Asking for help

A foggy landscape with a long, black road stretching far in the distance.

I had my first appointment with a psychologist in six years. Even after the mere hour, I left the building with a whole new perspective I could have never imagined for myself.

To be able to pull yourself out of a dark place is an incredible feat. I'm thankful that I was able to do this for myself in my teen years, and confidently say I'm in a much better mindset than I was. But even after all my effort up until today, there are some things that I just haven't been able to overcome alone, no matter how stubborn I may be on my independence.

I knew this appointment was long overdue. I should've done this years ago. I knew that what I was going through as a teenager was something that should have been dealt with professionally. Because I didn't do it back then, I've carried what remains from those years into adulthood. As easily frustrated and disappointed as I could be with myself about this, I'm not. I'm not because I know that back then, I didn't have the strength to start what I knew was going to be a long journey back to my wholly healthy self. I didn't have the mental fortitude to persist when everything would seem too much like I do today.

I talked about this with the wonderful psychologist I met for the first time this week. I was telling her how I know I've needed to talk to someone about what I'm going through for literally years. Feeling the way I had been for so long made me believe that this was what my normal was meant to be. That this was what my life was always going to be like. She reassured me, saying that there is a huge difference between getting the referrals for appointments and making the appointment. The latter is always the hardest. It meant a lot to me to hear this coming from a professional.

Though our meeting was mostly a get-to-know-you session, I walked away with something different stirred inside me. I'm thankful for the friends and family I have that let me emotionally download to them, but there's always the feeling of burdening others with my problems that keeps me from speaking freely. The freedom to talk uninhibited and so carefree without fear of burdening my loved ones is something I can't compare to anything. I was able to put words to feelings I didn't know I could put words to, and it was purely because I knew the person sitting across from me was there to listen.

My biggest hope for anyone who might be in a situation like I am, where you know you should see someone to speak to but are daunted by the long journey ahead of you, don't be. The journey is not something to be tackled in one go. It's a culmination of baby steps that will eventually get you to where you need to be in order to have a healthy physical and mental wellbeing. If it's your goal to be in that place one day, why not start now? It might be a while, but the sooner you start the sooner you'll reach your wellbeing goals!

Tagged in What messes with your head, mental health, motivation, RUOK