My Mental Wellbeing Journey: First and Next Steps

*I have been compensated for this post, however, all ideas are my own. Mental health is one of the most important things there is. An...

*I have been compensated for this post, however, all ideas are my own.

Mental health is one of the most important things there is. And I think over the years, it has become less and less stigmatized, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot more that needs to happen for mental health to be treated as seriously as physical health. In fact, there is so much that needs to take place to end the stigma against mental illness and seeking treatment for yourself.

I didn’t know much about counseling and seeing a therapist growing up. Hell, there’s still a lot that I don’t quite understand. But in college, I saw a counselor several times. My need was so bad that I was actually able to continue working with the counseling center over the summer even though I wasn’t enrolled. I was diagnosed with depression and given a prescription to Prozac. But reading the side effects, I freaked myself out so badly that I never started taking it and threw it all away. After that I stopped going to counseling. And you want to know that thing that got me going in the first place? I was forming really addictive relationships to characters in tv shows - so much that I would get really upset when I finished watching them and I didn’t know how to handle it. And honestly, I still get pretty connected to tv show characters. I mean, I am still very upset after that Veronica Mars reboot ending, and I’m not sure I’ll ever get over it. But maybe I’m able to handle it all a bit better now.

As much I advocate for others to take care of themselves and their mental wellbeing, actually going for myself had me terrified. I finally admitted to myself that something was wrong, what I assumed as a chemical imbalance to make me feel that way. So first step, right?

Then I had to go through with calling different offices to try to make appointments, to figure out who was accepting patients, who accepted my insurance, etc. Between every phone call and every next step, I cried a lot. It was really difficult for me to make an appointment. And that’s okay. It’s all easier said than done, but I make the appointment - which was scheduled for a month after I made it.

Then when I went to my appointment, I got there super early and had to wait for what felt like a really long time. And then I cried some more in the waiting room. I was a mess. And here’s the thing - I don’t feel like there’s anything in my life (past or present) that should make me feel the way I feel. But that’s the thing about mental illness and mental health - it doesn’t always make sense. Luckily, meeting with a psychiatrist has helped me get placed on medication that has definitely made an impact in my mental wellbeing. I’ve been able to manage and handle this COVID-19 pandemic a lot better than I would have ever expected. Even hubby has noticed I’m less irritable and more calm in most situations, which feel so good.

Now what I need is to start meeting with a counselor to really round out my mental wellbeing. It’s something that I’ve been putting off, but so many different practices are offering telehealth options now, so it’s convenient, if not quite “easy,” to make appointments. Ray of Hope Counseling Services has all kinds of appointment types - from telehealth to in-office appointments sticking to social distancing guidelines. They also offer different types of therapy, including individual, couples, family, child, and equine. For someone looking for a therapist in Athens, GA or the surrounding area, Ray of Hope allows online scheduling and has eight offices in the area.

In the time of a shared worldwide trauma, while trying to overcome this pandemic, and find a place in what’s become our new normal, mental health and wellbeing is possibly more important than ever. It’s time I made that counseling appointment. And if you’re ready, meeting with a counselor may be something to consider for yourself as well.

How do you take care of yourself? What do you do to practice good wellbeing?

You Might Also Like