Wednesday night, I went for my first session of therapy. I spent the days leading up to that discussing the issue pretty thoroughly with some of you lovely readers, researching the experiences of others at RealMental.org (which, by the way, is a fantastic site), and convincing myself that I could benefit from talking to a real person instead of a text box on Movable Type.
My counselor is a lovely lady. She has that perfectly soft voice that is both warm and comforting, which, when coupled with a comfortable setting (and a cozy couch), has the tendency to make me want to cry. And cry I did. Pools of snot collected all around me, and Noah was preparing to build a second ark to save himself and Nick Pitera from the flood of tears gushing forth from my eye sockets.
(Obviously, Nick tops the list of people who should be spared in the event of a major disaster.)
Anyway, all these tears were unfortunately not indicative of any real progress being made. For a full hour, I shared my frustrations with my life as it is, my goals for the future, and my plans for how to achieve those goals. My counselor would repeat back to me all of these things, pausing to ask, "How long have you felt that way?" or "How does that make you feel?" She did bring something new to the table when she suggested that diet and exercise (as well as my physical health in general) can take a toll on sleep patterns and overall mood. Otherwise, I was a smidge disappointed with her recommendations, as they mainly consisted of repeating back to me what I had already said I was doing.
In fact, my one major assignment for the next session was to write a list of what I like about my life now, what I don't like, what I want, what my dream life would be, etc. She knew of my love of blogging, so giving me a writing assignment was logical. Sadly, however, I had just done this the day before my session. Of my own accord. I told her this, saying, "I thought it would be good to clarify for myself what things were sources of frustration and what things I needed to be pursuing to minimize those frustrations."
She stared for a moment and paused. "Exactly."
Five minutes later, I walked out of the office feeling like I had been ten steps ahead of her the entire time. Now, maybe that's typical of a first session. Maybe I didn't connect well with my counselor. Maybe I just had a really bad week last week and have since recovered from my emotional breakdown through my "home remedy" of watching Lord of the Ringsall day and night.
I'm not sure. Until I know, though, I am not going to return for any more therapy. I will stash this woman's card in my wallet and schedule another appointment if I find myself having another bad week. Otherwise, I will stick to the tried and true recipe for happiness—pirates, hobbits, pizza, and chocolate. (It's Rachtastic!)