Something that should not go unsaid is how hard it was/is to find help when I really and absolutely needed it. It was even harder to find good help. When you look through the lens of BPD it gets a little more impossible. Story time...
So, you’re super fucking depressed. Like, praying for the apocalypse depressed. First, you have to come to the realization that maybe you should go see a therapist. Chances of this are lower if you’ve never been to one before, don't know anyone who has, and have no idea what you need. Then you have to decide that you will. Good luck pushing through the stigma and embarrassment. But hey, just lie to everyone. It was a meeting or a doctor's appointment. But why am I going to the doctor's office every week? Hmmmmm, so maybe use doctor once a month. Throw birthday outing for a friend in the rotation.
Next is searching for one but there are SO FUCKING MANY! So, maybe you realize you should use your insurance to narrow it down to those who will accept your carrier. Might take you a while to realize this if you’ve never gone through the process of searching via your insurance provider before. So, you have this list of faces and their locations and what they treat and their approach. You check out their websites. It's all marketing b.s. and it’s still so fucking many. Analysis by paralysis. Option overload. Too confused. Try again another time.
But, maybe you manage to call a location. They answer. You ask for an appointment. Their next availability is 2 and a half weeks from now. You consider punching the wall but don't want to lose your security deposit like the last place. You wonder if bare knuckling dry wall when you're upset could be considered self harm. Probably shouldn't tell the therapist this. You literally need help in the next 2 hours but you think you might be able to deal with a week. Shit’s not looking sunny at all but fuck it. There's no harm in setting the appointment, so you do. They want you to fill out these forms on the website prior to your appointment. It’s like 15 fucking forms. You can barely manage to feed yourself but are expected to fill out 20 forms that haven't been updated since the 80s and look like they're scans of scans of scans. Some of these questions are stupid or redundant. Some of this information is going to take significant research to acquire. More seemingly insurmountable hurdles.
Getting this far in the process has felt like being slowly dragged down a gravel and cobblestone road. You get to the appointment day, that has felt like an eternity. You aren’t feeling like the wet leaves blocking a sewer drain today so you actually managed to shower and put on clean clothes. This is the first time you’ve left the house in 3 days. You get called back to the office and take a seat. The therapist asks how are you doing and you consider punching them in the face for asking such a dumb ass question. They clearly didn’t read any of the 25 forms you filled out because they ask you ALL THE SAME SHIT AGAIN! 20 minutes of your 60 minute appointment are gone. They asks you more questions that you realize aren’t the things you feel like you want to say. 25 minutes have gone by. You realize you have 15 minutes left and you try to get in all the stuff you actually wanted to say. But you’ve run out of time now and you haven’t gotten to get any kind of feed back or help or advice. They want to schedule an appointment for next week and continue where you left off. You go to the front desk, schedule another appointment and pay your $30 copay. You walk to the car and drive home. You’re feeling worse than how you started that day. it takes 10 minutes to realize it’s because you feel like you paid $30 and nothing was accomplished. You feel like those wet sewer leaves now. Maybe you ought to just jerk the steering wheel. But you make it home because you’re a coward.
This could have went a lot of ways. You’re too tired and down to go through with the therapist search process. So, each level and task makes you drained and want to quit. So, maybe you do. Maybe you stop going to a certain therapist because they suck. Then you have to start all over again. It could take you months to actually set an appointment. Or maybe your therapist does one of the following:
- can’t stop telling stories about how he experienced and thus can relate to your troubles.
- assumes you’re dropping in on him without an appointment and so chastizes you even though you just set an appointment with the attendant and was just saying hello because he was passing through the lobby
- is a grad student, like you, and is obviously following a lame ass script he got from his textbook and is probably at the bottom of his class. He tries to conivince you that you have no problem because you’ve made it to grad school and have always done great academically. You pity the future clients lives he will probably ruin with his mediocrity.
- is a grad student in a sliding scale behavioral health center who just repeats the things you say, is not qualified to help your particular issues, starts to doze off, or has you teach her about the Carlisle Indian Industrial School
- tells you that your problems would be ameliorated if you got a job and suggest you should probably let go of this whole starting a school stuff
- tells you that suicide is selfish
- admits that she’s newish to the field, seems to not know much more than you about how to deal with this, seems to be charmed by you and asks for a hug at the end of your session.
- prints out old over photocopied forms for you as homework that you’re sure you could have found online by yourself.
You wouldn’t learn until later that the first appointment is considered an intake, where they find out a lot about your situation to inform how they’ll move forward. The first session might as well not be considered a session at all. You should’ve mentally added a week to the time they initially told you. The problem is you just might have to repeatedly go through this process up until the 2nd or 3rd session because you keep encountering insufferable and incompetent therapist. You think the therapist is going to help fix your mental health issues but apparently that’s not how this works. There is no fixing or eradicating what you have. Apparently this is a life long ordeal that you will carry on forever. That I have endured all this and am still alive suggests I might have some deep masochistic tendencies.