And this is the second time in my life I am seeing one.
No jibber jabber now. This is my story. Hope it helps.
Let me just lay down some facts:
I saw one a long time ago back in 2017.
I was not and am not depressed. Not even close. In fact, I'm a highly-functioning adult in society.
I was just pissed off, like all the time.
Despite being a law-abiding citizen who has never gotten in trouble with the law, I knew something was very wrong with me. I spent so much time and energy ruminating over angry shit (mostly revenge fantasies.) Sometimes, I'd lose control and destroy random shit around the house.
I decided that enough was enough, and that I needed professional help. I had enough of reading self-help blogs, attempting to meditate, walking in nature and all that hippie shit that supposedly will cure whatever that ails your mind.
I'd say that I am doing a lot better today, especially in terms of being self-aware of who I am and my actions. I started seeing one again today, 2022 because like, why not? I have time and I think just seeing one every now and then would be a good refresher or reminder in getting better in one's journey in mental health.
My Biggest Fucking Problem
Is the difficulty in letting go.
It has always been hard for me to let go of the idea that whenever I was wronged/slighted/accused of something I didn't do/straight up bullied, I would never be able to find peace and be happy because I did not dish out revenge at them.
Or at the very least, get an apology.
A life of living in a conservative, competitive and judgey society that is Singapore took a toll on me. I had so much shit repressed inside of me that I felt unheard. I felt like I had no support. I felt judged all the time.
Like the two wolves fighting inside of me, there were so many conflicts:
Not feeling like a "real man" because I didn't get into a fight before. Staying out in trouble is great, but the supposed bravado from your peers who brag about (apparently) winning fights can get to you.
Embracing the idea of letting go for not all battles are worth fighting, but then getting upset with yourself for not tackling every piece of injustice out there.
Witnessing real, actual fights in front of you and realizing how dangerous and unnecessary violence is. Yet, when the anger eats you upside, you feel like killing somebody yourself.
Being a sensitive dude who actually empathizes with others' plight, but also afraid that you're deemed a sissy for being that way.
Finally standing up for myself, but then proceeding to feel bad and guilty about it after.
Hell man, I am writing on this blog to help others, but I am so fucked up myself?! Life is a trip.
Many were the days I woke up and instantly knew that it was going to be a horrible day.
So I decided to get help. I wanted to make that step.
Here's How You Go For Therapy
(The easier-said-than-done guide, but aren't they all?)
It is my hope that my experience and my writing can help instil some confidence in you
1) Decide once and for all that you want help
Captain Obvious? Yes, but hear me out.
The words "once and for fall" are extremely powerful if you take it seriously.
And then never let anything waive your decision.
Look at it as an equation. For an example of mine, one of my main equations this year is:
Things I need to do = Fulfilment, happiness and achieving my goals
I then looked at [Drinking and hanging out with my friends till late every week.]
It simply does not fit in the equation no matter how you look at it. And no, I don't entertain excuses like, "Why not take a break man? You deserve it." This'd only open Pandora's box of temptations.
The equation is purely math so do not allow human emotions or stories get in the way.
It has hence become a habit to say no to every invitation for drinking sessions.
What is your equation right now? What is it you want to add and subtract?
Look at it. Think hard. Decide once and for all and make the change you both need and want. It'll get easier from here on out.
2) Fuck what others think
I can hop on the bandwagon and ride the "don't care about what others think" parade, but I know it's easier said than done.
I guess you have to find it in you to make it a mantra until it's burnt in your mind:
Fuck what others think because they don't know you for who you truly are. They don't know your passions, your talents, your mistakes, your victories, your cool jokes and the times you made a difference in others' lives.
Fuck what others think because after you die, they're not joining you to your grave.
Fuck what others think because they simply don't care about you, so why care about people who don't care about you?
Fuck what others think your mental health is more important than any of them put together.
3)You can however, give a fuck about some the good people out there who actually care about you wanting to be better
In other words, find people who agree with, "Fuck what others think."
They do exist.
You just need to open up a little.
These are your real friends and they're waiting for you.
There's nothing wrong in wanting help and going for therapy. The people who matter will show up for sure.
4) You need to put in real effort to talk to the good ones
And then talk to them on a regular basis. You need to consistently recharge yourself, your energy and your desire to change.
Yes, this takes real effort and is not as easy as one may think.
There's just too much bullshit out there, especially from the mouths of annoying and toxic people.
Stop with the excuses. Stop saying shit like, "But he/she is an old friend", "I am sure they didn't mean it..." or "Maybe it's my fault."
Remember this: The friends who mean well don't always say the right things. And they don't know it that affects people like us deeply.
It is hence your duty to filter out the crap. You can't expect your friends to behave in a manner that is supportive of you all the time. You can't expect help to arrive automatically just because they're your friends.
So put in the effort to be around the right people. It will literally change your worldview.
5) Expect that the system to be flawed or seemingly against you
In wanting to go for therapy again this year I had to:
Get a referral from a general clinic.
Wait for the appointment to be made to see the psychiatrist (this is the one who diagnoses you and prescribes medicine.)
Wait for the psychiatric triage (basically someone who will evaluate you to understand you further) to call me on the phone to assess me. (I was not informed that this call would be charged. I have since disputed it and told them I am not paying for a damn phone call which sole purpose was for me to give them information.)
Wait for the appointment with the psychotherapist (this is the one you talk to in person and share all your problems.)
But oops! Due the long waiting time, the default follow-up appointment with the psychiatrist came first. I totally forgot about this because I didn't keep track. I went back thinking it was to see the psychotherapist. Imagine the confusion me and the psychiatrist both shared. She even asked me, "Have you seen the therapist?" I said no. She awkwardly replied, "Oh..."
I told her firmly there and then that I am not paying for this visit. She agreed and said that she will make sure of it.
The payment counter gave me a bill which still charged the session. I had to tell them otherwise. They didn't seem to know what the hell was going on.
They proceeded to keep sending me this bill by mail. I had to call in to dispute it.
I finally started seeing the psychotherapist once the appointment date came.
It took a grand total of over 5 months.
Long? Fuck yeah it was.
But I persevered.
I focused on the goal. I didn't want to waste time and energy fighting the system. It's not like I can change it myself.
In this daunting world that is mental health, you gotta handle your expectations and keep your eyes on the prize. Take one step at a time. Lay a brick every day. Be patient and move forward.
Don't bother fighting systems. You can't expect things to be perfect or go your way. Just do your best with what you have.
6) Pay for a private practice
The above scenario happened for me simply because I wanted to enjoy a subsidized rate by the government.
If you want to skip all this bullshit, I guess you can if you go to a private one or online one.
A private one in person would definitely mean a higher price. While I can't judge the effectiveness of it, I'd strongly encourage you to start investing in yourself if you want to be better. Look at your life and look at the needless bullshit you can stop spending on.
There are also online therapy services. Google it yourself. I tried one service once for a couple of weeks. I didn't like it, but that's just me.
Again, invest in yourself because it's a worth a shot; because your mental health is worth it.
7) Don't give up
Cause it will get better...
... yeah I've got nothing else.
The above guide is solely derived from my personal experience and should not be considered as a replacement for professional therapy.