Trying to find a therapist is a lot like dating but let me introduce a new variable – trying to find a therapist – or mental health services at all – as a 2SLGBTQIA+ person. It thins out the dating pool a little bit. But unlike online dating, where there are specialty apps for that, it is a bit more of an odyssey finding mental health services specifically catering to the 2SLGBTQIA+ population.
Butter just cost me $8. And I live in a major urban centre – I don’t even live in a rural or remote area of our vast country where I am sure that butter costs exorbitantly more. And you know what else just cost me more money? My medication, therapy (if I can even afford that at all), gas to get to the doctor to start with, pretty much every form of self-care – everything costs money, and everything costs more and more of it these days.
Navigating change and life transitions can bring fear, doubt, and anxiety. For young children, the addition of a new sibling or care person, entering daycare, school, or big changes such as parents divorcing or a move to a new place are a few that come to mind. As young adults, we leave home, begin new careers, start families, and enter and end relationships. As we age, we navigate new freedoms, such as retirement, and new challenges, such as declining health.
Work is such a big part of our lives. And stress is a part of life. But when workplace stress reaches beyond normal levels and becomes unhealthy, we need to do something about it. Actually, rather than just reacting to the crisis du jour, we need to think about actively protecting our mental health at work every day before crises develop.
I was resigning, in the truest sense of the word. I was conceding defeat without being checkmated. I had come to accept that something undesirable could no longer be avoided.
Choosing to go to therapy may feel scary and overwhelming. Some may even have the belief that a therapist tells you what to do to ‘solve’ your problem. Therapy over the years has been stigmatized, but as we become more aware of mental health, the stigma has lessened.
I’m going to go to a bit of a dark place, and I would invite you to follow me there because it is important. I have had (and the way bipolar disorder goes so cyclically, likely will have again) suicidal ideation, and I would like to tell you what it is like. I’ve never told anyone this before, but I would like to tell you this now because of suicide awareness day, which is commemorated each September 10 in honour of all those who have died by suicide and those living with suicide attempts or suicidal ideation and their loved ones.
Do you feel like you always have to be doing something? Do you find it difficult to let go of your to-do list and just relax? I needed to go through burnout to learn that there are drawbacks to being a ‘high achiever.’ The pursuit of excellence comes at a cost. Relentless busyness is not good for us.