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...


  1. Hi Mary! So lovely to hear from you. Yesterday I went to my monthly appointment with my psychiatrist. I really like him. After going through a few primary care doctors who simply looked at my blood tests and told me I was fine —and maybe exercise— I finally found a really good physician, and he's a christian too which was a nice surprise. Like you I am nowhere near where I was a year and a half ago and at this point I sometimes feel like the rest of my pain isn't worth all the fuss. My depression and physical aches have to be my fault and I just have to accept it and fight it all on my own. But then I think, I am lucky enough to have help, get help and ask for help. I have the means. God may not be giving me the kind of miracle that in an instant heals me of all infirmity, but that does not mean he isn't giving me anything. I just have to be willing to accept it with humility and thanks. It is my duty to say yes to these gifts. In a way it's showing the Lord, that I am doing all that I can do to be healed for his service. This gives me peace of mind. I don't think this means I have to spend every second of everyday trying to heal this aspect of my life, but it is important to love myself enough to want something better than depression or anxiety or any other form of mental anguish. Just like it takes humility to go to confession after doing something I never though I would again, it takes humility to accept when illness come back to haunt me and a brave heart to face them again. So I say go to therapy if you need to. There is no shame in being healed. Hugs a lot, Fabi

    1. Hi Fabi, nice to hear from you too!!! I am glad you found a good physician...that goes a looooong way. You are right on...God doesn't steer a parked car. You are doing what you can to improve yourself and that is what He wants. You are doing your part and He is doing His. I read your comment a while back and it really hit home. And I read it again just now before replying and it hit me again. Wise words! Just because God doesn't give instant miracles doesn't mean He isn't helping us heal. We are still struggling because there will be a greater good that comes from it. We still struggle because we are human. Like you said, it takes a lot of humility to accept that we will never be perfect (in this life). But just because we're never going to be perfect doesn't mean we should stop trying. I have learned so much because of my journey to find peace and happiness in the midst of depression and despair. I should keep going to therapy just as I keep going to confession...sometimes I need it more than other times but that doesn't take away the fact that I always need it :)