The Struggle: Finding Therapists

Disclaimer: I am partnering with BetterHelp, the world’s largest e-counseling platform – helping people with finding therapists where they are needed – to share information about their services in this blog post. All opinions are 100% my own. (TW: Suicide / Mental Health)

If you follow me on my more personal blog, you might remember how 2019 is my year of courage. This one is really playing out as I eluded to when I told you that I was having some physical struggles back in June.  In that post, I also shared that there was a mental/emotional side to it, too. Boy, at that time I had no clue how much more was coming my way, but I’m happy to say that the tides that were rising are starting to recede and I’m working on getting the help I need.

WAIT, WHAT?

Needing help? That’s not what a strong person does, is it? To be honest, admitting help is needed is exactly what I didn’t want to do. It made me feel so weak and vulnerable, but this summer it became so clear that getting help was what was necessary.

So yes, you heard me right. I’ve been hiding that all is okay and it’s not really okay around here but I am working on that, we are working on that to be fair (it’s not just my battle).

Those of you close to me know that on June 7, 2019, my 17-year-old cousin Emily died by suicide. Emily’s struggle is not something unfamiliar to our family – my side and Greg’s – or to me. She was struggling with mental health, something I did not realize was so hard to get help for. Even though I majored in Psychology as an undergrad, I had no clue that there weren’t enough people in the profession able to fill all of the needs…until I found myself desperately needing it.

Getting Help/Finding a Therapist

Later in June, the need for a therapist for myself and Greg went from a “this is something we should do because we know it is good” to a must do (unrelated to losing Emily, but all still so raw and real).

My world crashed greater than I thought it could (please respect that I’m going to keep details private for now – it is not for secrecy but for healing). With what I feel is really good insurance (and an out of pocket max met thanks to my health issues), we tried for ten weeks to get a counselor and finally last week were able to make it happen.

TEN weeks. Ten weeks is a lifetime when you feel like you’re walking on eggshells, when you feel alone and ugly, when you feel desperate for the pain to just go away. This part of my story is that ten week is far too freaking long for someone to get licensed help and it is no surprise to me that our mental health issues are climbing, suicide is far too familiar, and the divorce rate is so high.

But ten weeks is what it took us to find a therapist and even then actually going to my first appointment took all I had. This shakes me and breaks me and makes me so sad for my young cousin (who I know was trying to get help), her family, our extended family, myself, and our world as a whole. Mental health help should not be so hard to come by!

Is there Better Help Out There?

So that brings me to BetterHelp, the partner for this post. Goodness, I wish that I’d heard about them sooner in my journey to find a therapist. They can help by offering a list of potential matching therapists based on your location, need, and preferences. Even more awesome, they are avaiable for in-person or online visits, taking down one of the huge barriers that I was facing in getting help.

Note: At the time of this post, my therapist is not one suggested by their service; however, because therapy needs to work for you in a way that is convenient and helpful, I will be using them should my needs or comfort with my counselor changes. 

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BetterHealth can help you find a therapist based on your location, need, and preferences. They are avaiable for in-person or online visits, taking down one of the huge barriers that I was facing in getting help. Find out more by visiting their therapist search site, https://www.betterhelp.com/therapists/

Is therapy right for you? 

One of the rewarding aspects of working with a therapist is that they are listening to your feelings. Our friends and loved ones often hear us, but they may have a hard time providing objective guidance in the way a therapist can. A therapist wants to support you toward a healthier emotional state. In addition to developing healthier emotions, another benefit of therapy is you have a safe space to discuss problems that you may be hesitant to talk about with people in your everyday life.Source: BetterHealth

Crisis Resources

  • If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call 911 immediately.
  • If you are in crisis or are experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255)
  • If you’re uncomfortable talking on the phone, you can also text NAMI to 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line.

Unconditional

This morning, I had a gut check with Greg about us. He has no idea that is what it was, but it confirmed his unconditional love and acceptance of me.

We’ve been hearing about Me to We, ways to strengthen our marriages as to honor God, at church. Every week, a new focus and lesson finds us pulling closer together. Maybe that’s why this moment this morning worked like it did.

