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Musings on digital media, urbanization and politics from Seattle, Wash.

Talk to someone

Adirondack chairs
Aaron Burden, Unsplash
January 28, 2021

I have seen a therapist on a consistent basis for more than five years. It’s awesome. It’s not the type of thing I’ve ever really shared online but anytime it comes up around trusted friends and family, I rave about it.

If you want to improve your life, talk to someone.

With today being the big #BellLetsTalk day on the social feeds, it is effectively De-Stigmatize Talking About Mental Health Day in North America and I figured I’d bring that aforementioned raving to a more visible place. Sidenote: hell of a sponsorship activation for the Canadian telecom giant.

Why did I start going to therapy? It wasn’t really anything super serious. There was some anxiety, sure, like we all have—but not necessarily major depression or some of the more serious ailments one might be facing.

But I just felt jammed up. I was frustrated. I wasn’t getting anywhere. I wasn’t making progress on anything big in life. So many things felt too complex and I was so fixated on the 75 steps I’d have to take after the first one.

So I set out to find someone.

The process

I’ll be honest, finding somenone was not easy. There’s like nowhere to research this stuff. There isn’t a Yelp! for this. Well, they’re on there, but not really. So you have to ask around with a doctor, or maybe search. I don’t know. I went with a place my family practitioner recommended and picked a person there I thought I’d work well with.

And then I waited. Like a long time. When you go to book your first appointment, it can take two or three months to get into the initial orientation appointment. Many, many therapists’ practices are completely full, too.

Once you’re in though, it’s straightforward. And reasonably affordable provided you have insurance. It’s so awful one’s mental health could be tied to their employment status, but if you are shored up on that front, Washington state law actually requires that any health plan that covers medical and surgical services must also cover mental health.

There are copays, but $20-$30 a visit on a periodic basis is a relatively small cost to pay.

The why

I cannot say it enough—if you want to improve your life, talk to someone.

There is nobody out there, even someone as happy and mindful and content as can be, who wouldn’t benefit from talking to a therapist.

One of the very first things I talked to my therapist about was wanting to get engaged, and we worked through the steps of making it happen. After that, I chased down my dream job. Recently, there was a lot of talk about buying a home, which my fiancée and I are in the process of finalizing.

In the middle, I lost my Mom.

You just gotta have someone to help. There was a time, playing pinball, my mind just ran and ran on my Mom’s then-ongoing battle with cancer, so much that I had a vasovagal reaction and lost consciousness—purely from anxiety. Fell to the ground as I tried to get outside of the bar to get some air. Got up, fell down again.

We addressed that. And so much other smaller stuff, too.

It’s amazing.

•    •    •    •

If you’re thinking about giving it a shot, start the process. If you’re not thinking about it, start.

It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life—and even then I’m not sure if it’s something I should really be writing about and sharing in both personal and professional circles.

But hey, if one single person sees this post and says “You know what, that’s kind of where I’m at, I’ll give it a try,” then it’s worth it.

Because it’s awesome.

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