“Why did you come to therapy?”

Last week, I went to a first appointment with a therapist. I’ve went to therapy a couple times in life, for a few sessions each time. Once when I was writing suicidal poetry in middle school and once after grad school when I had a job that covered two sessions for free. Just enough to make me feel super messed up and ugly cry in front of a stranger, but not enough to help.

But now, I’m 31, I have a real grown up job, and due to strange medical circumstances, have ended up hitting my deductible really early. So in an effort to maybe finally get my life together, I decided therapy was the ticket.

Choosing a therapist is hard – you basically just look at their website, make sure they seem okay, and go meet this stranger and decide if you make a connection. So I chose someone in-network, who had a decent website and, there I am. Walking up 3 flights of stairs to an office in a skinny tall brick building to share my life with a stranger. And then it all starts with this question: why did you come to therapy?

I had already formulated a list in my head in preparation. I’m almost 32, I’m a newlywed, I’m trying to have a baby (like really trying), I’m trying to lose weight, I have major anxiety, my best friend died 4 years ago and I never tried to cope, I’m trying to make and keep friends. I’m trying, and struggling, and living, and it feels like a mess all the time. It’s hilarious, and it’s sad, and it’s annoying, and we’re all just trying to make it work.

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