The first time I went to see a therapist/counselor was three months after Southern Mom passed away. While dealing with the grief of losing my mom I was also dealing with the loss of relationships with certain members of my mom’s side of the family. I saw the therapist a few times, an older white woman, who was pleasant enough but not very helpful. After my third session, she and I mutually decided (I think she guided me to this stance more than anything) that I was dealing with my grief appropriately and I should contact her anytime I felt the need to come in. Needless to say, I have not seen her since.
About 10 months ago, I decided that I wanted to see a therapist. Not because anything was wrong, but because everything was going right. But the therapist had to meet certain criteria. She had to be black. She had to be a woman. And she had to be on my insurance. After doing some research, I found a consortium in the city and made a phone call. At the time, they did not have anyone available that was accepting new clients. So I waited a little over 5 weeks for them to call me and tell me they had someone available. Since then, I’ve seen her a few times and she’s been awesome. She’s had me open up about my familial relationships, dating, and other things that are going on with life. She makes me think outside of the box. She has me think about things a lot differently that I have in the past. And for that, I appreciate her.
Now some of you may think I’m crazy for stating that I wanted a black woman therapist, but I respectfully disagree. First, it’s my therapy, and if there is a particular person that I feel comfortable with, that’s going to be my request. Second, I knew that a black woman would understand certain things that I may encounter in life because we have race AND gender in common.
I haven’t seen her in sometime (we have an appointment tomorrow), and I almost cancelled my appointment. Not only because I have things to do, but because it’s hard to talk to someone about your most intimate thoughts. Even if you have a relationship with them. Even if you feel comfortable with them. It’s hard to honestly, really, and truly take care of yourself. Yes, we may travel, hang out with our friends and family, go out for cocktails, or read a book. But making sure that we are mentally fit is an important component of self-care.
This summer, I have pledged to live my best life, inclusive of having fun, taking breaks when needed, and talking to my therapist to work through stuff or just to say “Hey, girl!”
I kindly advise that you all do the same! Figure out what not only makes you happy but what you need to do in order to stay healthy. Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!
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