OPM declared it to be an optional telework day so I was able to work from home today. Mostly that consisted of serious thought about database design and table changes, the sort of thinking I could easily do while stretched out on the couch contemplating whatever database details that a man of my infinite powers need to contemplate.
I called my health insurance provider late in the morning to double-check on the deductible for my therapy visit and the representative assured me that I should only have to pay the $25 copay and not the $200-250 that I was quoted. If for some reason I was charged the full cost then I could call and speak to the appeals department to see about being reimbursed for the difference. I still held my breath to see what they’d say at the office, though.
I can’t remember if I mentioned how I went about find a therapist, but if I haven’t I might as well mention it now, and if I have then I won’t care about mentioning it a second time. I had been meaning to find a therapist for a year or two now, but for various reasons (unable to find one that I thought I’d be happy with, unable to find one that works with my insurance, not really feeling as though I needed one at that particular time, etc.) I kept putting it off, but in the last few weeks I saw someone ask on Reddit for therapist recommendations in DC and I figured that with it being a new year I might as well try another search. I also figured that I’d been on my medication for three years now, and that after being on my medication for this long I could probably use some additional help.
I did some searching on Psychology Today and found my psychologist, and because I do my homework I did some searching online to see what I could find about her. Turns out she used to work at LucasFilm(!) and for a while used to write an advice column on a sci-fi website for girls. Her profile picture on the site had her wearing a shirt with the Rebel Alliance logo from Star Wars, so that also helped me feel like she was someone I’d probably enjoy talking to.
I couldn’t make up my mind if I wanted to take Metro there (because of the crappy weather this afternoon) or drive (because otherwise I’d have to take Metro). I ended up deciding to drive and it was almost a bad decision – I parked my car two or three times before I finally found a parking spot that didn’t have some kind of restriction: rush hour parking restrictions, temporary no-parking zones for construction staging, you name it. I almost thought about just parking in one of those spots but knowing my luck I’d return to find my car had been towed. Eventually I found a spot at 13th and O NW which gave me just enough time to walk to the office at 17th and L NW.
My first session went well (and I was only charged the $25 copay, score!). It was about 45 minutes or so but this was mostly an introductory session to get to know me, get to know what I wanted to accomplish, start to build some background history, find out if I had any questions about therapy, stuff like that. I think I’ll get along well with her. Just from what we discussed in today’s meeting I’m learning how I really take it hard when I think someone has reason to be angry with me, and I don’t like to put myself into a position where people might have cause to be upset with me. That sounds strange (after all, who wants to have people upset with them?), but I guess I do things to avoid that possibility of people being upset with me even if it’s not in my own best interest. We also talked about my exercise regimen and how the breathing and mental exercises in yoga are great to help anxiety (I took this and only being charged the $25 copay as reasons to order a burrito yoga mat bag that I’ve had my eye on for a while to make it easier for me to take my stuff to my next yoga class) and talked about some breathing exercise apps to work on my breathing on my own as well. Another good mental exercise for practicing mindfulness is to concentrate on my feet (yes, my feet); just to start to think about how my feet feel under my desk, inside my shoe, inside their socks, and so on.
When we were wrapping up we started to discuss the next session when she said “oh, sorry, I don’t want to be presumptous” since I hadn’t yet said if I wanted to have future sessions with her or if I was comfortable working with her, but I was totally comfortable talking with her and said so, and made another appointment; appointments at first are weekly, mostly to build up some continuity, and then I guess they can taper off to biweekly or some other infrequent schedule. I don’t have any problem with weekly meetings, especially since I left that session feeling pretty good about it, about myself, and about what it may mean for me as sessions continue.
Watched the new Venture Bros. episode over dinner, then watched Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The film ended with some phrase like “The human adventure is just beginning” which, cheesily, is how I felt after my therapy session.