I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet…..
O.k. it hasn’t been years, but it’s been months. I haven’t been able to bring myself to write anything because I’ve been lost. I think back to end of February 2020…. a mere five months ago and I remember knowing about the virus taking over another part of the world, but it seemed so far away.
In Mid-March, the world as I knew it was gone. I spent two weeks in complete fear and panic of the unknowns. My children were thrilled to have an “extended” spring break and I was grateful that they were hidden to the extent of the panic that was swirling around us. I was biding my time.
I will be honest with you, I haven’t functioned all that well during the COVID crisis. I have managed to go to work for the majority of the time that I was permitted to. I have gotten up every day and gotten out of bed for my morning cup of coffee and to make my children breakfast, but I was going through the motions. It was like I have been living outside of my body, watching myself be forced to live.
On social media, I have been careful to avoid taking others down with me by keeping things as positive as I could. But, I was drowning.
When one of my trusted girlfriends reached out to me that she had started a regular therapy program with someone via Telehealth, my first thought was “I’m so proud of you!” never really thinking of it as an option for me.
As weeks passed, I realized that I was struggling to even go through the everyday motions. I felt incapsulated by anxiety, depression, and wanted nothing more than to feel BETTER. I felt like I was trudging through quicksand everyday and would sink farther and farther in while I tried to “live”.
When it was clear that I had started making choices that were unhealthy for me in order to FEEL anything rather than complete emptiness, I sought professional help.
I will take a moment to say that up until this moment, I had never had a therapy session with anyone. The inner voice inside me screamed “I’ve been fine for 38 years, why do I need to talk to someone about my problems?” I also was under the impression that since mental health is so widely acknowledged in our country that it would be easy peasy to find a therapist and it wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg.
There’s a reason that mental health in our country is neglected. It is not easy to find someone that you connect with and it’s also expensive – with or without health insurance. This infuriates me because there are so many people worse off than myself who need assistance and if I had a tough time finding it, then how are they able to find it?
I digress. I took the recommendation of my girlfriend and connected with her Licensed Therapist, using the Telehealth form of communication.
My first appointment, I almost cancelled. I was anxiety ridden over how it would go. I had even written a synopsis of my life to send to her along with my new patient paperwork so she would have some background info on me before we plunged into personal and intimate conversation. (Yes, I’m a blogger for a reason).
Due to my life circumstances at the time, I knew I had to suck it up and dive in, but that didn’t make the leap any less terrifying. I had conjured up images of my therapist making faces of judgement, sighs of impatience, and claiming what I already felt to be true.
“You’re a fucked up mess, Brandí”
So I clicked the link in my email which took me to a video conference room on my laptop and within a minute or two, K. appeared on the screen. She was a young, pretty, and quite normal-looking woman. I was instantly relieved. It was then that I realized maybe it wouldn’t be awful after all. So we talked for an hour. And I liked her. I even laughed a bit here and there.
When I disconnected the meeting, I sat and felt something that I hadn’t felt in so long.
Hopeful that maybe I wasn’t such an awful human being. Hopeful that I was still my kids’ favorite person. Hopeful that I would start living again and finding joy and contentment.
I wished I could say that all was magically resolved in one session. But we don’t live in a Disney film. I have committed to seeing K. regularly and being open and honest with her to continue to improve my mental health and clarity so that I can stay the course of being a better wife, mom, and woman.
If you are struggling with the circumstances that have surrounded the last few months, I encourage you to seek outside assistance. It will not be easy, but it is worth it. You may come away with the hope that tomorrow is in fact, a brand new day.