First and foremost we need to set the stage. I come from a crazy family on all sides, and I have been married for well over a decade to my high school sweetheart. The husband in my story was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. His doctors said we are in a “gray” area, so the game plan is to wait and see what the tumor does. I have seen the seizures increase, though still only partial, they are more frequent. With that has come much more stress for my husband, and me. I am not sleeping anymore, and having several debilitating anxiety attacks per day…sound a lot like a soap opera right? (Insert theme music now)
My first session:
So it took me a few weeks to work up the gumption to admit I could not do this on my own. It’s was a sunny and warm early autumn day in Texas, so it has hot. I parked in the safest place I had at the time, my university parking lot. School seemed to be my only happy place these days. My phone was poised to make the crucial call. I had my air conditioner running full blast thanks to my anxiety. The sun visor covering my windshield; in part because it was hot inside my car, and because I was ashamed. Making this call meant I was to weak to solve my own problems. “I should have taken the drugs the doctor offered, but that would be admitting I couldn’t deal too. I hate being so weak. I survived my sister’s suicide without help why can’t I deal with this? Why am I such a baby? Why am I crying about calling a courser…they are going to think I’m crazy, stop crying!” I was trying to block anyone from seeing me, and the blubbering mess I was that day. I had made a list of possible counselors, and I had the one I really wanted circled and highlighted. That was the one I would start with…when I stopped crying of course. I had selected the perfect time to call so someone would be available to answer my call, but then if they did answer did that mean they were not good enough to have patients every hour? Maybe I should call after school? “Just make the call already!’ I was terrified, my hands were trembling, but I knew I had to do it. It took me about thirty minutes to work up the courage, and I practice what I was going to say so.
I hit send and got a voice mail…of course. So I tried the next one on the list, then the next…then I heard a ring.
“Hello, my doctor told me I needed therapy.”
I bet money the counselor was seriously questioning my sanity right then, however, she only asked my why. I gave her a brief synopsis of my problem, which was the anxiety attacks, and told her my doctor had recommended therapy to learn how to cope with my life. I also told her I was really trying to avoid medications. The good thing was she seemed really nice and confident that she could help me.
A short week later, I pulled up to a house, and nervously rang the bell. She was a tiny older woman who made me feel at home. Till that day I had never been to therapy. I mean I had gone to the court appointed counselor when my parents were divorcing, and I had spoken to the school courser in middle school once, but nothing like this. Now I was going because I couldn’t figure out how to cope with cancer, and the possible death of my husband.
Her office was full of books, and I wanted so much to pet the dogs she had in her back yard. She reminded me of a sweet grandmother, I told her all about school, and how many classes I was taking, I talked about my dog, I mentioned some of the books she had on her shelf because I had read a few of them, and I told her about the specifics of the husbands tumor.
Then she pointed out a few things to me as our time dwindled. First she said I seemed like I could talk about anything, but what was really bothering me. Second, I seemed to have trouble crying.
I don’t see that that last one as true. After all I have cried in my car from time to time. No, I didn’t want to break down in her office, so I bit my cheek to stop myself, but everyone does that. And, okay, I will agree that I don’t cry at home, but that is only because the hubby can’t handle me crying. He has enough stress with the cancer, he asked me to try not to cry, so I do my best to accommodate his needs. He may not be here much longer and he deserves the very best life I can help give him. I would think if the shoe was on the other foot he might do the same for me, if I needed that?
Problem two; do I really not talk about what is really bothering me? Truth is, I just don’t know. What I do know is that I didn’t really feel like I got anything out of today. She was very nice. She made me feel like I may not be crazy. She made it seem like I may just be a little overwhelmed at the moment. I guess I need to learn to cope better. Maybe next week will be better.