Two years ago, I threw my graduation cap in the air, rushed back to my apartment, loaded up all of my remaining kitchen accoutrements, and headed 100 miles South with my family — back home. I was restless, deeply unsettled by the prospect of losing the freedom I had come to expect in college. I was terrified of change, uncomfortable with settling into an unfamiliar routine. And, the most frightening challenge of all? I was scared to death of searching for a new therapist.
After two consistent months of weekly therapy in college, I knew that finding a new therapist in my hometown was absolutely essential. I was completely aware that moving back home could cause my seemingly uncontrollable anxiety and depression symptoms to run rampant, stifling my desire to search for a post-college job. I needed a safe, comfortable place to process my feelings about my recent move, the upcoming LSATs, and the challenges of attempting to enter the workforce. But, I was lost, directionless, trapped in a sea of highly-qualified potential candidates, and terrified of the possibility of change.
I worried that committing to seeing a therapist would fundamentally alter the aspects of my personality on which I prided myself. If I couldn’t be a perfectionist, who would I be? A slacker? If my anxiety didn’t drive me to constantly overdress and overcompensate, what would I become? Poorly-dressed and perpetually late?
So, I stalled. Days without a therapist turned into months. Months faded into a year. And, as I became comfortable with the prospect of mending my own life, content with the routine of living life with my mental vices and without professional help, a year gradually bled into two. Two full years without so much as calling a therapist for an initial consultation.
Two years after moving back home, virtually nothing has changed… except for my naive confidence in my life decisions. I still live with my parents, but I am far less certain about the course of my life. I put law school on an indefinite hiatus, I’m a writer with a lingering fear that I’m not talented enough to write for pay, and for nearly a year, I’ve remained in a job with virtually no possibility of growth. I’ve grown accustomed to the ceaseless monotony of waking up tired and uninspired, sleeping my way through each day, and feeling afraid to take the leap to a new life path. And, naturally, I’ve avoided that dreaded call to a therapist, that admission that maybe, my life isn’t as fulfilling as I make it out to be, that confession that I can’t cope with my life alone.
But, it’s time to make that call. It’s time to break out of routine and work towards change. It’s time to commit to self-improvement. It’s time to understand that asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It’s time to build a fulfilling life. It’s time to (actually) call a therapist, make an appointment, and start growing.
Kelly is an avid writer and mental health and disability advocate with a focus on personal growth. She is passionate about using her life experiences to help others. Her ultimate goal is to make a difference in the world — no matter how small. When she is not writing or educating others about life with disability and mental illness, Kelly can be found listening to music and cuddling her cat.