My First Therapy Session

I thought I wanted help, but this doesn't feel right.

Written by Mackenzie Jerks

My First Therapy Session

01 Prior to Mackenzie's first therapy session, she was filled with anxiety about opening up and sharing how she felt. She was afraid of being viewed negatively for what she was experiencing.

02 It's common for people to withhold symptoms and information when they first meet a doctor or therapist.

03 Mackenzie shares her story in hopes that other people won't hold back when looking to get help. Being open is the first step towards a healthier life.

I remember realizing I'd reached a new low.

I could no longer take care of myself. After months of denying help, it was finally time to go to therapy. A voice in my head told me this could lead to something worse. Maybe talking about my feelings would make my mind more confused than it already was. I was worried I'd be labeled as "borderline psychotic."

The day of my first session, I walked through the door, my face covered by my hoodie and filled with shame. I wondered if anyone saw me walking there. I wondered if they’d thought I was unwell. I wondered if everyone else in that office felt as messed up as I did.

I fixed my hair nervously as I sat down in an uncomfortable leather chair. I gazed into the eyes of the doctor sitting across me. Her pen clicked, and a page on her pad flipped. The subtle sounds that surrounded me made my heart pound. The thought of talking made a rock form in my throat and a knot in my chest. 

She smiled and said let’s begin. She asked me what state I was in, what I struggled with, and why I was there. I thought for a moment, worried about the words that might spill out of my mouth. 

Should I start with my struggle with serendipity? Should I start with my self-doubt?

Should I tell her that in the back of my mind the words aren’t so nice? Should I explain the pain I feel when that voice says my friends are only with me for clout? Should I tell her sometimes I’m in such a fog I forget to eat for an entire day? That I love the stomach pain I feel when I starve myself? That I boil with rage when someone offers help?

I wanted to tell her that I take pills I’m not prescribed, but I didn't want any legal problems. And that my head is never blank unless I drink to the point of seeing double. I wanted to tell her that deep down I don't really know who I am, and that I've been questioning the confines of my sexuality. I considered saying that I've cut myself before, and enjoyed watching the blood stream out of my skin.

But I was worried this was all too much. I should start with something simple and expected.

I sat there frozen, struggling to answer her question. Panic was building in my mind, concerned with what she now thought of me. I felt the tears starting to come. My throat and eyes burned as the heat in my face began to recklessly rise. Why am I here? What do I say? How do I explain my delayed response? I thought I wanted help, but this doesn't feel right.

After way too much thought, I picked up the notes that I'd brought with me and said, “Everything is okay."

Original Series

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