One evening last summer I made a mistake preparing a simple meal, one I’ve made often. Almost a year later I can see how screwing up dinner was annoying but not life-shattering. When it happened, this episode confirmed how screwed up, how useless, how pathetic, and how stupid I had become since my fall. Messing up and almost ruining dinner proved that all the negative self-talk I’d been sabotaging myself with was true. Only then, I didn’t realize how damaging my thoughts had become.
When I told my sister and neuropsychologist about how this incident had reduced me to tears and how I was unable to fix my mistake, they both said my reaction was extreme. Everyone messed up cooking dinner. My response meant I needed help, now. My mom, who witnessed the event, agreed with them.
My heart already knew I needed help. My stubborn mind disagreed. It still wanted to me to feel sorry for myself and give up.
I pondered my situation for a few days.
Fear Can’t Stop Me
Broken and in need of help to get well, I contacted my doctor. Seeing her led to a whirlwind of activity that lasted the rest of 2016 and into 2017.
Here’s What I’ve Done So Far
The doctor treated me for high blood pressure, female issues, obesity, and depression and anxiety. She recommended I do physical therapy, and see a neurologist.
The physical therapists treated me for neck and shoulder issues, balance, dizziness, and vision problems using dry needling and manual manipulation techniques as well as lots of stretches and exercises.
The neurologist sent me to get a cat scan, MRI, and an EEG. She also sent me to see a neuropsychologist and a speech therapist.
The speech therapist taught me memory and problem-solving techniques.
The neuropsychologist conducted an interview followed by neuropsychological tests. At the end of the testing, she recommended I get into therapy right away to help me deal with my new reality. I recently received the official assessment from the tests and the written recommendation to see a therapist or psychologist among other things.
The therapist/psychologist … I’ve put off getting therapy for five months.
Lies I Tell Myself
Everything the doctors and therapists had me do has helped. Some of the tests were uncomfortable and frightening, but I put my big girl panties on and prayed my way through them.
I know people who’ve been to therapy or are in therapy. It doesn’t make them less worthwhile.
So why haven’t I started therapy? I asked myself.
The voice in my head replied, Because I’m scared. What will it be like? Is the therapist going to want me to use techniques or methods that make me uncomfortable? Will the person be nice? Will spilling my guts really help? Do you even spill your guts in therapy? What do you do in therapy?
I don’t know. What I do know is the longer I postpone getting started the easier it is to pretend I’m fine.
I’m not though … I’m not.
So What’s Next?
I started sharing the details of my recovery in hopes that it would help others going through similar problems. The thing is if I’m not honest with myself about being afraid then how can you trust me when I title a section Fear Can’t Stop Me? You can’t.
It wasn’t until I struggled to finish this post that it occurred to me why I’d found ways to avoid going to therapy. Going to therapy would force me to acknowledge that I won’t ever be the same. Talk about a scary thing to have to accept.
I need to follow my advice. Don’t chicken out. Be brave, pray about it, and finish. Going halfway through the process isn’t enough.
Has something similar happened to you? How did you push through? Have you been to therapy? Did it help? Was it scary? Are you glad you went? Consider sharing your thoughts in the comments.