My Mental Health | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness

My Mental Health

By Stephanie Christie

Here it is. My confession, my fresh start and perhaps the beginning of my mental health chronicles.

About a month ago now, I made a choice that changed the direction of my life. With the help, support and guidance of my husband, along with a referral from an old friend, I made a phone call. It was a scary call to make, but I reached out to make an appointment to go and see a therapist. In that first intake call, I had to answer a couple of questions about myself that I had never said out loud. I had to admit to myself that I needed help and say that to others.

The fact of the matter is I always imagined that I would be the person offering people therapy. Never did I see myself as the patient on the couch. In fact though, I have been the patient on the couch four times now. It is something that I actually look forward to now and I can see myself growing.

The first time I sat on the couch, I cried and cried and cried. That was not at all what I was planning on. I haven’t cried again. Since that first visit I have laughed, I have released and I have learned so much about myself.

OK, so here is my confession: I am a huge control freak. I want to control every aspect of everything, all the time.  It was getting to the point that I was really pushing people away. Changes and transitions give me so much anxiety I can’t even explain. At the end of my first appointment, after crying almost the whole time, my therapist had to give me a diagnosis. This was for insurance purposes, but this diagnosis has been brought up in every subsequent meeting. 

My diagnosis: chronic adjustment disorder. Induced initially by my ex cheating on me and ultimately the end of my first marriage. So–hindsight is 20/20– perhaps I should have sought counseling five years ago. Though, I don’t think I was in the right place then to accept and move forward. With the support of my husband, kids, family, friends and coworkers, I am ready now. I am not embarrassed about going to therapy.

It wasn’t until this morning during a conversation with a dear, lifelong friend that I knew that I could write about this. That I should write about this. My mental health is important and it’s OK to talk about.  

This afternoon, I spoke about noticing myself reacting differently to things. Not panicking as much with adjustments as I had just six weeks ago. I just packed up my gym bag for the morning, for the first time in two weeks. I downloaded more books onto my IPad to read while working out and then I started writing this blog.

I am ready to continue on this mental health journey, rebooting the way I look at things and pick back up my physical health journey that I had started back in the spring. I believe that these two can work alongside each other to make me the best me I can be, on the inside and out. Can’t wait to see where this new journey takes me. 


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