Gonna give this a shot and see how far I can go in writing a new post without getting stuck in writer’s block.
This has been quite a ride for the past few months. And I mean that in the best way possible. My therapist, as past readers of this blog may remember, was someone I really valued and gave me the support I needed but never really had before in my life. Starting from our first session in December of 2018 up until early December of 2020, our sessions were very frequent. Like once every week for most of those two years.
Last fall, she told me some news that while it was hard to hear then, could have been much harder to hear a year earlier. She was pregnant and sometime in the next couple of months we would have to have our last session for a while as she will be on maternity leave for a few months after that. A lot of emotions were going through my head after I congratulated her and ended that particular session with us planning to look into temporary therapists who I can set up appointments with just while she’s away. Obviously choosing wisely based on their online descriptions and personality in their bio and/or video bio.
But here’s the thing. As the week went on before the next session, while I did find a list of people on a popular psychology site that appeared from an outside point of view to be a good fit for me, I never was really comfortable with doing something like this while she was away. This isn’t just because I felt it is more of a gamble given how the majority of mental health professionals I don’t trust and didn’t want to end up being hurt again in that way (although I did tell her that was the main reason when December got closer). The real reason is that this would be someone I would only be seeing for a few months (ideally) and if there isn’t any trusting relationship between the two of us, or they are only going by a ton of notes and records for basic info on me and my needs before our first session, it isn’t worth the hassle for them. Good fit or not.
The other part is by the time the fall of 2020 came around, I wasn’t really that person anymore who was on the same high level of vulnerability two years earlier. Things stressing me out had more to do with worldly anxieties that I shared with everyone else, specifically the upcoming presidential election as it was a do or die moment in history. Obviously we all know today how it turned out and closed what was a universally horrible year (and four years overall) on an extremely uplifting and positive note. But as for myself and my own struggles that we continued to discuss up to that point, I had become far less dependent on needing to see her every week. Though just to be safe at that time I kept things the way they were.
We finally agreed after I explained everything to her about how I am in a somewhat better place mentally, at least compared to two years ago, that I am willing to go cold turkey up until her return. As of now while I am typing this it is close to mid-March and it’s predicted she will be back sometime in April. Since our last session in early December of 2020, this challenge has ended up for the most part been successful. There are still occasional discouraging points where I keep feeling I need that constant reassurance that I matter, or the occasional, trending news story I can partially identify with triggering the hell out of me. But it hasn’t happened much and there have been several instances where that could have happened but didn’t.
So having said all that, 2021 and this new decade is moving forward a little bit better than I thought it would. Though I do also have to give credit to the two biggest life breakthroughs back in 2019. My social security income and disability benefits being approved to start coming in, and me moving to a rural town later that summer. The latter especially. If I was still living in a semi-urban environment today and when COVID first hit, I would probably still be alive today but would not have been as content with myself today and most likely would have felt even worse by this point.