Finally, the stresses of life have pushed me to the limits of coping on my own. No shame in that. But would it make you feel better, if I pretended it wasn’t so? Someone posted something on Facebook about suffering with depression alone. How many people do hide their pain? I have done it before. Maybe you put on that happy smile and answer “Good” when someone asks how you are. What if you told the truth? You know they are just being polite and do not want the real answer. Maybe you are good at hiding your pain by working long hours and keeping busy to escape from it. But what about at the end of the day when you are forced to face your own thoughts and the pain slinks back in again? And what about the next time something happens that you don’t want to face? Does that just jump on top of that pile of woe that you hold inside?
I told my doctor who prescribed medication that I was going to talk to someone, and he nodded his head. My daughter said, “I don’t believe in therapy, but you should go.” That’s weird for her to say since rehab and IOP is all about therapy for addicts. I suggested maybe she should go to someone too. She scoffed. If you are resistant, then you may not get any benefit. You probably must want to stop hurting yourself and hurting others to get something from therapy.
So, how do you pick a therapist? Not easily. It was just like picking a lawyer for Jacob. I brought up a website for local therapists and scanned their photos and clicked on websites with bios and philosophies. Woman or man, I wondered. It did not really matter to me. I picked two names from the registry and emailed both. One man, one woman. I picked the woman because I liked what she said, but I hoped the man would contact me because I liked his bit of irreverence. His website suggested that maybe I might not really be depressed but just surrounded by assholes. Which did I go with? The woman, and the reason is . . . she was the one who responded to my email the next day. The man? Still waiting to hear from him. Assholes, indeed.
I visited this woman and told her my story. It took the entire hour to tell her why I had come. I went back and forth through the years. She raised her eyebrows a couple of times. I told her I write a blog that started after Jacob’s conviction. She said, “It’s therapy.” Exactly. I told her what my goals were for therapy. There was something weight-lifting about talking to this stranger. Certainly I have talked to friends and written this blog, but somehow this was different. Maybe it is because I do not feel like she just sees me as a whiner or complainer who just feels sorry for herself. I do not worry about hogging the conversation. I do not worry she will not listen. I am paying her so I can hog the conversation and have her listen to me. Is she the right person to help me? Too soon to say.