I’ve Begun Therapy Again – Third Time’s the Charm?

Outside of a couple of emergency counseling sessions in college, I’d previously tried finding a permanent therapist twice. The first time I attempted therapy was when I was 18. I had my first ‘real’ job with fancy, new insurance and I’d been depressed since I was 9 years old – so I assumed the natural course of action would be to go to therapy like other well-adjusted adults. Well, at the end of the first session she basically told me she wasn’t sure why I was there or how she could help me. Needless to say I didn’t make another appointment.

Two years ago to the exact month, I felt my depression hitting hard and knew it was time to try it again. Unfortunately, one of the hallmarks of my personal brand of depression is a severe lack of motivation. Have you ever had one of those chores or errands you have to do that you simply keep pushing off for hours, days, or sometimes even weeks? Well, it took me exactly one year to research therapists in my area, make phone calls, and finally book an appointment. I wish I was making this up, but I honestly have tasks that I was supposed to tend to more than two years ago.

And for some extra fun, my brain won’t let me forget about them either.

Though it took me a year to find him, I felt confident that I was doing the right thing by finally meeting with my second therapist. Sadly, that hopefulness lasted approximately one hour because I never saw him again after the first session. He vanished on me, and it was a kick while I was down. Once again I sorted through my own issues all by myself, but I knew I could only do it for so long before something had to give. Another entire year went by until I finally broke again last month.

I’d been struggling for several weeks with motivation and will, and dealing with bouts of crying. My sister called one day while my husband was traveling for work, and something she mentioned burst the flood gates. I broke down and confessed everything I’d been feeling, apparently so much so that she calmly informed me that she would be calling my primary care physician to see me immediately that day. It took several more weeks, but after receiving incredibly shitty care from my doctor, I finally mustered the strength to contact a new therapist.

I know what I need, so it takes me some time to sort through providers to find exactly who I’m looking for. I found a guy who matches most of my criteria and knew it was meant to be when he provided a contact email address in addition to a phone number (people with mental health issues need options, plus it’s 2017!). His responses were prompt, he got me an appointment within the same week I emailed him, and he seemed pretty nice.

I went to my first session last Friday, and it was a mixed bag to tell you the truth. He was late for our appointment and the whole thing started off pretty chaotically. He walked in wearing a backpack, corduroy pants, and a thermal shirt, so my first impression of him is that he’s sort of a hipster. His office echoed that sentiment when I entered and noticed the art and sculptures, coloring books, sand zen gardens, and tapestries.

Being our first meeting, he went over some basic guidelines and information about patients’ rights and how he handles situations. I felt it was a good sign that every point he discussed mimicked my integrity, and not one thing sounded unreasonable. We spent the rest of the session talking about my life, what I’m looking to get out of therapy, and what a few of my most outstanding issues are. Fortunately (unfortunately?) I spend a lot of time thinking and analyzing, so I already have a pretty solid grip on what’s wrong and where I need direction.

He seems nice enough, and he certainly listens. We did randomly talk about alcohol use which was followed up with asking me if I’ve tried marijuana – something I didn’t want my therapists to know about right away. I’ve had the same symptoms of depression since I was 9 years old and don’t want a therapist painting me with a ‘stoner’ brush and attributing my symptoms to that. But I decided to be honest and say yes, he asked how it makes me feel, I answered, and he moved right on to something else – I take that as a good and non-judgmental sign.

He’s relatively young, so I feel more of a ‘friend’ vibe with him as opposed to a professional one – and I’m unsure if that’s a good or bad thing at this time. I’m comfortable opening up to him, but I generally am with most people anyway. I half-jokingly told him he doesn’t have to feel obligated to take me on, and he did reassure me that there’s nothing he sees that he doesn’t want to work with.

So at least I haven’t terrified him. Yet.

I feel pretty good about this one. I’m seeing him again soon, so I’m hoping to have a better idea about him. In the meantime, I can breathe a little easier now that I got myself the help that I need, and I did it on my own.

Here’s to new beginnings.

22 thoughts on “I’ve Begun Therapy Again – Third Time’s the Charm?

