T H E R A P Y

I’ve spent the first couple days of my vacation doing absolutely nothing.

I’m so physically, mentally and emotionally drained from work and the other aspects of my life that cause anxiety and depression.

So I’ve just been switching from the couch to my bed watching Netflix, Youtube or Disney +.

I have a consultation with a therapist tomorrow. I had one last week as well, with a different therapist.

I’ve been preparing myself on what I want to discuss at this session. Also, I’ve been thinking about why I’m chose to go back to therapy at this moment in my life.

There isn’t ONE BIG thing in my life that is causing me to feel depressed or anxious.

It’s a lot of small things that are adding up to become ONE BIG thing.

  • The daily stress and exhaustion at work.
  • The feeling of not being “good enough”.
  • Insomnia: I had many nights where I slept around 4-5 hours and would wake up at random hours in the night.
  • The lack of focus and concentration.
  • R U M I N A T I O N.
  • Catastrophic thinking! I always thought of the worst possible outcome about the smallest things.
  • Not being able to get tasks done. The smallest task would take so much energy from me.
  • Always feeling fatigue.
  • My mind racing back and forth between different thoughts and worries.

I first went to therapy when I was 21 and it occurred after a break up.

During that time of experiencing a really bad breakup, I was at a point where I told my mom that I needed help. I didn’t know what to do. So she called the therapists that coincided with her health insurance and she made an appointment for me.

From what I remember in that first therapy session, I immediately burst out crying. It felt like I was filling up a tank with my emotions and the tank got too full that it exploded. And then after my session, the therapist called my parents into her office and talked to them.

In one of the first two sessions, the therapist diagnosed me with Major Depressive Disorder (Clinical Depression).

And sometime after that, I was referred to a Psychiatrist and was prescribed Zoloft for my depression.

I was going to therapy every other week to either see my therapist and psychiatrist.

From what I remembered about my therapist, she basically told me to “not think about it”. Which is something my mom would say. And my psychiatrist actually listened to me and supported my feelings. The Zoloft didn’t do anything but give me the side effects that came with it. I remember feeling nauseous all the time and so tired. And it always occurred after taking Zoloft.

With going to: therapy every other week, going to school full time and going to work part-time, my schedule was busy. Then it got busier when a huge box of lids fell from the shelves at work. It bumped my head, which then resulted in a minor concussion. I had to go see a doctor every week and get checked. The box left a bump on my head making me: get headaches, feeling vertigo and more nauseous.

A couple of months after starting therapy, I went to the Philippines for 3 weeks for my cousin’s wedding and to visit friends and family..

During that time, I was very broke. I was working less because I had school. I was paying a co-pay of $20-$30 dollars for my therapy sessions. Which seems great now, but back then I couldn’t afford that every other week. Before going to the Philippines, I spent a lot of money to buy Christmas presents for children in orphanages. I also had to choose my classes for the next semester during finals week and pay for it. I was at a community college during the time. So I didn’t get financial aid and paid for the classes on my own. Also it was December and I had to buy Christmas presents for family and friends before I left.

When I came back from the Philippines, I barely had any money. I didn’t work for three weeks. Then it became four weeks, because I immediately got sick when we got back and I was suffering from major jet lag. I was on the opposite schedule and became nocturnal. When it was daytime, I would sleep and when it was night time, I was wide awake.

So I decided that I couldn’t go back to therapy. I couldn’t afford it anymore. Additionally, it wasn’t helping. It was hard for me to “not think about it”.

The second time I went to therapy was a year ago.

I was stuck in a weird position with my jobs. I was hired in September of 2018 for my current job, but I was still working with my previous job.

Since my current job was a brand new school, we had to wait until enrollment increased for me to start. So I was in this waiting game. About once a month, I would email and ask if there was any updates for me.

Then it became March of 2019 and I was still waiting.

Between September and March, I was experiencing a lot of stress and pressure from my previous job. And I was becoming overwhelmed. I was in a job that I didn’t like, but I couldn’t leave because my new job wasn’t ready for me to start. It was frustrating.

I didn’t know how to handle the anxiety I was experiencing. Depression was something I knew for many years, then anxiety showed up and I didn’t have the tools to manage it.

The therapist I saw fit my schedule and immediately pinpointed things that I was not ready to talk about.

She also works with clients that are children and we instantly clicked on talking about child development. A majority of my time in my sessions were talking about my struggles at work and talking about waiting for my new job. Our sessions were just casual and talking like we were friends. Which was a great feeling because I didn’t have any friends to talk to. But she didn’t talk about my anxiety and coping mechanisms.

But yet again, therapy appeared during a busy time.

A couple weeks into therapy, I finally received the call about starting my new job. So I was trying to handle my emotions from saying goodbye to my co-teacher and students that I loved and transitioning to a new environment with new co-workers and new students.

Then it became May of 2016 and I was even busier. The first week of that month, I was in the East Coast watching my brother graduate and become a doctor. Then we were preparing for all our guests and the huge graduation party we were throwing. (I was still learning everything about my new job and my new students during this time). We had guests from the: Philippines, Texas, West Virginia, Kentucky and the Bay Area come to the graduation party to celebrate my brother.

The therapy sessions went from every other week to every 3-4 weeks. Because it was super expensive. I started therapy when I was at my previous job under one health insurance. The co-pay was about $65 which was A LOT. Then I started my new job and didn’t have health insurance for 30 days and my therapy fee went up to $95. That was the lowest that they could do for me.

I couldn’t afford it anymore and stopped.

It was difficult because I liked talking to my therapist. However, she never discussed my anxiety, my triggers or how to cope with it.

I decided to try therapy again at the beginning of June this year. It’s so dumb, but it was after I saw an Instagram post about not waiting until you are in a big crisis to seek help.

During that time, I was starting to feel good about my life. I finally had a co-teacher that I worked well with and really liked. I was talking to someone and really enjoyed getting to know him. I was getting lots of compliments on my lessons at work. It was my birthday and I had so many unexpected surprises.

Things finally felt good and content after months of stress and feeling alot of anxiety and depression.

And it scared me…

I finally felt good about my life and I didn’t want to lose it.

I didn’t like feeling that way.

And then I went back to my past experiences and memories to figure out why I’m scared of things that are good in my life.

Then I decided that I couldn’t do this by myself and researched therapists. I researched therapists that accepted my insurance and didn’t accept my insurance. It was difficult to find a therapist that I could afford and that fit with my schedule.

Also, I realized that I haven’t cried or had a panic attack with all this stress and exhaustion from work and all these other thoughts.

It was scarier.

I’m just waiting for something bad to happen….and I shouldn’t feel that way.

This time, I don’t want to do therapy just for 2-3 months. I want it to last as long as possible.

With no luck, I just looked at therapists that I was compatible with. Someone who will listen and be empathetic to what I’m saying. At the same time, I want them to help me understand why I’m scared of good things in my life. Or why I think about the worst possible outcome of a situation.

I don’t know what tomorrow’s session will bring…

But I am glad that I didn’t wait until a BIG crisis to start therapy.

-Mel

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