Infertility Part 11: Counselling

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On May 2, I went home and suddenly finally summoned the courage and energy to book counselling.

Thankfully, I have access to some free short term counselling through work, and I am incredibly grateful that I didn’t have to put out any funds for this, or else I may have looked at that as another obstacle. I had already held onto the phone number for weeks before finally getting to this point. I would like to think that I was mostly being forgetful, but I am sure there was some subconscious mental block as well. If there had been a cost to it, who knows if I would have gotten around to it.

It was super easy to book, very painless. The only downside was that I was informed the counselling would be over the phone which I was not sure would be extremely helpful for the way that I prefer to communicate and express myself.

I was saddened at the lack of options, but grateful that at least I would be speaking to someone who specializes in infertility and the feelings I may be going through. I felt really nervous about the first call, which was two weeks after booking it. I think it’s just that….I didn’t know what to expect.

How does one find a good counsellor? How does one find someone who communicates to you the way in which you prefer to be communicated? I’m afraid of finding someone who is “Woo-woo” or too empathetic and not challenging enough. I need someone who challenges me directly in order to force growth upon me.

When I was thinking about this, I tried to be mindful that no matter who I get….if it doesn’t go well the first time, I can try other people and other clinics. That sounds extremely exhausting, but at least I knew it was an option. The other thing I tried to remind myself of, is that no matter what happens from here on, I can’t believe how proud I feel for making this step. I feel lighter already just having made the appointment. That’s a bit weird, but I am finding it a fascinating feeling to observe.

After the appointment, I felt much better, though still had to do a lot of work on my own for months afterwards, and was given some specific tools to use to help correct my intrusive, worrisome, unhelpful thoughts. I am not going to go into detail, but I definitely made more appointments and ended up being really glad that they were phone appointments because it actually made the process much more accessible. I was able to make appointments during my work day without too much interruption and hassle. It made me feel happier, lighter, and more capable of dealing with my emotions.

I really enjoyed the experience of having someone so knowledgable just listen to the words I was saying and highlight certain things for me that I may not have realized. I learned that keeping myself at anything below a “5” (on a scale of 1-10) is a good thing in terms of how much my negative emotions are affecting my body and mind. Feeling the emotions can be a good thing, and I really shouldn’t be trying to be free of the feelings entirely. I knew this, but I do have a hard time remembering this in the moment. I also need to try and treat myself as a 3rd person view. For instance, How would I treat someone else dealing with this and what I would I say to them?

If you find yourself thinking about whether or not counselling could help you in whatever you are dealing with, I encourage you to look into and and make the leap to go ahead and try it. Hopefully you’ll be lucky enough to be in a job that has some workplace benefits for things like this, but if you don’t, and you live in BC, you can call the Mental Health Support Line at 310-6789. They’ll be happy to try and guide you to some resources that are free or low cost. If you don’t live in BC, I am sure your local area has something similar and I would encourage you to search for it or visit your local library or community centre who may have some pamphlets or know how to guide you towards it.

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