Quite a few years ago, right after I graduated college, a great loss occurred in my family. My Uncle suddenly passed away and my Aunt soon became a single mother of three children. Since I had just graduated, I figured it would be an easy transition to move cross country and help care for my cousins. Although I studied and worked in mental health, I never could have imagined the impact this tragedy would have on everyone. At just 21, I was overwhelmed and lost in a situation that was bigger than I could fix and bigger than my “help” and “care” could alleviate. And the thought of seeking my own help seemed selfish.
Not knowing where to turn, I made a doctor’s appointment. I was expecting a reference to a counselor, maybe a reference to get my family help. Instead, I got a prescription. My doctor and I had a difference of opinion of how my stress needed to be solved. I was looking for something different. We all have differences of opinion in how we want our relationship to be with our doctor but it is an important relationship that we can choose. For me, I decided to throw away the prescription and call my Grandma. If only I had been lucky enough to have an EAP then.