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Frugal Living Topic: Therapy???

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I certainly don’t read every single frugal living/paying off debt blog in the world. But I browse a good handful! And one thing I’ve never seen anyone talk about is therapy. Because it costs a lot, right? And it’s kinda taboo to talk about?

I had to deal with a big emergency with my Dad in the middle of last week. Without going into details, it was insanely stressful. I started thinking about the most stressful events I’ve personally experienced in my own life. This is probably a good Top 5 list:

Ashley’s Top 5 Most Stressful Life Events

5. Moving cross-country the second time/tied with planning an out-of-state wedding

4. Moving cross-country the first time

3. First year of twins’ life (living in a state without any family support; trying to complete my Ph.D. during this time because I had the twins the summer before my last year of grad school)

2. Emergency c-section of twins after developing HELLP syndrome.

1. Current Dad health situation

So, yeah. Dad’s health issues definitely secure the place of #1 most stressful thing I’ve ever dealt with (I realize this is small potatoes compared to what many others deal with. I’m just talking about me and my situation, not making any judgments about anyone else).

Anywayyyyyyy….. I ended up spending nearly 6 hours on the phone on Wednesday after this emergency situation occurred. I had to speak to a hospital, a social worker, my brother, my sister, my uncle, my dad, the social worker again, and on and on and on. Six hours is seriously not an exaggeration. And that was just on a single day. The calls continued throughout the rest of the week (and into this week).

So my Dad’s last test was expedited and occurred on Monday.  And guess where I am today? Flying back to Utah. My Dad’s follow-up with the specialist is tomorrow. My sister and brother are coming, too. It’s a whole family affair. Diagnosis Day. After tomorrow, Dad will be able to apply for disability, he’ll need to permanently relocate, we’ll start trying to sell off his things, take over managing his finances, and on and on. Lots to be done.

And over the weekend I was struggling. Like, hard.

I’m really a very level-headed person, but the stress has been eating away at me. I’m now working a full-time job PLUS a part-time job, I’m spending HOURS a day with issues related to my father’s health, not to mention normal life stuff (which was busy enough before any of this ever happened). It was just all too much!

I had a good cry and let it out. Felt much better afterward. You all know I’ve been hit pretty hard with this process already, but this was my first real cry and it felt like a bit of a release. Cathartic.

And it made me think…..maybe I should look into therapy???

To be perfectly clear, I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with therapy.  That being said, I’ve never actually seen a therapist in my life. It feels a little foreign. I’ve always just talked over my problems and/or feelings with my friends, family, or hubs. But this feels different. No one I personally know can relate. No one knows what to say. And I just feel like its burdensome to continue bringing it up in conversations.

Enter:  health insurance!

Before starting my new job our health insurance didn’t cover any type of mental health care. My new insurance has a deductible, of course, but covers the majority of the cost of speaking with a professional.

In all honesty, right now I feel like I’m too busy to even take the time to talk to someone. I’m already struggling to keep up with my responsibilities.

But once Dad gets moved to a new permanent residence, the semester begins, and things settle into a bit of a routine…I’m thinking I might see a therapist a few times. Not an ongoing forever type of thing. But I feel like I need someone to talk to about this. I mean, clearly I’m having issues, am I right?

I can’t be the only one in the world. Why does no one else in the frugal living world ever talk about going to see a therapist? Maybe they think it’s cost prohibitive (before my insurance I would’ve thought that, too). Maybe they think it’s too personal to mention in such a public space (probably true?). Maybe I’ve just missed seeing people talk about it? Maybe they talk to a pastor or preacher or someone for free (we go to church occasionally…but don’t have anyone I’d want to talk to like that for counsel). I tried looking for support groups on Facebook, but it just doesn’t feel the same as speaking to a real human sitting across from you.

So I just wanted to throw this post out to the world. I don’t really want opinions on if I should or shouldn’t go (pretty sure I’m going to go. Just need to wait a bit for things to settle down so I have a chance to research people/places and find the time to go).  I’m just kind of curious why I haven’t ever seen anyone else mention therapy before.

Have you ever considered prioritizing the costs of therapy even within a tight budget? What have been some of the most stressful events in your life?

