I see people all the time post Facebook statuses like, “I keep getting back pains when I run…any ideas?” And people will recommend chiropractors and PTs and acupuncturists. They’ll tell you their favorite NSAID or how they depend on Epsom salt baths. Some will tell you their experience with switching mattresses or pillows.
But no one ever posts a status that says, “Some days are too much…any ideas?”
And I write statuses all the time about how we need to change this. We need to normalize mental health care and be open to talking about it. When they shut down the doctor’s office where my kid got counseling for his anger, I went on the NEWS and talked about it, and I talked about the stigma of this type of healthcare and how terrible that is for people struggling. I tell my kids that when they have seen their therapists it’s no different than going to their pediatrician. NO SHAME. It’s nothing to hide.
YET! Yet…I took my blog off my Instagram account because I have so many real world people that follow me there and I’ve been talking about my own journey to my own mental health so much here and…well…I was ashamed. I was afraid they’d look at me differently the next time they saw me. Maybe I’d no longer be “Fun Goofy Kim” and I’d be “Crazy As Shit Kim.”
And then…THEN…I felt total shame about taking it off and trying to hide the fact that I’m seeking out mental health care. So I decided to write this entry. THERE IS NOTHING MORE META.
My name is Kim. I have always suffered under the burden of several types of anxieties as long as I can remember. I manage them successfully most days, but in many ways they also often darken my life. Lately, as my plate seems to be overflowing with obligations, as the presidential election cycle becomes more and more ugly, and as I suffer through my least favorite month (March: The month we spent watching Dad die in 2009), it has all become too much. I’m not sleeping well, I’m crying too much, and I can not manage my diet because my stress-coping mechanisms always revolve around binge eating.
So, I’m getting help. I made a million phone calls (AND I TOTALLY ABHOR THE TELEPHONE) last week trying to decide who is covered by my insurance in what way and then trying to matching up covered counselors with my issues and today at 10am I am meeting with a therapist. I chose an LPC because I’m avoiding medication right now. (I have this intense awareness of the GOOD parts of my anxiety and I’m terrified of losing those in medicating the bad parts.) She may be terrible. She may be amazing. Who knows, but I’m trying to be casual about it. I want people to be as open saying, “Hey – did you like your counselor who helped you with your anxiety?” as we are saying, “Hey – did you like that Physical Therapist who helped you when you had Runner’s knee?”
I’m feeling unwell. I’m going to a doctor. Just like if I had tendonitis or a stress fracture. My brain is not processing the things in my life successfully and instead it is backfiring so I’m going to seek help in fixing that. I’m starting with a therapist just like you might start with an x-ray. I need someone to help me look at the big picture for awhile to help me see if I need to approach things differently. Maybe I just need to change my running form or my tennis shoes. Or maybe I need surgery. Either way – I need to be open about it so the next person who feels like the weight of the world is crushing her to death will feel okay coming out and saying, “Some days are too much…any ideas?”