It happened one evening. The thing every wife dreads.
My husband came back from work and walked in looking unusually tense. “There is something we need to talk about,” he said.
My name is Anna, and my husband cheated on me three months ago.
When I found out, I just couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it was happening to me. That I was part of that statistic.
He told me it was that new girl from work. The one he was getting along so well with.
I never suspected a thing.
My entire life fell apart. It felt as if everything I knew was a lie.
At first, I didn’t know what to do. I called my mother and left the house to stay with her for a few nights while I sorted myself out.
I was catatonic.
I couldn’t work, couldn’t speak without shaking, couldn’t stop crying, couldn’t contain the horrible feeling of betrayal that took root inside of me.
I started having panic attacks for the first time in years, and it was all so awful.
As the days passed and more and more people in my life found out about the coming divorce, suggestions started coming in. Self-help books that I should read. TED talks that I should watch. And – of course – talking to a professional therapist.
I wasn’t against the idea. Not at all. I have had my share of anxiety in certain periods of my life. Before my marriage. There was nothing wrong with getting help, and I clearly needed it.
So I made some calls to get a therapist, and was told that the nearest available time was two months from now.
I couldn’t bear the idea of the next couple of months being the same as they were at that moment. Two months of constant anxiety and panic attacks were simply unacceptable. I couldn’t wait that long, but I also couldn’t afford a private one. My insurance wouldn’t cover it.
I felt cornered. It felt like I was being punished for not having enough resources. Like the system wasn’t there for those who needed it the most.
It just felt unfair.
Does this sound familiar to you, dear reader?
A friend of mine suggested: “what about online therapy?”
What about it indeed?
I had no experience with it, but she said it worked for her when she got depressed around the time the pandemic kicked in. That having a professional listening ear that gives feedback was getting her through the months of being trapped indoors, alone and having a hard time talking about her feelings with others.
I had nothing to lose, so I went for it.
I picked one, as there are several options. The setup was fairly straightforward and quick, and I was ready to receive the professional help I needed. And I did – sort of.
It was just too slow for me.
I would write to my therapist and get a reply a day later at best. He said he had many clients, so video calls were available very infrequently.
He was alright when I heard back from him, but I felt like I needed someone to be there for when I feel like I am starting to panic. Someone more responsive.
Receiving his replies hours later didn’t provide me with what I needed, so I stopped the service.
I tried a different platform. It was more expensive, but I figured it would be worth the extra cash if I could actually get the help I need. As it turned out, nearly the same story repeated itself. There were just too many others suffering for me to receive an answer quickly enough.
I began wondering if this is somehow my fault – if therapy is for people who can wait that long, and I simply wasn’t patient enough. If my panic attacks prevented me from receiving therapy…
It made me wonder if the divorce – his infidelity – was somehow my fault as well.
I was about to just quit it altogether, and stop trying.
If you ever felt similarly, please know…
A better, faster solution IS out there.
And I want to share it with you, just as I am sharing my story.
Because we deserve to be listened to, and we’re not to blame for our needs when we’re in pain.
It was when I was about to give up and was just scrolling on Facebook that an ad caught my eye: a psychotherapy app that promised: “the help you need, when you need it”.
Sure, I thought. What’s one more try. I still had nothing to lose, except my own sanity perhaps (which I was losing anyway).
And oh, let me tell you. I am so glad I gave it a try.
It was exactly what I needed.
Within fifteen minutes of clicking on the ad, I took a mental health survey, signed up, purchased a plan (which cost less than 2 cups of joe), and downloaded the app. Within half an hour of clicking on the ad, I was talking with my new therapist (Michael, if you are reading – thank you so much for everything).
Very early on, my therapist understood my situation. That my anxieties overtake me too often and that I am prone to panicking, and that when I do – I hate being left alone.
He didn’t promise to be there every minute of every day, but he did promise to be as available as he could.
During the day, the longest I ever had to wait for his reply was three hours and seventeen minutes. I counted.
Finally, I could start my therapy properly.
Did it work?
My therapist spent a great deal of time getting to know my problem. He first helped me cope with the fact that I was cheated on – that my trust in my ex-husband was violated – and as such, I felt violated too.
He taught me coping skills as simple as small acts that I could repeat throughout the day and exercises I could do whenever I felt like I was panicking. The app came with a personal roadmap that helped me track my progress too.
It was only when my anxiety became a bit more manageable that he began exploring the depths of what was causing it. He began asking about the history of my marriage, and pointed out something I have failed to notice – that my mental well-being has always depended on the state of my marriage.
It was as if being a wife was so deeply rooted in my identity, being cheated on shattered my idea of who I am. The world stopped making sense, and I stopped making sense to myself.
Once I understood how wrong that mentality was, I was able to start distancing myself from what my ex did to me. To our marriage. It wasn’t any less horrible, but it became something I can tackle from the outside rather than struggle with from the inside.
So yes, it did work. And I am so thankful for DoMental for that. I don’t believe I would have gotten the same service by continuing on the other platforms or waiting two months for in-person therapy.
So why is DoMental different? Here are my honest thoughts.
Three months ago, I wouldn’t have imagined I would be writing this to be publicly read. I always believed the voice of the suffering must be heard, but putting things into words can sometimes be its own kind of pain.
With DoMental, I am at a point where I am capable of doing just that – share my story.
What makes it so effective? Here’s my honest opinion.
✅Its therapy process is faster than other online platforms, as well as in-person therapy, by virtue of its therapists’ fast response time. You get help wherever you are, whenever you need it.
✅Its personalized road map helps you monitor your therapy progress, so you never feel stuck.
✅ It is cheaper than those other options, which for many of us can make or break whether we go down the path of therapy at all. It is slightly cheaper than a latte a day!
✅You can change your therapist for free if yours isn’t quite the match!
✅It fits your schedule and your needs, even if those may feel wrong to you in some way (let me stress this again: they are NOT wrong).