Looking Forward To Continue To Grow Into The Best Version Of Me Through Help From Betterhelp - Michael Vaughn
Updated May 17, 2019
Reviewer Wendy Boring-Bray, DBH, LPC
I'd like to preface this by saying that despite our differences and emotional disconnect, my parents always provided a roof over my head, a warm bed, clean clothes, and plenty of food, which I'll forever be grateful for.
Counseling has been a big part of my life. When I was in second grade, my parents made the choice to take me to see a psychiatrist. This choice was made due to the fact that, as a child, I was very hard to contain and to keep focused. After my first session of being asked a few questions and watched as I played with toys, it was decided that I had, at minimum, ADHD (attention deficit/ hyperactive disorder). In the beginning, I went through multiple psychiatrists for the first few years, trying multiple medications for my brain along the way. Medication was always a tricky thing because I was born with opiates in my system, which meant that I could easily get addicted to certain medications, so there always had to be a lot of care taken when figuring out what to give me for my mental disorder(s).
Finally, towards the end of elementary school, my parents and I found one specific psychiatrist who I ended up staying with all the way through high school, and for a little while afterward as well. This psychiatrist not only had to deal with figuring out how to handle my mental issues, but also had the task of being a family counselor. We would have in-person sessions once a month, with me and both of my parents, and every so often my brother. I can't even remember why, but from a very young age, not too long after getting adopted, my mother and I stopped getting along, and my father was always in the middle. This became the most prevalent topic of discussion in the family meetings.
In the beginning, I actually would say that the psychiatry was working. I never felt the medication made any difference in how I felt or thought, the one taken most being Strattera, however, my psychiatrist seemed pretty decent at coming up with solutions on how I could improve myself. Yet, the older I got, the more it started to feel like I had simply become a scape goat, someone that everyone could blame, and take their issues out on. My psychiatrist offered less and less solutions, and it got to a point where I constantly felt attacked, and soon came to firmly believe I was a horrible person who didn't deserve happiness and would never amount to anything. I know this result most likely was not intentional, but that's how my heart and mind reacted, the state of my body soon following. It got to the point where I just didn't want to go to the sessions anymore, because they were doing more damage than help for me at the time, with the emotional state I was in.
I once had an experience in college with actual therapy. This immediately seemed like the much better option for me, where I felt like someone was genuinely interested in me and my betterment. I had a very good experience with that counselor, and hope he's doing well and knows how much he helped me at the time. He started me on the process to self-healing, and accepting the fact that no, not everything in life is my fault, and that no, there wasn't anything wrong with wanting to be happy. However, the issue I had with this experience was that through college, you only get 8 sessions with a campus counselor. Once those sessions are up, if you still need help, you're sent away to a different counselor somewhere else. While I'm a person who's very caring and gets attached to many people in some way, when it comes to counselors, I get very attached to only a very few, so I made the decision to just stop going to my sessions, because what was the point if I couldn't keep going to someone I had already grown attached to and trusted. How many times would I end up being thrown to someone else?
Just over a month ago, I made the decision to subscribe to a YouTuber I'd known about for a while, but never looked into for the simple fact I usually only watched Let's Players for the longest time. Her name is Gabbie Hanna, from the GabbieShow, and she immediately had an effect on me. It wasn't long before I saw her video discussing BetterHelp, and since recently I've been at the lowest point of my life so far, I decided I needed to get back into therapy. I had to quit my job due to health issues that weren't being found out. I was isolated with one friend in a brand new city and state, unemployed, was hardly seeing my son at the time, and certainly wasn't able to support him the way I'd like to yet. I honestly felt stuck, like I'd come to an impassable obstacle in the road. I reached out to my father and told him about this new site called BetterHelp, which is a therapy service that allows you to message a therapist any time you feel the need to, and he agreed to help me pay for it and signed me up. I'm glad I did, because I'm at the point in my life where I need to and am ready to become all that I can be, to provide a life my son deserves, and to achieve my goals of helping my family and friends and doing some good for the world!
I was matched with a counselor named Jeana Alvarado, and I'm not sure if I just got the luck of the draw, but she quickly made signing up, at this point, one of the best decisions I've made, and has been so much help in just the first month I've been utilizing this online therapy service. So far, I've been discussing my issues with self-hate, lack of motivation, and crazy anxiety issues that prevent me from moving forward in many situations throughout my life.
Before I started this therapy, I had an extremely negative self-image. I didn't think I deserved to be happy, and thought I was nothing but a problem to myself, and everyone around me, and that I'd die a disappointment full of regret in some gutter somewhere, someday. However, my counselor has been challenging my negative mindset in a way that's been doing wonders for me and coming up with solutions for any issue I bring her way. She's provided me with amazing meditation methods, worksheets that promote a positive self-image, and always seems to understand what I'm trying to say, even when I don't.
Now, after just one month, I notice I'm much more positive and goal oriented. I finally feel heard and cared for. I finally care about myself and know that I can achieve any and all of my goals. By all means, I'm still a work in progress, and the path ahead is arduous, but now I know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and the only way I'm going to get to it is by continuing to move forward. I've been applying for jobs every single day, and I've been writing poetry and stories again like I used to. I've been taking better care of my health and look forward to continuing to grow into the best version of me I can, with the continued help of my therapist through BetterHelp. I'm now at a point where, even once I'm "fixed", I believe I'll continue therapy throughout my life.