Sunday, April 12, 2015

Post-Recovery Counseling

I first started seeing a mental health counselor/therapist my senior year of college.  I've had all kinds of experiences with all kinds of professionals.  My last counselor was through a crisis center.  About two years ago, when I started to wean off my anti-depressant medication, I found myself going less and less to counseling.  It’s been more than year now that I haven’t seen a mental health therapist, counselor, or psychiatrist.

It had been my intention to continue to go to counseling even after I was “recovered”.  I thought it would help me maintain my state of mental health and prevent any major setbacks by catching them early.  But I find myself here, one year later, having not been back.

Part of my dilemma is that I don’t feel like I can go back to place I did before.  Because it was a crisis center, I don’t feel like I deserve a spot there.  There are plenty of people who need the services more than me.  The center was always busy, and the staff was always overworked.  I would feel guilty if I went…like I was taking up space…space someone else needed more than me.

When I think about it, it’s not just that place that I don’t feel I can go.  I don’t feel like I can go anywhere.

I continue to struggle with depression and anxiety, yet I know I’m not as bad as I once was.  I’m not nearly as bad as some people who need counseling more than me.  I hate feeling like I don’t belong somewhere or I am wasting someone’s time.  Even if I am paying them for their services, I am keenly aware of when I am burdening someone.  Counselors and Therapists are human too – how can they handle listening to people’s problems day after day and not get worn out or develop a mental illness themselves?

...Just some of the thoughts that go through my head.

Even though I think I need regular counseling, I talk myself out of it.  I don’t feel like I deserve counseling.

The fact that I said “I don’t feel I deserve” should raise some red flags.  Part of the reason why I ended up in a mental hospital was because I had such a poor self-worth and didn't take care of myself...symptoms of my depression.

I need to remind myself that I am deserving, I am worthy, and I should not feel guilty for trying to take care of myself.  If anyone tries to make me feel bad for doing what I do, then that is their problem…not mine.

Easier said then done...