The Journey Back to Mental Wellness

My First Therapist Session

koreansoup
Korean Soup for the Soul. My good friend Heej/Classical Sass makes this per my request every time I visit. It is a happy place for me. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

found myself working through a fit of disconnectedness on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, simply trying to get through the day to get to my first therapist appointment at 12:30 pm. Jernee spiked a fever the day before and we had been to the Vet’s office for what was supposed to be just her annual exam but turned into a big-to-do because the fever would not break, however, given one day to rest and be at home to romp about at will, she began to feel much better. Wednesday also found me in a meeting at my job for most of my scheduled half-day of work, so I felt all out of sorts with just a little bit more weight on my shoulders from Tuesday’s doggy shenanigans.

But, when I walked through the door of the psychiatric practice/mood treatment facility, a calming sense of peace came over me. I registered at the check-in desk by presenting my insurance card, recent lab work, and my Living Will and Testament. I paid my copay and before I could sit down, the lady who would be my therapist greeted me at the door to lead me on my journey and even said my name correctly. If I had a gold star in my pocket, she would have received it. We circled the hall and walked towards her office where she guided me to a medium-sized room, big enough for a comfortable couch, two even more comfortable chairs, and her desk space/work area.

She added to my increased level of comfort by asking me which type of lighting I preferred. I said to myself, “I am going to like her.” And, I did. I do. We began by breaking the ice, introducing ourselves, and then she said, “So, tell me what is going on,” and I let it rip. I started from when I noticed my mood changes and my decline in happiness and overall feeling of unworthiness and informed her that it all came to an intense spike a couple of weeks ago. As I was talking, I maintained eye contact, and so did she. She only broke my verbal stride to clarify what I was saying and to be sure she heard everything correctly. She took actual notes, reading back to me what was stated to her.

The entire session felt like a conversational hug — like something I had deep down inside, tucked in a corner that was afraid to come out, and at that moment, decided to present itself to be coddled. I felt a sense of genuine welcome and there was soft lighting in every nook of the office with a fragrance that smelled close to vanilla or lavender or a mixture of both in the air. I did not feel any pressure. Oddly enough, this space, the one we created, seemed very much like a space of peace.

Just like the soup that you see as the photo above, the space we created was my happy place. I felt warm, understood, and heard. I had a voice with her. She acknowledged my concern and addressed it, and advised me to continue to use the tools that I am using to increase my happiness and shift my mood when a dark cloud hovers, however, she was vocal about contacting her directly if I felt as though a volcanic eruption could occur. She is letting me set my schedule to meet with her and at this time, I feel as though, twice per month, will be good.

The next session, we will get deeper into other helpful tools that will assist me in getting back to a level of balance and to also learn about a few other things that can combat the molehill that I have possibly turned into a mountain simply because that is how it feels. There is a good chance that I may have some homework too, she actually said this, “Tre, I may give you some homework as time goes on.” Overall, my first impression of her? Genuine — is doing the job she is meant to do, and a great listener.

I think I am on my way… In time, at least, I hope so

 


Originally published via A Cornered Gurl on Medium.

My Journey so far:

The Caretaker & Biting the Bullet

Justice–Where Is Your Place?

ladyjustice
Pictures of Lady Justice Art

Justice, where is your place
in damned cities and states unsure
of their constitutional rights?
Are you equipped to handle the damaging
tides rushing in and submerging people
under your watch?

Tasked with satisfying everyone
regarding everything, Justice, can you
handle your job?
Will you pass it down to your
offspring or shield them from the heartache
it will cause trying to manage
what cannot be?
Where is your listening ear
when the death tolls rise?

Justice, you used to be punctual.
Lately, you are beating around bushes
and lollygagging with teenagers unsure
of their place in this world.
I was certain that we paid you well.
I was sure that you had everything you needed.

Justice, how many more lives
must be taken for you to see
that the world is less humane
when you’re off duty?
How many more days will pass
without you willing to change and clean
up the messes you have made?

