So today I did something that I thought I would never do. I called into my school’s counseling center and made an appointment to talk with someone about my feelings. It was a big milestone for me personally because all my life I told myself that I would get over my feelings/thoughts someday, or I would overcome my depression by myself. Although ambitious and very determined, I started to realize little things about myself that made me realize it was time to ask for help. No matter how prideful I was, I put down my defenses and finally spilled some of my heartache to a certified stranger.
Before I made the phone call, I started to notice that I was enjoying less the things that I used to love: writing, reading, being around friends and family; I was also always tired, even though I had decent amounts of sleep; etc. I also was worried that my insecurities would affect my relationship with my boyfriend because I was always so down and negative, even though he was super optimistic and positive for me – I didn’t want to hurt our relationship or keep dragging him down with me because of my constant negativity about myself and my life! I cherish my boyfriend very much, and I also worry for my own mental health, so I finally gave up on depending on myself and asked someone to help.
Funny side note: when I called the counseling center this morning, they coincidentally had a cancelled appointment that day, so there was an open spot! In addition, my first class was cancelled since my professor became ill, so I had time to do something. It seemed like all the forces came together perfectly, making me feel like this was all meant to be, wherein a time was miraculously cut out for me to reach out for help. My religion does not focus on God, however in this instance, I felt like higher orders were at work on my behalf – I do believe in crazy miracles and coincidences.
Nevertheless, my first session today was…unexpectedly relieving. When the counselor asked me what I came in for, I literally started crying before I could even utter a word. I think it was just all those pent up emotions from many years or harboring so many dark feelings; so while crying, I told him “I don’t know, I just, I want to talk to someone about my feelings…I don’t know where to start.” The thing about me, I don’t like to tell anyone – even my boyfriend – about my problems because I would feel like I’m burdening that person with my life problems. It made me feel deeply selfish and guilty for making someone listen to me complain, so when I did complain just a little, I would usually always apologize to that person to no end! For instance, my boyfriend would get annoyed at me for apologizing nonstop – sometimes for the most mundane things and reasons – but I am so fortunate that he is so understanding and patient even with me being like that. In regard to everyone else around me, they just know me as the funny, smart, sarcastic, and “down” girl. Yea some people may know some things about my frustrations, but I don’t really tell them the whole story – just enough to give them an idea of what I’m feeling or going through – the surface level of things that people can easily relate to. Thus, when I told my counselor everything, it felt good. I cried a lot, but it was good because I needed to cry it all out.
I think that being able to express one’s true feelings is important because bottling it all up will only hurt you in the long run. You’ll eventually start to feel isolated and like you don’t belong anywhere because nobody knows how you feel or who you truly are – which also stems from you not telling anyone. Thus, as cliche as it may sound, we need to continue to address mental health issues, spread our stories, and let others know that they are not alone, and that they can and should seek help; there is no wrong or shame in doing so as those counselors, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists are there to help you! And if you feel like they are exploiting you by taking advantage of your feelings or emotions, let someone else know – like someone of higher authority – so that things can be fixed. The world would not be without it’s problems, and unfortunately, some providers may take advantage of you for their benefit. And if you ever feel uncomfortable with the counselor, don’t be afraid to ask for a new one. You are the boss of your time and meetings.
In conclusion, my next session is in five days. My homework is to think and or write of three things that if changed, would make me happier. If this task can relate to you, what would you change?