  1. Thank you so much for pouring your heart out! It takes a lot more than you know to reveal yourself.

    I have written an article summarizing how many times I wanted to quit:
    https://nimeshe.wordpress.com/2018/01/09/what-suit-do-i-wear/

    We all have different upbringing, experiences of life, etc. So we all experience what is commonly known as “depression” in a different way for different reasons as you already know.

    What I recently discovered was how much of a perfectionist I was, and to add to the flavour, how lazy I was. For example once I had a few clothes I had washed on bed, all I had to do was put them in the cupboard. When I started doing it, I realized some were hanging the wrong side. Yep, I’m pretty anal about all hangers hanging same way. So I took all of them out and was this time doing it “properly”… Very soon I was overwhelmed, tired, and gave up. Now I had twice the amount of clothes on my bed. I decided to move them to the visitors room and sleep. You can imagine what happened over time. My house was a tip.

    As weird as this sounds, thinking of death was the way out for me. I had to practice, if I was to die tonight, does it really matter? Then I was able to clearly priorities what was truly important to me.

    We only get lazy because we are not interested. I’ve massively downsized so that I don’t have to deal with much. I now like to live in an almost empty house, so that I don’t have to bother much with mundane day-to-day shit, and focus on what I really like.

    Another story; I once decided to quit smoking. I decided to take one of those healing treatments. After first session on the second visit she asked me, did I smoke, and I said yes. She asked me if I threw the packet, lighters, etc. I said no. She said “it seems you don’t want to quit. I can refund the money if you can’t even throw the pack of cigarettes and lighters”. She was such a charming kind lady, and I was shocked to hear this. But it was true. I continued therapy and quit smoking for over 8 months. Yep I smoke again, but it was only an example.

    My own experience is how much I relied on the therapist or life coach. I make them the saviour and make myself dependant on him/her. This didn’t really work.

    It was indeed a journey, but when you finally come out of it on your own, it’s pure bliss.

    Only you can go into the depths of your inner unhappy self. A coach can guide, but you have to do the job.

    Life is too short, so please continue to write. Do what you love, don’t let the mar world or your inner voice take over your life.

    https://nimeshe.wordpress.com/2017/12/31/why-youre-human/

    I hope you receive my words with love.

    Take care.

    P.S: I’m sure you’re loved a lot more than you know. 😘

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  2. It took me a long number of years until I found the therapist I clicked with and the person who could really helped me. The wait was surely tough but today I feel I owe him my life because even though I m not out of the woods yet I m light years away from the person I used to be. Be consistent and don’t stop therapy or medication if you feel better. Do so only with your therapists’ consent and advice. I wish you all the best!

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  3. Good on you for finding another therapist. Counsellors are trained to not be judgmental, I’m wondering if you told him about the marijuana because you felt you could trust him, which is a good sign already
    All the best with your new counsellor x

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  4. I hope he works out. Try to remember that you can always find a different one if it doesn’t. I know how hard some things are to do—I have stuff that needed to be done years ago, so you’re not alone.

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  5. Ophelia, glad that you have found some professional support. My advice (for what it is worth), is to trust the therapist, and the process to allow yourself to be open and honest. I have found that providing the therapist is professional and has your best interest at heart, you will be guided to a better place.

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  6. *hugs* (if you want them) I know how the depression can be when you just don’t want to do anything. Mine gets particularly bad this time of year. If you need an ear feel from to DM or @ me on Twitter.

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  7. Thank you, so much for sharing this insightful piece about failed therapy and now (Hopefully) a good new experience with a new one.
    I, myself, am on my second therapist. It took me close to a year to arrive at the idea of changing therapist. And, I am happy to report I did.
    Therapist “Shopping” is like finding the gloves that fit correctly. It doesn’t always work the way you want, but you have to keep trying new ones on until you find the perfect match. I wish the best of luck with your new therapist. Give him a good chance… That is the best advice I can share with you,
    Keep us posted on how things are going, okay? 🙂

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  8. We all need help from time to time. Even the smartest, best put together people need help. I’m glad you’re getting some. Give him a chance. From the sounds of things, you’ve never really had any therapy. Let the process run for a bit. All the best!

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  9. Finding the right therapist is SO important but unfortunately can also be SO hard! Good luck to you! And PS: personally, I’ve found that I vibe more and get more out of therapists who are more like friends instead of professionals.

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