What do you think of when you see, hear or read the word ‘therapy’? I’ll openly admit to thinking ‘It’s for other people’. I associated it with Frasier and Tony Soprano. I didn’t think less of anyone needing or utilising therapy, I just never put the words ‘therapy’ and ‘me’ together in one sentence. It was some far off distant place that I’d no intention of travelling to.
And then I found myself thinking about it for me. My initial reaction-no way. Never going to help me. I don’t need any help. I’m doing just fine thank you. Bearing in mind that no one had ever mentioned it to me at this stage, this was all a conversation inside my own head.
One day, someone did actually mention it to me. Have I ever thought of giving it a try? Er, no. Not going to happen. But something changed. I’m still not sure why. Even talking about it on here is a step I never ever thought I’d take. Something was happening and I needed to understand why.
So eventually after much soul searching I made an appointment to see my doctor. I nearly bolted out the door twice. I very nearly didn’t make it into the surgery, let alone sit there and say what I’d steeled myself to say. They had medical students in that day. No one told me until I’d checked in. Something made me stay though. And eventually I found the words.
And then I waited. I needed an assessment first. At this point I’m still thinking, can’t see why I’m bothering but I guess I’ve got this far. I burst into tears during the assessment, and it was then that I thought, maybe there is something I might need a bit of help with. So I hung on in there and eventually got my first appointment.
I won’t say it’s been easy. I won’t say it’s been enjoyable. I won’t say there haven’t been times when I’ve wanted to not bother turning up. But I’m glad I did. I’m relieved I had the courage to ignore all the excuses I’d used for years to avoid getting help.
I’m still going and expect I will for a while yet. Turns out there’s a lot to sort.
The reason I’m writing this is in the hope that anyone out there in need of help and who reads this, sees that it’s OK to ask. And because we don’t talk about our mental health nearly as much as we talk about our physical health. I’m not ashamed. I’m a private person and I’m not about to share anything on here that would make me uncomfortable, but I did want to share this.