Ashley

Texan at heart; Arizonan on paper. Lover of running, cheese, camping, and family (fur-family included!). Blogger, motivated to get out of debt YESTERDAY! Follow along with my journey!

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42 Comments

  • Reply Mrs. Crackin' the whip |

    Oh Ashley. I have zero advice you. You do whatever you need to do to get through this. It sounds like you have a long road ahead of you. Take care of yourself in whatever way possible.

    We went through a very stressful time a couple of years ago when we tried to help some family members. It damn near did me in. I still don’t know how I made it through without visiting the doctor or therapist. Anyway, I will be thinking of you *Hugs*

    • Reply Ashley |

      Thank you! I can almost feel the virtual hugs!
      Yeah, I think the long-road part is the hardest part to deal with. Looking at my other stressful life events, most of them were pretty temporary stressors. But dealing with these health issues will certainly be a long-term thing. I think the ongoing nature of it is really a challenge to deal with. It’s different than a huge stressor which happens quickly and then is over (like my cross-country moves or having the emergency c-section).

  • Reply Taira |

    I think the reason you don’t see people mention it is because they don’t want to have to explain why they are paying for it. Often the reason we go to therapy is not a pleasant life experience. I myself have been in the position of having to find money we didn’t have to pay for therapy for my then teenage son because he got in trouble with the law and the therapy was court ordered. I had good insurance, but when therapy is court ordered for any reason, your insurance company is not required to cover it and mine chose not to. I didn’t want to tell anybody what was going on, so instead I made excuses for why we had no cable or internet or very little too eat. This was just the beginning of how I would end up as far into debt as I am today.

    • Reply Jen from Boston |

      🙁 Taira I’m so sorry you had to go through that. I hope everything is better now with your son.

      And I really, really wish therapy wasn’t so stigmatized AND people weren’t so nosy and judgmental.

  • Reply Texas Mom |

    Therapy is expensive. My child was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder that required medication and therapy. The therapist was hard to find because my child was under twelve. Thank God, we live in a large city and were able to find the help we needed. However, it was $180 an hour. The therapist was out of network. We paid the $180 in full until we met our deductible. Then we paid about $90 an hour out of pocket. We had weekly appointments for two years and then tapered off to twice a month. You are right, we ran up a ton of debt, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat to have the healthy, medication free young adult that I do! Ashley, your stress is also impacting your kids and your work. Take care of yourself. You won’t regret it and you may find you just need a few sessions to feel better. My husband’s insurance has an emergency phone line that is designed for situations just like this. You can call and talk to someone and they will help you find longer term help if you need it. I wish you all the best as you help your father.

  • Reply Alice |

    You should check to see whether your campus offers an EAP where you can get certain things for little or no cost. Maybe even if it’s limited to a few instances, it would save some money. Then you can see where you are and if you want to continue by scheduling face to face appointments.

      • Reply Deeanna |

        Another suggestion for EAP

        There are times in the past that I had to remind myself to take time for me and get help for me. Without a functioning me, none of the other things would run smoothly. So it is not taking time out for me, it’s more of saving time in the long run. If I go down, it would take a lot more than the minuscule time in therapy now compared to a lot of therapy later to fix.

  • Reply Catherine |

    Every time I have gone to therapy I found it a really positive experience. For a while I thought everyone should see a therapist once a year the same way they get a physical. Good for you for taking care of yourself while you take care of your dad!

    Have you checked with your school to see what kind of services they offer? Sometimes at big universities they have a campus health system that provides free or inexpensive talk therapy to students and staff. But even if you have to pay I think it’s a worthy investment.

    • Reply Jen from Boston |

      I like the idea of using university resources. It would make getting to the sessions easier if you can go someplace on campus.

  • Reply T'Pol |

    Ashley, I am sorry for you and your family. Obviously this is a very tough time. Sending good vibes and deep sympathy from across the ocean

    Yes, you are on a debt reduction journey and yes you must be careful with money but, if you need the help of a therapist, I think, you should go for it. You are juggling way too much at the moment and you should get all the help you need. The worst thing that might happen is you get rid of your debt a few months later than originally planned. Family and soundness of the mind are more important.