I needed to talk right that moment because something was bothering me in between pangs of pain from a toothache. This something could turn quickly into big thing that really could have an impact on our family (in a way I do not want) and if I didn’t talk to someone it was going to end in an anxiety attack. Thank goodness I was working from home. The problem for most people is that my husband was not really available in a place many would dare venture, but I barged in and sat on the side of the tub and let my tears and fears flow.

He put down the phone and listened, unconditionally. Easing my fears, making me feel worthy of his attention, his eyes connected with mine. He didn’t offer his tips for resolution any further than giving me a sense of sanity in my situation.

In that moment, Greg filled my cup and made me remember why I fell in love with and married him, why I’ll be staying with him forever. His love for me and my imperfections is unconditional.

While we may not always see eye to eye // don’t fit society’s typical marriage dynamic // cheered against in each other in a basketball game this afternoon // are not built the same // aren’t wired the same … we are just right for each other.

In a world where women are making a real difference and vying to be equal, I want to encourage you that finding a oneness with your life partner is also important to this balance, too. My mother-in-law shared how a bird’s wings (man and woman) must be equal to soar – and it’s so true, thus why I work to be the best part of our pair of wings that I can be.

Me & Greg – soaring as one at the Aviary’s Condor Court

Interested in a study on relationships? We highly recommend “Relatable” (affiliate links help us and our nest!).

I Didn’t Marry You

Any married couple will tell you, it’s not easy. When Greg and I got married, my dad included something along those lines in his sermon. He also talked about finding the love you have for each other to get you through those uneasy times. Watching he and my mom throughout 33 years of marriage, I know he knows what he’s talking about.

After six years together, Greg and I have come to the conclusion that we didn’t marry the person we are today. That’s not easy. It’s even less easy to actually type out and admit. But what it is? Reality. Marriage isn’t always bouquets and bubbles like your wedding day. It’s about work and loving the person your partner (and you) become as you grow old together.

Back when Greg and I got married, we were still young. Neither of us was ready to be a parent financially or emotionally, but we did it. Greg even more than me. We were in our mid-20’s, still trying to figure out what it was we wanted to do with our careers (frankly, we still don’t really know). I got pregnant at 24 and Greg quickly fell in love with our daughter. Instantly, we went from two single people to a family. Honestly. We only dated for two months before he asked me to marry him and changed his whole life to move to Pennsylvania with us. I was working as a contractor (and got hired at my current employer the same day we got engaged). He was a part-time security guard. Neither of us had savings or credit to our name.

Today, at 32 and 31, we are both very different people than we were at 26 and 25. I’m crazy driven (always have been), and Greg takes the slower pace of life (often stopping to “play in the grass” as Thirty-One’s CEO Cindy Monroe says of her husband, Scott). I work long hours while he raises the babies. He didn’t know about my German/Scotch/Irish temper, and I seemed to block out his inability to get out the door in a timely matter. We have two car payments, a mortgage that would make ramen-noodle eating pregnant me of 2008 throw up, four kids, and two crazy dogs. We are not the same “Greg and Becky” that we were on July 11, 2009, but we still have one important thing – each other.

No, I didn’t marry the Greg that Greg is today and he didn’t marry the Becky that I am today. We both married an idea of what our futures could become. Some of our hopes and dreams about life and marriage have come true over and over while other things make us question what were we thinking. In the end, it’s all about leaning on each other, learning about each other, and getting to know how to love someone over and over again.

Greg, I’m glad that I didn’t marry you because it’s been an amazing journey learning to love you in new (joyous and challenging) ways every single day for the last 6 years and four months. I love you.

I found me a good mister...even when we are snippy lol

Five Years Us

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Today, we celebrate 5 years of…

Sharing a last name.

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Parenting a precious ‘lil girl together.

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Fighting over Duke and Clemson.

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Being extremely silly with our kiddos.

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Falling asleep while the other one is getting some screen time.

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Traveling.

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Becoming better versions of ourselves.

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Caring for each other in sickness and in health.

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And being the Mrs. & Mr. that will love each other forver, like each other for always.

