You would think that a psychology major, who also dabbled in a marriage and family therapy masters program, would easily recognize when it was time to get help and not be embarrassed to ask for it. You would think.
But you would be wrong.
For a while now, in the back of my head, I have wondered if my sadness and depression was a little too much to handle. My bad days were getting worse and more frequent. What would throw me off was I would have good days in between. I still felt sadness on these days, but I felt I could function normally and I was still laughing and smiling. So every time I would have an awful episode and consider pursuing help, the next day would be okay and I'd think, "I can do this on my own". Adding to this dilemma was my stubborn and independent attitude.
Well last week, I had one of the worst nights ever. Let's put it this way, I cried for hours and ended up broiling a batch of lemon bars (instead of baking them). Nearly catching your house on fire is enough to make you wonder if now is the time to get some help.
In my clinical psych class, the question was asked how you know if someone needs treatment. We were told, once the problem is affecting their ability to function they may need some help. I thought about the times I will sit on the couch and just stare for an amount of time that is embarrassing to share. I thought about those nights when my body is exhausted but I refuse to go to bed and sit up until all hours of the night. I thought about the times I avoid doing things with family and friends. I thought about the times I close my office door and just sit there and cry. I thought about that very night when I, a proficient baker, made two batches of lemon bars, both of which had monumental errors, one nearly causing a fire. I thought about the fact that I didn't even remember making them and that one batch broiled for 35 minutes and I didn't even smell it.
Fortunately, that awful night continued into the next day. Because of this, I was able to sum up my courage and call for some help.
One major reason I had been avoiding that phone call was money. Most therapists can cost over $100 an hour. Insurance can cover it but I had always heard of insurance coverage being something like six sessions. I had noticed a phone number on my insurance card for mental health, so I decided to give them a call.
As soon as I heard them say, "Psychological Services", I nearly hung up the phone. What am I doing? My 'problem' is not big enough for all this, right? How many people deal with infertility without therapy, and make it through just fine? Am I making a big deal out of nothing?
It took a second, but I found my voice and told them the reason I was calling. I think that God knew if He put one obstacle in my way to seek treatment that I would give up. Not only does my insurance cover therapy, but they will help pay for 35 sessions a year. This is pretty much unheard of. Even the lady on the phone was surprised. All I would pay is the co-pay, which is somewhere between $15 - $25. After all the money I have wasted on infertility treatments, I figure it's time to spend some on myself.
With the money business out of the way, it was time to find a therapist. The company that runs my insurance's mental health division is unbelievable. I told them a little bit about myself and why I was calling and they matched me up with someone. They were soft and considerate and understanding. I truly am blessed.
So, I have my first appointment in 2 weeks. I am scared and unsure. What will I talk about? How do I start? What if I just sit there and cry for the entire session? Can she really help me feel better?
I always thought the only cure for infertility was adoption or pregnancy. Now I am learning that there is no cure. I have a wound deep inside me. Someday it will heal, but there will always be a scar. If I can find someone to help the healing process, than it's worth a shot.