Having your first appointment with a new therapist is a lot like going on a first date, with a couple of very important differences. I mean, you have to go through all the work of getting acquainted with someone, trying to teach someone else a lifetime's worth of your stories, your idiosyncracies, and the shorthand of how your thought life functions, all the while knowing that it will be two or three more "dates" before you have any idea whether this relationship will really work, and whether all this energy invested will have been worth it. Those all-important differences I mentioned make up for a lot, though; there is absolutely no sexual tension (unless you've got even bigger problems that need to be dealt with!), and it's not only okay but absolutely expected that you'll be totally self-absorbed.
Therapy can be dangerous, though, especially if your life really has sucked to a great extent. The more you tell the story, and watch even a professional counselor go "Oh, holy shit!" by the time you get to the fourth or fifth major death in the family, flood, bankruptcy, or car that died in the middle of the road and never moved again under its own power, you start thinking to yourself, "Wow, my life really HAS sucked!" And NOW you're REALLY depressed, not to mention the fact that an AWESOME pity party could well be in full swing any time. Another way that my life has sucked, however, is that I have rarely lived in one place long enough to get past this initial, "Ooooo! The awesomeness of your sufferings!" stage with somebody to reach the point where we could start being productive. Since I know for a fact that Michael's job is going to keep us here for at least another 6 to 8 months, I'm hoping for better things this time. My family and I need me to overcome the more paralysing effects of PTSD, and more importantly, the rest of the world really needs there to NOT be one more person enjoying her own morose celebration of self-pity!