You used to be admirable,
a timeless happenstance that everyone
adored.
You used to be d e p e n d a b l e.
Now, Justice, you are fading from view
and the place you once held is
the place you hide from.
You are homeless,
Void of concern and care
and irresponsible.

Who should we turn to?

“Biting The Bullet”

I Have An Appointment. Hello, Anxiety.

My favorite piece of artwork, gifted to me by one of my aunts. It reminds me of Shug Avery singing in the juke joint in The Color Purple. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

Lately, it has become evident that the walls are tumbling down around me and trying to steady them — maintain their stillness is lost on me. I am intelligent enough to know when I have to pull back. Essentially, I had to come to grips with pulling back, letting go, and letting someone else tackle the very fabric of my being in hopes of stitching me back together again. I think I told one of my loved ones something along the lines of, “I just need some help piecing me back together again. I am tired of feeling jigsawed.” Searching for a therapist is taxing. In my area, there are so many professionals who do what they do, but how many of them will do it the way that I need/prefer?

I did my research. I took names of establishments, opinions from others, and logged on to my computer with the information given. Thankfully, I am in the medical field as well as my cousin, and knowing what we know, it was not as hard for me to select an entity that made the cut. The one that I did select has everything that I am looking to experience in a center that has counselors, psychiatrists, etc., who also take the natural approach when aiming to better someone’s mental health. My fear has always been landing a therapist who feigns listening, writes me a prescription, then schedules me for another visit where the same thing occurs. No, thank you.

I want to be heard. I want this person to help me continue to break down what is going on and assist in leading me back to a path that keeps me from shaming myself, feeling as though I want to hurt/harm/kill myself, and to understand that I know from where everything is coming, I need a better understanding of why…Over the past year, I have been struggling with feelings of worthlessness from being rejected, not to mention trying to maintain everything on my own with no break, thus being exhausted. I have had a few people make commitments, then back out on them, numerous times. Add in my work schedule and the fact that I began a new job (after being in a toxic environment with my last employer for five years) with an organization that I love and my supervisor recently expressed to us that she is leaving to take on a new adventure and the flood not only hovered over me, it dropped down and my levees broke.

I was trying to get to a place where happiness could hold me a little tighter than it had and just when I thought I was getting there, life happened. Life always happens. To say that my supervisor is the glue for our team is an understatement. She has taken a team of seven women, all from different backgrounds and spanning across different age ranges and turned us into “The Dream Team.” At my job, we get things done and we know how to properly because of her. Getting that news — the last straw for the camel’s back, shattered me. It has been eons since I felt as though I belonged in my workplace, since I felt no pressure to overexert myself, or take on the tasks of someone else because they will not or cannot do them. I finally felt at home.

On that day, I felt everything that I felt in my teens — neglect, abandonment, feeling as though I was to blame, etc. And since that day, I cannot (un)feel those emotions. I submitted my inquiry. I filled out the questionnaire about my background and what I am looking for in a therapist. I corresponded with their New Client Intake Personnel and landed an appointment, and now, I wait. Next week, I will begin a journey that I have fretted for quite some time, but now — now, I am ready. Having done all of this, fear is creeping in and it has decided to bring its buddy anxiety and they are having some sort of weird shindig in my head and I just want to belt this initial appointment and move into a helpful routine.

I am asking myself off-the-wall questions like: “What will she think of me?” “Will there be a diagnosis?” “If so, when?” “What will the diagnosis be, will it be correct?” “Will she suggest medication and how will I react to that?” Every question that I can think of has greeted me and today, I finally said — “No more, you’ve bitten the bullet, now wait.” And I have to tell myself this in order to stop the questions, in order to get through my days.

The most important thing now is that I have taken the first step. Everything else that comes along will be managed, dealt with, and entertained when each bridge presents itself.

I am finally ready to cross them.


Originally published in A Cornered Gurlvia Medium.


My journey began here:

The Caretaker