  • Reply C@thesingledollar |

    My feeling is that when you know when you need a therapist. I saw one for about two months last spring and it was *amazing* — I’ve never found them that helpful before, but when I had a specific crisis (it was a job/personal combo) and problem (crippling anxiety and depression) to address it was fantastic. Worth the co-pay.

    I found her by asking the student health center at my then-college if they had a list of off-campus options. I called the practice that was closest to where I worked and said I needed to see someone as soon as possible, and they got me an appointment the next day, and I saw her once a week after that. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Mind you, I am a regular churchgoer and I have lots of friends I talk to about stuff going on in my life — but this was a situation where none of that was quite what I needed. I needed a person who I was paying so I didn’t feel guilty about taking up their time, and I needed someone who had perspective on what I was experiencing, and techniques to teach me (I asked specifically about things to try when I was having an anxiety attack and I got some stuff I still use.)

    Good luck!

  • Reply Anne |

    I want to send you lots of strength in this difficult time, Ashley! Adding to the others, knowing a little bit about how you operate from your blog, I would like to suggest cognitive behavioral therapy. It has helped me tremendously when I went through my divorce – it basically teaches you how to manage specific situations and learn healthier ways of dealing with them. So, it’s very practice-oriented and gets at what you are trying to address very quickly. Because you are such an analytical and reflective person, this might be a good option for you 🙂 Fingers crossed!!

  • Reply Jen from Boston |

    Another alternative could be a support group. A support group might have a better schedule for you to work with in the short-term until you can find a regular therapist. You could also benefit from being with people going through the same thing you are going through.

    As to working with a therapist one-on-one these are my tips/thoughts:

    Finding a good match is key. If you don’t feel like you click with your therapist find someone else. And a good therapist will be professional – they won’t bring their own emotional drama to the session, they won’t be unreasonably flaky about payment*, etc., and they won’t give you a hard time if you decide to find a new therapist.

    Also, there are different types of credentials. The ones laypeople are most familiar with are the psychologists (PhD in Psychology) and the psychiatrists (MDs specializing in Psychology who can also prescribe drugs). Those two will tend to be more expensive because they have doctor’s degrees, but even therapist with a Master’s may charge as much as the doctors. However, I believe the PhDs and MDs get reimbursed more by the insurance companies.

    Anyway, after the doctors you have those with Master’s degrees, such as social workers. There are also LMHC – Licensed Mental Health Counselors. I don’t know if LMHCs need to have a Master’s degree or not, and it may vary by state. But, the amount of schooling and type of training a mental health pro has isn’t as important as their clinical effectiveness, which in large part, IMO, is determined by just how good they are at being a therapist and how well you relate to them. The key is if you click with them and they “get you.” So don’t get hung up on just looking at psychologist, also consider social workers, etc. Basically, consider anyone listed by your health insurance as a mental health provider. They would have the right kind of credentials to be properly licensed. Also, Psychology Today has a searchable database on its website you can use to find therapists in your area.

    Next thing to consider is what the therapist’s approach is. Most these days will say eceletic, meaning they’ve been trained/have studied various approaches and will tailor treatment to the patient. IMO, a therapist who rigidly sticks to one therapeutic viewpoint, e.g., strict Freudian, should be avoided as they could be too rigid in their diagnosis and treatment. There is also a difference between what’s called psychodynamic and cognitive behavioral therapies. Psychodynamic is where the patient just free associates (mostly) and over time uncovers the root of their problem. Psychodynamic can take a while, but can be useful if you want to learn more about what makes you tick and find out the real reason you’re depressed/anxious/whatever. Cognitive behavorial therapy, CBT, is more concrete. CBT teaches you new ways of thinking and behaving to help you overcome your problem. Insurance companies like CBT because it isn’t as open-ended and can have measurable goals, and thus, and endpoint. There are other approaches, such as mindfulness, but psychodynamic and CBT seem to be the main ones. And, a therapist may use a combination of approaches depending on the patient and the diagnosis.

    From what you’ve described about your situation an emphasis on CBT might be best, but really it sounds like you need a place to vent and some suggestions for dealing with stress.