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Happy 5th Anniversary, Greg!

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All In

Disclaimer: I won a fellow blogger’s giveaway and got to meet Robert Armstrong for a photo shoot. The images below were presented to us as our winnings. Although his services were free of charge, I wanted to share his talents and recommend you check him out. We loved how Robert connected with our kiddos. He is a wedding photographer, but also captures special moments. Feel free to check him out at robertarmstrongphoto.com. Thank you, Robert, for the beautiful photos!

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This past weekend, the ‘lil Burghers headed to Cortland, New York for a wedding (more to come on that). One of the most tear jerking moments of the day was when our friend Ash gave a toast and noted that when She spoke with Olivia (a bride/good friend) about the concept of pre-nups, she didn’t believe in them. She, like Greg, believes that when you find the one, they aren’t needed…

…because when you go, you go all in.

I happen to know someone else who believes in that.

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Someone who five years ago was packing up his life to give all his chips to a bet on a girl from Pittsburgh.

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And her sweet ‘lil girl.

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So that they could start a fresh life. all in.

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For better, for worse.

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For richer, for poorer.

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In sickness…yes, even the man cold. In health.

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He was all in, and he taught me that was the most important thing. What resulted was our happily ever after.

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Celebrating

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Five years ago tonight, Greg let me know how he felt about me. I was (quite literally) floored.

I am so glad he took a chance on me. Within 6 months, we were married and embarking on a life in PA. These big changes were good things for both of us, and most of all, our ‘lil girl (who was already madly in love with him way before I knew he had feelings for her Mama).

This day is for celebrating!

The photo above is from our tame NYE celebration at Bluegreen. 

Wanna Grow Old With You

We just got home from an entertaining night with my parents and Aunt and Uncle at Grandma’s. Most of the evening was spent as such: Dad, Uncle, and the kids enjoyed the “playground” until their ears were too cold to stand it anymore (hello, fall!). Mom, Aunt, Greg, Grandma, and I shared stories about my family’s growing up.

The stories were a hodge podge of everything. We talked about getting back on a boat, lighting a couch on fire, and finding a skull in the woods. There were recollections of weighing 119 pounds (hint, that was not me, maybe in 4th grade?), almost falling into a fire (me), and ditching the family camping trip to the Finger Lakes to hit up Pymatuming “because the boys there were hot” (Mom and Aunt). We talked about some of the crazy things that happened to us at churches, visits at all of our various houses (Aunt/Uncle are Army, we are Pastor’s Family, so lots of moving), and survival camp (Richie, you must share your side of this).

The evening was fun, and I think it bonded us all a bit more. Greg, I wanna grow old with you and be able to share these fun family stories with our kids and their kids some day. What do you say?

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Tubing (Our Camping Experience)

There are several places you can go tubing when camping at Cook Forest State Park. We didn’t really plan ahead, and ended up checking out three places before we actually hit the river.

Take our word for it, make yourself a reservation if you’re skeptical. Or, figure out a way to take your own tubes and get dropped off and picked up. Our first choice would probably be the best place, but we opted out due to long lines and our own impatience. 😉

We ended up renting tubes from Pine Crest, but it’s not one of their main attractions. It ended up being the best choice for us because the whole day led to some fun(ny) experiences that we would not have gotten from any other place in the Forest.

Like the discovery of the tubes back behind a shed, and learning that the woman running the desk worked with me at Pizza Hut when I worked there in college. Or the van ride there (and back). I mean, how could you not enjoy this?

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I joke, a ‘lil.

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We set out in our tubes, only thing really missing on them was a cupholder or a way to secure our cooler (thanks to Tom for taking care of it for us).

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The river was beautiful, but a bit shallow. We took our time (maybe too much–we were over an hour late for our pickup, but “no watch!”) and enjoyed the views, some laughs (like making sure the trail mix was saved over all else), and jumped off a rock. (Ok, one of us jumped off a rock, bet you can’t guess who.)

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As if our first post about tubing wasn’t enough to convince you to let things go and enjoy a day on the river, hopefully this one will.