I made a call to inquire what the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) might have to offer in terms of counseling.
The first time I called and worked my way through the automated selections, I ultimately ended up with a dial tone.
I called again and at the end of the selections a human did answer-a very nice woman named Beverly, who informed me she was the intake person to determine my needs.
"What sort of issues are you dealing with or need help with?"
I did my best to explain.
"How long were you married?"
"This month would have been 23 years."
"Oh, that's a long time."
Not long enough I thought, but didn't say anything.
"How exactly does the system work?" I inquired.
"Well it sounds like you need to work with a grief counselor so I would put your information out to all those counselors who are available to see who might like to work with you."
"How does the billing work?"
"You would be entitled to receive 6 sessions through your employer at no charge to you. If you decide you would like to continue after the 6 sessions, and if the counselor still feels like you need to be seen, then you would need to use whatever insurance plan you have, so long as we get an approval from your carrier to continue the sessions. Otherwise the cost would be yours to handle completely."
"Oh, I see. Thanks for the information. Let me give it some thought. I'll get back in touch with you if I decide to proceed. Thanks again."
"OK, let us know if we can be of service and please take good care of yourself."
I'm pretty sure that I won't be calling back but I can at least tell those who ask that I did make the call.
Thankfully, most will not ask a follow up question to see if I'm actually seeing someone.
I've read multiple books on bereavement, grief and mourning and TNTC web sites and blogs on the subject.
I'm still having huge swings emotionally but am seeing some decrease in the extremes.
I don't need the stress wondering if an available grief counselor would be willing to take up my case and/or if the allowed "free" 6 sessions would be sufficient.
My daughter sent me an essay she wrote last night.
It was an amazing display of her strength and resiliency.
I've read it multiple times.
It's probably more helpful than any professional counseling at this time.