anything. I didn’t enjoy writing, my one passion. I felt numb. I was just going through the motions of existing honestly.

And one day I cracked. It was a Thursday morning; I got up, ate, showered and was getting ready for class. Something was wrong though. I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I felt like if I went to my classes that day I would cry. It was just too much.

I called my roommate. Thank the Lord for her, and she told me she was coming back and we were going to go get our nails done. While we sat in the salon I talked to her about how I just couldn’t handle class and was thinking about going to the counseling center.

After we left, she had class so we drove to campus and she went off to class and I faced one of my biggest fears:  the counseling center.  I wasn’t crazy, I didn’t want to go. I knew that talking to someone usually helped, but I wasn’t ready to face that I couldn’t deal with how I was feeling on my own. It was so difficult I stopped multiple times on my way there and tried to turn around, but I couldn’t.

When I got there I told the women at the front desk it was my first time there, in a whisper of course. I was embarrassed. What would people think?

When I filled out the intake form, there were all kinds of personal questions I had to answer. Did I feel hopeless? What is my sexual orientation? Was I ever assaulted? All sorts of questions I had to be honest with myself and the therapist in order to get help.

When I met with my initial intake with her, I had to find the words to describe why I was there. It was difficult. I just felt awful. All day, every day. I felt like no one cared about me. I wasn’t writing, well, writing well. Classes were too much. So much stuff.

I felt great telling her. It was like a giant weight was off my chest. I felt like I could talk to her and not my friends, because I felt like I was annoying my friends. She told me that I needed to give the center my availability and they would match me with a counselor going forward.

I waited, still feeling horrible, feeling numb. I was eventually matched with my current counselor. We met every other week and I talked through my problems and set goals for what I wanted to see change throughout the semester.

And I got better. It was a slow process for sure, but having someone impartial to listen to me talk about the people in my life, good and bad, helped. She helped me look through a different lens, a less pessimistic one.

I’m now on my last semester, still seeing my counselor every other week, and working to find a better place in my life.

I don’t feel numb anymore, I feel excited about writing and the future again. I still have bad days, days where I don’t want to get out of bed or talk to anyone, but those days are few and far between.

I’ve cut myself away from the people who made me feel worthless, and I’ve looked to finding people who make me feel like the smart, confident and independent woman I am. I can look at myself like I’m beautiful again.

If I hadn’t gone to counseling, I don’t know where I would be, certainly not the positive place I am now. I’m not ashamed to admit that I have problems with anxiety, but I know now that I am strong enough to overcome them, even if I need a little help to do so.