    *In my limited experience with therapists I’ve known, most are a little flaky, as in a little disorganized. I think it comes with the territory of having a warm fuzzy approach to the world. At the very least there’s a tendency to be technologically challenged wrt cell phones, etc. However, that’s from a VERY limited viewpoint, and I’ve known two therapists who are actually pretty well-organized, and one of them was good with e-mail. Of course, younger therapists will probably be more tech-savvy. But, gross disorganization or a complete inability to clearly talk about their fees and billing is unprofessional and inexcusable IMO.

    • Reply Ashley |

      Thank you for all the info! I’m also glad you pointed out looking for in-person support groups (as opposed to the Facebook groups). I hadn’t even thought of that, but a quick google search turned up several different meeting times/options for general caregiver support groups in my area! This might be a good way to start (or at least try it out for free and decide if I should seek therapy from there or continue with the support group)

    • Reply Anonymous |

      Ditto the support group! I organize a support group as part of my employment and members find it tremendously helpful! Not only will you find support but it’s helpful in sharing resources, treatment options, etc

  • Reply Sandra |

    Ashley, you are being bombarded with a tremendous amount of change in your life all at once! Remember that all the things generating your stress will not stay at this level. I recall Lady Bird Johnson was asked how she handled so much at one time. Her response was something to the effect that she sorted things in her life into separate boxes and was careful not to open too many at one time. Keeping busy working on what you can handle at any given time is rewarding in itself and will give you the pride of accomplishment to be able to do more than you think. Ask for help. I’m sure Hubby will help more, and the girls can dust, sort/fold laundry, pick up toys, and put their plates in the dishwasher, etc. Your brother and sister seem to be helping. Do what you can and try not to stress about the rest. When all the “setting up” items have been handled, things will settle down to a more manageable routine.

    • Reply Walnut |

      On this note, it’s okay to let some things slide if they can slide. If anything, let the housework slide. Pick up clorox wipes to do the basic clean up, get the laundry at least washed/dried, but don’t stress if it doesn’t manage to get put away. When I just don’t have time to deal, laundry will just end up on the back of a chair and that’s okay! Pick up a package of paper plates/cups and allow yourself a few more convenience foods in your budget.

  • Reply Jean |

    I echo what Catherine & Alice said – check for an EAP through your insurance/company and/or see if the school offers these services (although I could see your hesitance to seeing someone on campus tat you would have to run into or work with later).

    I just came through a VERY stressful 18 months at work while trying to keep track of my dad & his health issues (PKD, FINALLY started dialysis a year ago). I had to practically beg my mother to let me & my sister help take dad to dr appts; I kept telling her that if she wasn’t healthy, she wasn’t any good to anyone else – and my sister & I couldn’t take care of both of them! Now that I’m on the other side of my work stress, I can see what a detriment it was to my health and overall well-being. IF I ever have to go through that again, I will be more conscious of it and take measured steps to take care of myself. My first thoughts were massages & yoga ($$) but I think it would have been worth every penny. Maybe a therapist wouldn’t be a bad idea, either, for all of the reasons that C mentioned.

    As TPol said, you do what you think you need to do to keep your sanity and get through this. You still have a family at home to take care of, and just started a new job. My husband works in mental health so I’m a little more aware of that in our world but I agree with Jen that we need to stop stigmatizing counseling & putting on our masks and pretending that everything is fine when it really isn’t.

    Your walking a tough road right now – don’t be afraid to ask for help – in ANY area. If we all lived close to each other, you know we’d all come over & give you big hugs (and maybe bring a casserole!). Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us.

    • Reply Ashley |

      Thanks, Jean! I literally smiled reading about you bringing over a casserole! That would be incredible! : )

  • Reply Tammy |

    Ashley, you are dealing with so much. If you feel you need a neutral party to discuss all this with you should find a counselor or therapist. My daughter sees a psychologist for her severe anxiety disorder and I saw one for a time when I suffered from PPD. The best thing my counselor told me was this: “When you feel overwhelmed, the best thing to do is get through the next five minutes.” Obviously this isn’t a plan to deal with life but when worry and anxiety is overwhelming, it helps tremendously. Best wishes to you and your dad.

