I recently caught up with an old friend from graduate school over a cup of oatmeal cookie frozen yogurt. (Bet you weren't expecting that, were you?) We've lived in the same town and have worked within blocks of each other for more than a year now.
He said he wanted to hear about my "glam" life, all of my exciting world travels with my good-looking beau.
I rattled off all the good stuff. I'd been to Italy, visited his hometown of San Francisco and had plans to venture to Denver and Chicago. And I told him about my job, how much I love it.
It all sounded great. It all is great. But for some reason, at the end of it all, him nodding across the table from me, I blurted: "I started therapy last week, so that's exciting, too."
I'm not sure why I felt the need to throw that in. I didn't want a pat on the back. Nor did I want, "Aw, are you OK?" I mean, I feel like I'm the last person to jump on this therapy bandwagon.
But I didn't want to tell him only the Instagrammable parts of my life.
So, as promised in my initial blog post, I'm opening up. I went to my first therapy session last week.
I'm not going to lie: I was so nervous walking into the waiting room. I'd filled out the paperwork feeling like I didn't deserve therapy. I'd hardly checked any of the symptom boxes. Financial issues? No. Drinking problem? No. Abuse? No. Panic attacks? Not quite.
Just a classic case of diagnosed anxiety disorder. And who doesn't have that?
Did I even need to be there?
I did, the nice therapist assured me of that when I told her I felt like my worries are about as big as an inchworm compared to what's going on in the rest of this world. They're your problems, she told me, and that means something; don't minimize them.
At the end of the 45 minutes, I'd told her way more than I'd anticipated. My voice had quivered throughout, and tears welled behind my eyelids.
But I left her office feeling already relieved.
I'm going back again this week, and I'm looking forward to it. There are less nerves this time, and despite feeling like I spilled all the beans last week, I have more I'd like to talk about.
When I told my friend, the one I was eating frozen yogurt with, about the recent leap, he responded: "No way." He had a huge grin across his face and proceeded to tell me how he finally decided to make his first appointment. It's this week, and he's excited. I'm excited for him.
Then, he thanked me for being honest, and for not making my life look like complete perfection.
Now, I'm thanking him for giving me the courage to share this life update with the internet.