I started going to therapy a few months ago and I'm not ashamed to say it.
My decision to go to therapy originally stemmed from writing this blog. As much as I like writing about my life experiences, it can be mentally gruelling. Some of my posts are incredibly personal and have made me tap into feelings I either pushed aside or didn't know I felt at all, so back in February I asked my doctor if she could refer me to a therapist. Then the pandemic hit and I was forced to delay my therapy sessions for a few months. When I finally started counselling, (due to Covid-19) I was given the option of having my appointments over the phone and my preference is to do it this way for now.
As I've discussed before, I've struggled with my mental health for most of my adult life. I've seen a therapist on and off since I was about 20 years old, but until recently I hadn't seen one in several years. The timing of this most recent stint in therapy was perfect. Even though I initially wanted to start a few months earlier, having appointments every few weeks during the pandemic has been helpful, especially with curbing my Covid-related anxiety.
Therapy is something I'm grateful for having access to, but I'm not quite sure why it's always been available to me and many other disabled people I know. I assume it's because doctors, disability advocates, etc. just assumed people with disabilities will be f--ked up so they offered us with this type of support. It's one of the services that I've been provided with that I wish others also got without having to worry about the financial burden it can pose.
I've spoken to different people since the pandemic started back in March and there are many people who have admitted to struggling with their mental health right now. I don't think it's fair that I can get professional help while others struggle. I believe that mental health is an important component in an individual's overall well-being and it should be available to anyone who wants and needs help.
Along with the financial burden, one of the biggest hurdles associated with receiving proper mental health assistance is the stigma behind it. This is why I'm openly talking about my own struggles. There should be no shame in saying that you're struggling and could use some professional help. What I've learned recently is that if you talk to people about receiving support with their mental health, you'll probably learn that many people are either have or are currently seeking help. I wish people would talk about their mental health without feeling judged. I plan to continue to use my platform to talk about my personal mental health struggles if it means normalizing it and ending the stigmas associated with it.