It is ok to accept help

It is ok to accept help

Life gets messy, and sometimes we need emotional help. We all have our own problems, and how one chooses to cope is for them. Some choose to vent to their close friends, some choose to go to therapy, and others just choose to keep their emotions to themselves.

I used to be a person who kept my emotions bottled up, but I soon realized that it caused more harm than good. Venting to my friends helped for the time being, but I soon realized that I needed someone solid that I knew would not tell anyone what I had said.

This meant that I chose the most stigmatized choice, therapy. By 2019, roughly 13.6% of teens were going to therapy. There are about 49.5% of teens have a mental illness, whether it’s been diagnosed or not. 

I think people do not go to therapy because they think that there needs to be something traumatizing in their life to go. This is not the case, there are plenty of people who go to therapy and have never experienced anything traumatic. 

I was first diagnosed with depression in seventh grade, and it was not all that surprising when we found out. My doctor quickly started to give my mom ideas on how to help me with my depression. There were many appointments where we went in circles about medicine.

I did not want to be put on medication. My doctor had tried and tried to get me to go onto any form of antidepressant she could, but I continued to refuse.

The next appointment we had she finally stopped talking about medication, instead, she introduced me to therapy. I was skeptical at first. I was not sure how I felt about talking to a stranger about my problems, but somehow she convinced me.

Before I started therapy, I would either keep everything to myself and then have silent breakdowns in the middle of my room at night, or I would just talk with my friends. The problem was that they did not always understand what to say. I would just get “sorry” and “it’ll get better”, I never got any solid advice. I know some people also go to their parents or trusted adults with their problems, but at the time, I did not have a trusted adult. 

Sure my mom and I were close, but I felt like there was no way I could tell her how I felt, without her feeling like she was guilty about something. My dad and I were not as close, and I did not really like talking to him about anything that was going on in my life unless he asked. The only trusted “adult” I had was my 18-year-old stepbrother.

It was the end of summer and I was switching every other weekend between my mom and dad. I needed a place where I could complain about both places without having to censor myself about who or what I was talking about.

July 2019 is when I had my first session. The therapist was nice and seemed to understand why I was shy. She and my mom talked for a while about me, and how she wanted me to get better.

The therapist then turned to me and asked me similar questions. I did not really know how to answer some of them since I was new to the whole experience. But I quickly opened up and told her what I wanted out of our sessions.

I would see her about once a week to start, and then since I was running cross country at the time, I started to see her once every two weeks. She was calm and her room felt comfortable enough for me to get out all of my feelings.

However, about three months after our sessions began, she had gotten fired for violating the rules her firm had put into place. I was upset, simply because that meant I had to start over with a new therapist or quit therapy altogether.

By this point, I had started to like going into therapy. The lady at the reception desk was nice, and the firm was small but cozy. I had created a relationship with my therapist and then she was gone. I did not want to start all over again with a new therapist.

But, somehow my mom convinced me to go in and try with a new lady, and sure enough, she was also very understanding. I think I got along better with her than I did with my first therapist. 

I could tell her anything and not feel judged. By this time it was early January 2020, which meant that things with COVID-19 were starting to get serious. None of us paid any attention to it though, and I kept going in to see her every two weeks.

My therapy sessions drastically changed once COVID-19 hit. I could not go in person to see her anymore, we had to do Zoom calls. It was extremely different, and I could no longer get what I used to get out of therapy. I could no longer feel safe enough to cry without worrying about my parents or my brother walking in and asking questions.

I think that year was a struggle for all of us. I rarely did schoolwork and spent most of the day up in my room binge-watching Netflix. Therapy Zoom calls were not working for me, and my therapist could tell. 

Instead of talking every two weeks, we would talk once every month after COVID-19 hit. It was hard, especially since I had gotten so used to being able to yell my feelings out, now I had to be quiet so that my family would not overhear anything.

Once places started to open up again to the public, therapy got better. I would go into their firm every two weeks and I would be able to actually see her. Reading body language over Zoom versus in person, is a lot harder than I thought it would be.

I could tell that she also missed seeing her clients in person, she seemed more relaxed in her environment.

In December 2021 however, she moved to Texas to start her own firm. Now do not get me wrong, I was so proud that she would start her own firm and work under her rules, but that meant another therapist that I had grown to like, left.

We discussed doing phone call sessions, but it never worked out since Texas is an hour behind Ohio. After she moved, I stopped going to therapy.

It was rough not seeing someone. I went back to my old ways and kept my feelings to myself. It was especially hard because she had convinced me to start medication, which looking back now, was probably the best thing for me at the time.

After almost a year of not being in therapy, I have finally gotten back in to see someone. My doctor felt like the medication was working, but taking an extra step was needed. My therapist is through my doctor’s office and she is the funniest person I have ever met. 

I know therapy is not for everyone, but the outcomes that I have seen myself, are positive enough for me to recommend therapy to people.