Jennifer’s Story: How BetterHelp Helped Me Become Solution-Oriented
Jennifer grew up with a challenging home life and had poor experiences with therapy when she was young. As an adult, she experienced difficulties with low self-esteem and relationship challenges with her husband, who lived with substance use disorder. Due to traumatic experiences with her husband, Jennifer developed PTSD and began to feel overwhelmed with grief, anxiety, and depression. Around this time, she discovered an advertisement for online therapy and decided to give it a try. Jennifer’s online therapist, Keri, offered her the help and support she truly deserved. Through online therapy, Jennifer was able to become more solution-oriented and let go of some of the anger she felt toward her husband. If you believe that, like Jennifer, you may benefit from online therapy, please know that help is always available.
Please note that Jennifer’s story (below) has been lightly edited for grammar and clarity.
Jennifer’s Previous Experience With Therapy
“Before signing up for BetterHelp, I grew up going to a number of counselors in-person, which left me with a very bad taste of counseling. I grew up in an abusive household* and my generally-considered-normal reactions to the neglect and abuse caused my guardians to put me in counseling against my will. I was diagnosed and medicated for a number of things that I did not have.
I never had a say in my counselors, and it was hard to get adults to believe me about what the real issues were, so I just stopped trying. I had sworn off counseling because of those experiences. Therefore, as an adult, I was very bitter that people who were trained to notice these things had missed everything that was going on with me in my home life.”
*If you or a loved one is experiencing abuse of any kind, please know that help is available. You can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline anytime at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
Jennifer’s Challenges As An Adult
“As an adult, I have leftover self-esteem issues from childhood, and I've never really felt I've thrived. However, the main reason I decided to seek help was because my husband, who I have been with for 11 years, became addicted to prescription pills in 2014 while I was pregnant with our son, which then progressed into heroin.
I found out about his addiction in 2015 when I found him overdosed, leaving me with PTSD. After a shaky recovery for a year, he had a very bad and devastating relapse that was ongoing. It derailed our lives and our once-beautiful relationship. In February of this year, he abruptly left me and our son with absolutely no warning, and we had no idea what was going on. He had left us with nothing, so I was forced to move from North Carolina to Kentucky to live with my mom, and the grief, anxiety, and depression were overwhelming. I was completely emotionally crippled.
At my lowest, I rationalized how my son would be better off without me and that my life was over because the love of my life was gone. My husband's addiction caused a series of events that snowballed. I was heartbroken, my anxiety was out of control, I couldn't find any support or even a tiny bit of relief, and I was overwhelmed by the prospect of being a single parent with no skills or job history.”
How Jennifer Discovered Online Therapy
“In the midst of this crisis, I came across an ad for BetterHelp and decided to give it a shot. I was drawn to BetterHelp because of the convenience. I'm coming from a situation where I've lost everything and don't even have transportation to see a counselor regularly in person. My situation was also so emotionally charged that I probably wouldn't have been able to speak the words out loud, to be honest.
When I first signed up for BetterHelp, I viewed myself as beyond help; I was a perpetually dysfunctional adult who was capable of nothing but failure. I failed everything I ever tried. I felt I was a terrible mother and too stupid to achieve any academic dreams. I was overwhelmed with anger at my husband, compounded by an inability to believe that he could recover or that he loved me. My anger caused a lot of issues in my marriage, and I could never manage to let it go.”
How Online Therapy Changed Jennifer’s Life
“Now, I view myself as a ‘recovering pessimist,’ and I feel a little more solution-oriented. My goals are more outlined, and I don't feel angry at my husband anymore.
My BetterHelp counselor, Keri, had me do something that sounded very simple—and if I'm honest, I'm a little ashamed to admit that I was very skeptical and thought the idea was kind of "hippity dippity." She had me write a letter to heroin, I believe, in order to separate my husband from his addiction. That task was the start of big changes for me. It was like my anger melted away, and it was anger I had been holding on to for years.
Keri helped me write positive affirmations with the intent of helping my self-esteem. While I'm not "cured" in that department yet, now I at least catch myself when I think unhelpful thoughts. I'm 29 years old, and that's a pretty big deal for me after nearly three decades of telling myself that I was worthless, stupid, ugly, etc. I was also extremely surprised that Keri helped do some of the legwork with finding resources in my area and explaining processes regarding getting into college for me. She helped me expand my mind spiritually and supplied a lot of helpful articles and podcasts that comforted me during intense bouts of grief. She was there for me when I had no one else.
My husband came back at the end of June—supposedly out of treatment. I was able to approach our relationship and his addiction differently, thanks to what Keri helped me learn. I was able to truly love him again and express that love in a supportive way. I was also able to talk to him about problems and issues without it devolving into a fight or a breakup, which was common for us.
My husband ultimately relapsed and left about a week ago, again, at the end of July. I'm devastated, but because of the counseling I've had, I at least know that I was able to truly express my love for him in a good, healthy way. He had commented on how much I've changed and grown and how great it was. I'm heartbroken, but I take some small comfort in the fact that I finally did things right with him and his addiction. I spent many nights scared he was going to die without knowing that I still loved him, and at least this time, if that does occur, I know that he knows.”
Online Therapy May Help You Overcome Mental Health Challenges
If you can relate to Jennifer’s challenges, please know that relief and improvement can be possible for you, too. If, like Jennifer, traditional in-person therapy hasn’t been a good fit for you or isn’t currently accessible, online therapy may be an excellent option. You can connect with a therapist from home or anywhere you have a stable internet connection. You may even be able to seek out a licensed mental health professional with experience in the types of challenges you’re currently living with.
As this study explains, online therapy can be as effective as in-office therapy for a wide variety of mental health disorders and concerns. A few of the disorders for which online therapy may be beneficial include depression, anxiety, and PTSD, among many others. If you feel that working with a therapist could improve your life, please don’t hesitate to get the help and support you deserve.
After unhelpful experiences with therapy as a young person, Jennifer was left with a negative opinion of mental health services. As an adult, she experienced issues with low self-esteem that stemmed from childhood, as well as challenges with her husband, who had substance use disorder. She eventually developed PTSD and had difficulty with anxiety, depression, and grief, which led her to click on an advertisement for online therapy. Keri, Jennifer’s online therapist, was able to help Jennifer in a variety of ways. She aided Jennifer in separating her husband from his mental health disorder, helped her find local resources, guided her in applying to colleges, and helped her write positive affirmations to work on her self-esteem. If you believe that online therapy could help you, please don’t be afraid to reach out.
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- Dealing With The Guilt Of Turning In My Abuser—Lisa
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