My first visit to a therapist

Yeah, it was probably overdue but I finally visited a counselor.

I found out about a year ago that my insurance pays for 8 visits with a licensed counselor. I put it off for a year despite knowing that I definitely should take advantage of those free visits. However, one night I finally called our insurance hotline and set up the appointment.

I had no clue what to expect. So, like everything else in my life, I had a panic attack about it and googled it extensively. I immediately came to the conclusion that I didn’t think that counseling would be beneficial to me. Not because I thought I was beyond help or to any fault of the counselor but just because I hate verbalizing what is actually bothering me.

One of my biggest personal problems is that I want people to figure out that I am upset without me having to tell them. Obviously, this is unreasonable. So, I just figured that counseling wouldn’t do anything for me because I would insist that I am fine like I do with everyone else. I contemplated canceling the session every day leading up to my appointment. I even sat in my car the day of the session and contemplated calling my counselor and telling her I was sick and needed to reschedule. But, I got out of the car and went in.

I truly do not know how I feel about that first session. She asked me questions that made me uncomfortable and questions I had been ignoring. She didn’t reveal anything groundbreaking. I knew and suspected everything she said about my current situation. There weren’t really any surprises on her end. However, I really surprised myself.

I hate crying in front of people. I usually manage to save my tears for when I am alone but only 3 questions in and I was tearing up in front of this stranger and telling her stuff I hadn’t been able to tell anyone. I almost felt a sob at the back of my throat. What the fuck was going on? I eventually asked to be excused for a few moments because I was actually losing it only 20 minutes into my hour-long session.

Why was I telling her all these things that I thought I wouldn’t ever be able to tell anyone? And why was I fucking crying so much? I didn’t think more about it at the time. I just scrubbed at my eyes with a paper towel and told myself to suck it up.

It didn’t work. I remained teary-eyed for the remainder of the session and completely lost it the second I shut my car door.

As I am typing this now, I am realizing that it was the relief. I wasn’t sad telling her all these things. The contents of what I was telling her was just my life…I can cry about that by myself any time I want. It was just the relief of finally being able to spill your guts to someone. Someone who doesn’t have a preconceived notion of who you are. The week after the visit I felt lighter. Someone knew other than just me and, good grief, it was a relief.

I don’t have a particularly horrid life. I am just a 24-year-old confused and anxious about my life and where it’s going. My issues aren’t special but that doesn’t make them any less isolating and terrifying in the moment. To have someone to share those things with was the biggest relief of the past 19ish months of my life.

So, I don’t know if I will learn anything about myself or fix anything with these next 7 visits but it is nice to not be the sole keeper of my secrets anymore.

If you have the access or the means to try counseling I urge you to at least try. If you don’t, I hope you find someone you can talk to. Obviously, it’s a lot more affordable if that person is a friend but I definitely understand not being able to share everything with friends.

I just thought I would document and share my new experience. It wasn’t what I was expecting in the slightest.

Thanks for reading. ❤

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