  • Reply Julene |

    First off I’m sorry you are going through this. Like someone mentioned, definitely check to see if your employer has an EAP and if you can get any free counseling. Oftentimes you get 3-9 appts free and that is a great start. As far as therapy altogether, go go go and don’t wait until things settle down. This is the time that you need the help handling everything and usually they will have tools to help you navigate these extra stressful times. Also, if you see someone that doesn’t feel like they fit with you, try another. You will know fairly soon after your first one or two appointments. As for the cost, usually insurance covers some. I used to tell my husband, I’d rather pay for therapy and be a better person or have a better marriage, then to say it’s too expensive and have it cost me my well being or my marriage because I didn’t think I could afford it. Some will have sliding scales too that can help or can put you on a payment plan to be able to pay for it. I’ll be thinking of your family in the coming days and months.

  • Reply Jamie |

    Do it! Practical advice: seek someone in network. You might have to pay out of pocket to reach your deductible, but some plans now treat counseling appointments as preventative treatment allowing you to pay a small co-pay each time. This only works if you stay in network, Also, if you don’t click with your practitioner, it’s ok to look for someone you will connect with.
    Be prepared to not get a bill immediately (most practices try to run it through your insurance before they actually seek payment from you). If you can find the session rate and set that payment aside as though you are actually dropping it at your appointment, you will be in a much better financial place when the charges finally catch up.
    Finally, don’t go into your sessions expecting to only address this issue–I’ve found that the other stuff I bring up and we work through is as valuable or perhaps more valuable than the things I expected to deal with. Good luck–and thank you for tackling this personal issue in a way that contributes to positive mental health culture.

    • Reply Jen From Boston |

      I second the advice to stay in network!!! I was once faced with going to a therapist who was going to be out-of-network – she was dropping all insurance – and if I had stayed with her it was going to be pretty expensive. A big reason was that she would have been able to balance bill me – charge me for the difference between her rate and what the insurance company thinks the rate should be.

      For example, let’s say the the therapist charges $150 but your insurance company thinks it should be $75. Your insurance company will have you make a $25 co-pay for in-network, but split out-of-network 50/50 with you. So, in-network you pay the therapist $25, and the insurance company pays the therapist $50. The therapist nets $75.

      Out-of-network, however, the therapist can balance bill you. So, the insurance company says the session should be $75, and it will split that amount with you. So the insurance company pays $37.50, and you pay $37.50. But, then the therapist can bill you an additional $75 – the remaining balance between the therapist’s rate and the insurance company’s rate. So you end up really paying $112.50. OUCH!

      I ended up not staying with the therapist. She actually sort of fired me… I think she got spooked by me asking too many questions about how she’d handle the balance billing, mainly would she be doing that. So she said that I’d be better served by a different therapist. I was pretty upset – I had just started settling in with her. But it turned out for the best. I ended up with an in-network therapist who’s a better fit for me.

  • Reply Cheryl |

    My son has been in therapy this past summer for the third time. He is alot like me and lets everything bother him. He seems to understand that he can’t please everyone and not let the girls he talks with on Skype tell him what to do. He will be starting school in one week (4 1/2 hrs away) and I worry will he cope or not. There is consulting on campus so I hope he will take advantage of this if he needs help.
    I had a similar stressful time when my Mom was sick 9 years,ago. I ended up using mild anxiety med because I couldn’t even function or take care of my family. Needing therapy or other help is nothing to be ashamed of. Cheryl

    • Reply Jen from Boston |

      “I ended up using mild anxiety med because I couldn’t even function or take care of my family.”

      Yes! Using medication isn’t as bad as you might think. I’ve known people who’ve taken anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds, both long-term and short-term. They don’t change your personality and anything about you. Instead, they just lift the fog (depression) or dampen the anxiety just enough for you get through your day. You still feel your emotions, but you’re not paralyzed by them. So, if you find that dealing with everything begins to hamper your ability to get through your regular routine, and your therapist thinks medication could help, do consider it. You may have to try different meds and dosage until you find one that matches you, but they can and do work.

