I was hesitant about counseling but I believed it saved my life. I grew up without any experience with counseling or therapy. In fact, the word ‘mental health’ was kind of a taboo topic in our household and with everyone around me. I wasn’t exposed to mental health topics or things like anxiety, depression, self-care, etc. So as you can imagine, I felt lost most of the time. Because I didn’t know a whole lot about these concepts, I often felt crazy, alone, damaged, and the list could go on.
I first started learning about what mental health was and the importance of it when I entered high school. We still didn’t have the proper education to teach us but these once foreign words were starting to become more familiar. I began my journey into higher education at a local community college mainly to save money but also because I graduated a year early from high school. I wasn’t quite ready to jump into a university setting at the time. This is when my life started spiraling.
Starting Community College, I was already very nervous
I spent the entire summer prepping for this new chapter. That is usually pretty normal for a first time college student; however, I began to obsess over it. I would play the “what if” scenarios in my head over and over with questions such as ‘what if I sit in the wrong class’, ‘what if everyone hates me’, ‘what if I get called on and don’t know the answer’. This list was miles and miles long in my head. It was like a tornado that took off and wouldn’t dissipate.
School eventually started and I ended up doing the one thing I was the most scared of; I sat in on the wrong class. The professor did roll call for the first day and my heart stopped when he got down to the last student’s name and my name had not been called yet. I got up so quickly and beelined for the door. I remember my heart racing and I was terrified. I finally found the class where I belonged and things were okay after that. However, two years went by and I would have so much anxiety going to class that I ended up doing all online classes my last semester. At this point in time, I isolated myself from everyone and school. My days went: wake up, go to school, come home, and that was it.
I vividly remember having to go to school for a final and it took me an hour to get the
courage to go inside. I had a panic attack before going in. All the negative thoughts swirling in my head and nervousness about the actual test, I just lost it. After coming out of it, I finally mustered the courage to go inside. I was so scared I was going to sit in the wrong class, the judgment from my peers, and that I wouldn’t know anything on the test. I finished that test so fast and got out of there. I slept for hours after due to my body just being exhausted.
Starting my first semester at a big University
Things started off just fine but as time went on, my little tornado just kept getting bigger. It would get to the point where I couldn’t be alone. Which meant my friends were starting to get burnt out with having to constantly be with me. I couldn’t walk to the dinning hall by myself and forget eating by myself, that was never happening. I was constantly asking everyone if they were mad at me, hated me, didn’t want to be friends with me, etc.
I had family things going on, I joined a sorority, I took 18 credits of classes, and I was losing control very quickly. That is when one night I broke down and one of my friends suggested going to counseling. This was still a foreign concept for me but I was willing to try anything. I called the next day and made an appointment. I was so nervous about going that I almost didn’t go but I did.
The first counseling session was more just getting to know who I was and not so much diving deep into what was going on but I walked out feeling a little more stable. This was the one thing I looked forward to each week. After each session, I could feel myself understanding more about what was going on. I was able to connect dots, gain a new perspective, and honestly love myself again. I wasn’t damaged, messed up, or alone. I was just a kid who had a lot of stuff on her plate and just needed someone to talk to.
Counseling saved me
I strongly believe that the path I was on wasn’t going to end up good for me or anyone around me. That tornado inside me finally went away, and I felt stronger than I have ever felt before. I just had to take a step back and slow down. I still struggle with anxiety to this day and I don’t think it will ever go away but I have the tools to handle it better now. I will forever be grateful to my therapist who saved me from my out of control tornado.
I am now the biggest advocate for mental health. Nobody is perfect and we all have mental health struggles. It is important to accept we have these struggles and seek the help we
need to find that balance again. I learned it is okay to struggle and that I am not damaged just because I have anxiety. If you are feeling lost or like things are out of control, don’t wait. There are so many resources out there to help you. There is nothing to lose in trying it out but I am telling you that it saved my life and I am so glad I took that jump into counseling.
How We Can Help
We are enrolling for our mental health starter kit group that starts this fall
For adults who are hesitant about counseling but want to learn some basic skills, make changes in your life, and understand what therapy is about.
If you are looking for general support, or if you would like to talk to someone more about how we can help you, follow these simple steps:
Contact us today for a free 20-minute phone consultation
Begin your journey towards a calmer, more relaxed life
Other Therapy Services Available at Catalyss Counseling:
Here at Catalyss Counseling, we want to meet all of your counseling needs in the Denver area. Our supportive therapists provide depression counseling, therapy for caregiver stress, grief and loss therapy, stress management counseling and more. We also have specialists in trauma and PTSD, women's issues, pregnancy and postpartum depression or anxiety, pregnancy loss and miscarriage, and birth trauma. For therapists, we can also provide clinical supervision! We look forward to connecting with you to help support your journey today.
Lexi Rupp is the Marketing Coordinator at Catalyss Counseling. She coordinates all our social media channels as well as other marketing duties. She has a strong passion for mental health because she believes counseling saved her during a hard time in her life. She knows the value of therapy/counseling and hopes to educate others on the importance as well! Follow Catalyss Counseling on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.