A few weeks ago, I reached out (through the computer) to some friends asking for recommendations for counselors, or just for ideas about how to go about finding someone who might be able to help me through my issues. My winter blues, pregnancy moods, grieving, stress or whatever else it is I’m going through at the moment.
I have to admit, it was freeing to write them. I felt better. Almost like I might not need a professional, after all. I’ve been trying to eat better. To move. Breathe. Write. Do something creative. All the things that I know should help. Everything except making a phone call. Because sometimes, the phone can just be too much for me. I really have to need to make that call to pick up the phone and dial those numbers. And even then, I can’t always bring myself to action. I have to build up to it. Make time for it. Finally, I take a deep breath and dial.
And I get rerouted to some stranger’s voice mail.
So I hung up. And I’m not sure that I’m going to be able to do it again. Because just hearing that stranger’s voice through a machine had me in tears. For absolutely no good reason, I’m quite aware. I understand why these counselors don’t post their email addresses, but man, I wish they would.
The same thing happened after M was born. It took several months and every ounce of courage I had to call my midwife’s office and ask about postpartum depression assistance, and the woman on the phone told me that they couldn’t help me. She gave me another number to call. And I never did. I never could.
I would think that people who work in a healthcare capacity, whether it’s with new moms or especially at a counseling organization, would understand how difficult just dialing the phone can be for some people. There must be some way to make it easier. Have me fill out an online form or something and call me back. Give me access to a scheduling software so I can make my appointment with a counselor just like I made M’s appointment to have his portraits done at the JC Penny’s. I promise, I’d show up. It’s the making of the appointment that’s the single biggest hurdle for me. Even when it’s not a matter of such great importance. I would think they’d understand.
I’ve been talking to friends and to James about things, how I feel, what’s going on, and it’s helping. The exercise and the creative stuff and the better food have all felt helpful. Sitting outside with a book while M played in the leaves this afternoon felt good. But there’s more there. And I’m still having a hard time. So I know I’m going to have to find another way through. I’m not sure what that will be.