Friday, August 5, 2016

Sixty Bucks

When I first started going to talk therapy for anxiety and depression I went every two weeks. My co-pay was $30.00 a visit.

I paid $30.00 out of pocket and the Health Care Plan company would reimburse the therapist what was considered a fair amount between the two parties.

I paid $60.00 a month to talk to someone about my anxiety.

I know $60.00 is not a lot of money to some people. I also know there are a ton of people in the world that $60.00 could probably feed them for an entire year. But in my world and in my head the $60.00 became and issue to me. It seemed like too much. 

I knew I was lucky enough with my income and benefits to be able to provide for my family and have my wife stay at home raising the kids. As all families do, we made sacrifices in order to be able to provide for the kids. I thought it was important for the kids to have a parent home during their younger years. We were kind of living week to week during this time. 

Sixty bucks a month is $720.00 a year. That money can buy a lot of diapers. It can buy birthday presents. It can buy Co-Pays for ER visits. It can pay to have an older car inspected and repaired on an annual basis. 

Talk therapy was good for me but I also knew  or at least I thought,  I could spend $15.00 a week at the bar with a buddy for an hour and accomplish the same thing I was doing with the therapist. My therapy sessions became more like complain session than anything else.  I could get twice the amount of the sessions and be able to drink beer at the same time for the same cost.  That was like a win-win. But it was still sixty bucks. 

The anxiety that surrounded the money I was spending on trying to fix my anxiety became somewhat of an issue for me. My wife would remind me at least once a week about our finances, what our budget was, what we were spending and of course what we were NOT saving. This became a sponge in the sink for me.

Every time I went to therapy I would break down the co-pay into where the money I was spending could actually go. I felt like I had to justify the payments, not only to myself but also to my wife. 

No matter what good was coming out of the therapist I could only focus on the cost. I kept asking myself what was I getting out of the sessions. I started finding excuses to not go. I would compare therapy to Chinese food; it was good for a little while but then a few hours later I was feeling like I needed more. 

So I stopped going to therapy.

I started to hang out at the bar more. 

I started drinking more. 

I started feeling like things were okay. 

I started spending more.

I think bars should offer a Co-pay program. 

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