Monday, September 11, 2017
“My thoughts are racing; I can’t focus; I feel like I’m spinning out of control. I need help; I need someone to talk to and to help me figuring out what’s wrong with me. Lindsey suggested going to counseling here at college. Maybe I should, but I don’t know. What if my problems are too much for this place? What if they don’t help people like me because we should seek outside resources for such serious issues? Or maybe my problems aren’t even bad enough to seek counseling for. What if they don’t have time for me? What if someone else needs this counseling worse than I do?…”
Nicole’s mind spun with doubt and anxiety as she sat in the library on her college campus, trying to study. She had her backpack on the table and her books set out ready for homework. She picked up her phone, unlocked it, and went to her email. She started writing an email to the college Counseling Center, asking them if she can make an appointment through email. Martha responded back to her email. She’s the office coordinator in the Counseling Center. She responded telling her she can and asked what times she would be able to come in. Nicole emailed her back and told her the times.
A few minutes later, Martha gave her the appointment slot of Tuesday at 4 with Taylor. That’s a little more than twenty-four hours from then. It didn’t give her much time to prepare, but she didn’t think she will ever get to the point where she is fully prepared. She did a little bit of research on Taylor beforehand by finding his info on the College Directory. She learned what he looks like and that he is an intern/resident. Just knowing this eased a little bit of anxiety of the unknown.
……Fast forward to Tuesday at 3:45……
She started to prepare herself to go to the Counseling Center. She read online that it’s beneficial to get there a few minutes early to fill out paperwork and stuff. She walked towards the Student Life offices, and she opened the door to go to up the stairs. Her hands were shaking, her heart was pounding, she could barely breathe. Every ounce of her being told her to run and not turn back, but she knew this was something she must do in order to try to get better. She managed to climb the stairs and walked past some people in the hallway. That only made matters worse.
Somehow she made it all the way to the Counseling Center and saw Martha to figure out what she was supposed to do. Martha told her that she could sit in the waiting area. She then brought some paperwork over for Nicole to fill out about what’s been happening concerning her mental health. Nicole could barely write as her hands were shaking so badly, but she managed to sloppily write the information on the papers. She returned them to the desk and as she waited, she texted Lindsey who was providing emotional support.
Within a few minutes, Taylor came out to meet her in the waiting area and brought her back to his office where they would be talking. He began by asking how she is, and all that nice small talk involved with meeting someone. Then he asked her what has been going on and why she’s there seeking counseling. What she wanted to respond with was that she’s depressed and has anxiety and that she has been dealing with these demons for the past three years or more, but she thinks the anxiety has been present ever since she was little. But all she managed to respond with was,
“I’ve just felt really empty for a while now.”
Taylor saw that she was very nervous and asked her a few questions about her mental state and how it has been affecting her. He talked about how she seemed very anxious and very alone. He believed she has anxiety, which he most definitely was not wrong about. They talked about basic things with anxiety, like what it is and how it affects someone. He told her that she seemed to have very severe anxiety and suggested that she try going to his anxiety group the next day, Wednesday, at four. She agreed that she’d try to go to it.
He also suggested that because her anxiety was so high, she should consider medication so that the work they would do may be more effective. She was very hesitant at first because that would mean she would have to go to the health center and meet with more people and tell them what’s going on. She decided that she won’t make that decision until later. After the session, she went back to her room to lie down and process everything that happened.