I’ve been mulling over this post for a while because I want to get it right. It’s important to me that I’m open and honest about my anxiety, and this blog is something that has definitely been helpful. So let’s talk about counseling.
My first experience with counseling was horrible. I had just started college and was ready to figure this whole mess out. I was hopeful that with counseling I would be able to get off my medicine and cope with my anxiety in a more natural way. My first appointment couldn’t have lasted more than half an hour. During it, I was interrogated by the counselor about my past, my family, and my goals for college. By the end of her list of questions, she decided that there was nothing she could do for me and I was shooed away.
Between September and about February-ish, my life began to shatter around me as my anxiety ran rampant. I wasn’t myself and I successfully pushed away the friends that were closest to me. Luckily they had been able to convince me to restart counseling under my heavy protests.
Things were weird at first but unlike my first experience I left counseling feeling like I was being cared for, like my counselor was there for me and ready to help. The first few months of counseling were some of the worst months of my life because everything around me continued to crash and burn. Some days, it was the reminder of my weekly appointment that got me through the day.
During the meetings, I talked about everything. I mean, anything. Whether it was big or small, it didn’t matter, it was discussed. That’s what counseling was for me. My counselor created a space in which I could talk about anything.
I’m left kind of speechless when talking about counseling because there just aren’t enoughwords to describe how important it has been for me and how much it has changed my life. At a time where getting through the day felt like having my body slowly fill with cement, and night time felt like getting dumped into the ocean—counseling was able to lift me out of the water. There were so many days where I wanted to give up, where I couldn’t fathom another day, but counseling was always there.
My counselor has played so many roles in the past year. She’s been my counselor, my strategist, my sounding board, and my friend. All of them were equally important. Never once was she judgmental or pushy. I never felt stupid or like my anxiety wasn’t important to her. That is perhaps the biggest thing: I felt like my problems and my life were important to her.
With just a couple weeks left in school, she broke the news that she wouldn’t be coming back next year. Again, I don’t know how to describe what hearing that felt like but it definitely didn’t feel good. During that moment and still, I felt so much. I felt sad, though heartbroken might be a better word. I felt lost. I couldn’t help thinking that once again everyone was leaving me and that I’d be alone again. I was also a little bit angry, which I think is natural and that quickly passed.
Maybe the best word though, is unsteady. When you’re playing Jenga and you pull out a piece the whole stack is left wobbling. I guess I feel like that stack of Jenga blocks.
Of course now I’m getting super dramatic so let’s move on.
Everything is a journey and it’s all so cliche. But counseling is a journey, though I want to be able to stick to one counselor things happen and I have to adjust accordingly. In the fall, I will begin seeing a new counselor. I’m hopeful that it will be a good experience and that I will continue going.
What has your experience been like with switching counselors? Let me know!
Until next time,