Friday, May 07, 2021
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I Started Therapy for My Mental Health...Again

A brief entry about my return to Therapy. I felt abandoned and hopeless after my last attempt.

With new beginnings taking shape in my life, and inspiration filling the gaps, it is time to take a real opportunity to focus on my mental health. I have known for a long time that I needed help, but had not been taken seriously when I tried. Even failing to take it serious myself after losing motivation.

Below are my thoughts immediately after leaving my first appointment with a new Therapist, at a new facility, at a new beginning in my life.

A Daunting Adventure Begins Again...

What a familiar, uncomfortable setting. Deep leather chairs, with solid arms placed elegantly in the close corners of the small room. Tissue boxes taunt me at arms reach, and the plastic blinds tap against the window in the breeze. Across from me, a flannel shirt is tucked neatly into neutral colored khakis. Black shoes close out the crossed legs. Answering questions that make my foot quiver, I step up to my greatest demons as I begin the daunting adventure of seeking mental help again. Once a week, I’ll be going to therapy. It is important for me to put that into words.

The last time I sat in a room like this, I had hit rock bottom, mentally. I had built up the courage to finally reach out and grasp for any semblance of help I could get. When I got it, it pulled me in, and then brushed me away and left me feeling hopeless, alone and crazy. I barely had the mental fortitude to form a sentence, yet behind my muted expressions were oceans of moving tides and understandings that diverted me into dangerous understandings. My mind had formed an inter-dimensional narrative to explain my existence, because I couldn’t justify living without it. My insecurities were so severe I was constantly paving the way for the development of more insecurities. A vicious circle, and I was getting dizzy.
At times, I look back at my attempt with anger. Stuck in bitter views because “they” failed me. I felt invalidated, and it embarrassed me. It was enough to scare me away from going back, and when I cancelled my appointment, I never once received a follow up. That was it. The rotating doors in front of their offices needed to continue, and I lost my chance because I was misguided. In reality, I don’t think I was ready to get the help. I knew, on the surface, that I needed to do something. Yet, when I found myself sinking into those deep leather chairs, I couldn’t actually ask for that help. I could get as far as the room, and I would turn off. Zero memory function. Zero inflection to my voice. I’d talk in riddles, because my own understanding shifted as I spoke. I was a high speed runaway, asking for help while screaming past at full speed.

Even Therapy Offers Second Chances

I returned to one of those familiar rooms the other day. New Doctor. New Mindset. A Second Chance.
I lost my Dad recently, and he spent a lot of his life helping other people. People who had all but given up, and people who had been given up on… He would give them an opportunity with no questions asked. Everybody deserved the opportunity at a second chance, but it was up to them to capture it and make something of it. His hand was outstretch to anybody stuck in darkness. He would pull them out of the depths, give them the second chance they deserved. Some would capture it and bloom into new lives. Others would dwindle and fall back into their familiar darkness. My father would leave them with a permanent outstretched hand, and continue on to the next second chance to offer. I saw all of this transpire, and I saw lives saved because of him. I know the power of a second chance. This is my second chance… Even therapy offers a second chance.
The next time I walk into that uncomfortable office, draped in neutral colors, I need to leave my ego at the door. I need to drape myself in neutral colors and try to convey myself accurately. I need to stay strong in my will to recover, and not lose the importance of each importance. When I turned on my last experience, each appointment became a chore, and made my mental health much worse in the long run.

Just Breathe

My first assignment is to put the practice of breathing exercises in my brain. These calm breathing techniques have been something I have tried for years, but I have never taken it serious enough to make a true difference. (Notice a theme…). I’ve grown as a person since then I believe, and this time I have to let myself normalize the breathing techniques. I defaulted to making them a joke last time, but they have the potential to be a transformation catalyst alone.

I installed “Prana Breath: Calm & Meditate” from the Google Play store for very simple breathing sessions (Not an Ad or an endorsement. I haven’t used it enough to speak to a recommendation). If I can do these four times a day, regulated, I can transition to doing them passively and even in stressful situations. That’s my first step, and hopefully we can lead this into something beautiful. Come along with me, and remember… Just Breathe.

Anthony McGuigan
June 2020

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