T.A. Barnhart

carpe bucko

on my own

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I am hoping that this year I get the mental health treatment I need. Last year, I got the treatment the clinic wanted to give me, and it was like giving heart medicine to someone with a liver ailment.

And they fucked up the billing, too, so thanks.

I know a lot more about myself than I did a year ago, mostly because I stumbled my way through what was an awful year, hit rock bottom, and had a few good moments of clarity. The realization that shame is probably at the root of my mental health issues was the second-most important thing I learned last year. (I stumbled upon this; I hadn’t even seen Bradshaw’s book or seen the Brené Brown TED talk.)

The most important thing I learned last year? I am sick of being the person that I had become.

(And given the nature of depression, I’ll add this: I was sick of that person, but not to the point of ending that person. I wanted to change him, to become someone I actually liked.)

So now that I have a bad therapy experience to inform my choice, as well as another year of self-understanding, I understand better what I need in terms of professional help. I’m not going to just go wherever they send me and accept whatever therapist they decide is best for me. I’m going to get the help I know I need.

They call me a client? Fine. They have to earn my business.

My brain is a mess. Fifty-some years of depression and anxiety will do that to a brain. I’m fortunate to have insight into myself at the level I do, but it’s far from good enough. It’s one thing to realize the role of shame in my life; it’s far from having any freaking idea what to do about it. Hell, until a few months ago, I had not even considered the role of anxiety in my life, but as John Moe said on his wonderful podcast, The Hilarious World of Depression:

Depression and anxiety are the Hall & Oates of mental illness.

Oh jesus, kill me now.

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T.A. Barnhart