May is Mental Health Awareness Month. One in five people will be affected by mental illness in their lifetime. I am one of them.
I started seeing a new therapist a few months ago. My previous therapist was fine. She was well qualified, kind, and offered many healthy coping strategies. In fact, I couldn’t point specifically to anything that was wrong, but I didn’t feel I was making much progress. Her style wasn’t an ideal fit for me. I found myself leaving hour-long sessions feeling like it was a complete waste of time and money.
It was not easy for me to switch therapists. In general, change is hard. Telling my therapist that I didn’t think it was working made me terribly uncomfortable. Wanting to switch to another therapist in the same counseling center meant that I’d still be seeing this therapist in passing. And starting all over with the new therapist, knowing I’d have to revisit all the difficult issues from the beginning, was incredibly daunting.
It would have been easier for me to just stop going altogether. I nearly found enough excuses to convince myself to take that “easy” out.
But, I knew it wouldn’t really be easy. Trying to manage my mental health on my own, again, was only going to make things worse. I knew that for certain.
It is important for those of us seeking help to recognize that not every therapist will be the best person to help us. And to remember that if we can find that same courage that led us to seek help in the first place, we can keep trying until we find the right fit.
I have left every session with my new therapist feeling exhausted and drained – and hopeful. I may have found the right therapist for me.
I tried to put it into words in this poem, which I am grateful to have published on Hopes and Dreams for Our Future.
weary soul searching
same time next week
If you are struggling with your mental health, I encourage you to seek the help of a therapist. And if that therapist doesn’t feel like a good fit, if you don’t feel like you are making progress, please keep trying.
This story originally appeared on Facebook