      • Reply Cheryl |

        Thanks, Jen. It was so bad that being a diabetic I couldn’t even remember what meds I needed or even take them.It only lasted till my Mom passed away but they were a life saver.

  • Reply JayP |

    Like others said, use the EAP because it has 0 copay and gets several sessions. I used it when I had an unusual stress event. Note only your doctor can prescribe medicine though. I got a prescription to just take on occasion and it helped(probably more than the therapy). Your situation seems temporary so no need for a daily medication.

  • Reply Jenna |

    Growing up, every time my mother couldn’t “deal” with me, she shoved me in front of another therapist. Just as your gut told you that your kids weren’t at the right daycare – you’ll know you aren’t with the right therapist.

    A great therapist is about fit.

    Investing time in yourself right now – whether it is an hour for therapy, thirty minutes for a run, twenty minutes to laugh with a friend, a walk around the block with your husband and girls to enjoy the evening – is what is going to get you through the months of challenges ahead.

    I’m so sorry you and your family are going through this.

  • Reply Shauna |

    Ashley, I’m so sorry that you and your family have to go through this. I do wish I could send you a casserole and give you a hug. Everyone here has already given such great advice, but I also wanted to add my own two cents.
    I do think there is a horrible stigma around mental health and therapy. If you said you were spending $200 or even $800 to get a rotten tooth pulled that was causing you so much pain and effecting every moment of your life, no one would blink an eye. But if you spent that same amount on therapy sessions some would think it was a waste. Even though I have no personal experience with it, I do think it’s worth what ever you’d have to pay for it. Your mental health effects your physical health and the rest of your family. I’m sure if you think about it you can find a place to fit it into your schedule. Maybe during your lunch time you can fit in one session a week. And yes let the daily chores slide for a while.

  • Reply Kerstin |

    I completely and wholeheartedly support getting therapy to provide you with the support you need. EVERYONE can benefit from therapy. The hard part is finding the right therapist. I have seen a therapist for most of my life for different issues and it has been so good for me and those I love. The hardest thing we have ever dealt with was struggling with 7 years of infertility. We saw an infertility therapist for many years and I would not have survived that stress without it. Dealing with infertility is like dealing with a fatal or chronic disease according to research studies and that is what you are dealing with your dad. The people I know who handle stress the best all see a therapist. We all need support when we go through tough things and budgeting to take care of YOURSELF and therefor those you love is always worth it. Even on a tight budget, I never stopped taking care of my mental health needs, otherwise other things would have suffered. Hugs Ashley! Get some support-we all need it. You are a good and strong person and good and strong people need support to. 🙂 Make it a priority and you will be so glad you did. I often went to appts at lunch and stayed late to not take sick time. Totally worth it. I was a better wife, family member, friend and employee because of it.

  • Reply Kerstin |

    Also-your employer may offer an employee assistance program where you get some free sessions. It’s a place to start. Then if you find it beneficial you can look for a therapist that is a really good fit. Good luck!

  • Reply Katie |

    EAP is a great place to start. If you’re looking for a therapist, this: http://www.helppro.com/nasw/BasicSearch.aspx

    Also, you have your girls at the JCC still, correct? Ask around there if they can put you in touch with Jewish Social Services. They’re nonsectarian, so anyone can access their services. A friend was in the same position you are, Jewish Social Services connected her with a Social Worker who helped her find resources and coordinate care. It was invaluable and I was sooooo impressed by how much help they offered. In our area, this is their website, http://www.jssa.org This will give you an idea of what they can do and I’m sure there is one in your area that does similar work.

  • Reply Anonymous |

    Finding a good counselor will help you a ton through this tough time! You might not need to go as often as you’re imagining – they can teach you techniques to use on your own

  • Reply Rachel |

    Sorry to hear a your dad. My husband needed counseling services when we were first married, it was a budget priority because I knew it was important. I took extra hours at work to afford it, not an option for everyone but that’s how we made it work. I think your mental health is oh so very important, so if you feel like this is something you need, don’t hesitate. One piece of advice though is a lot of times universities have this service open to students and faculty at a reduced cost. It could be a feasible alternative.

  • Reply Stephanie |

    I am so sorry for what you and your family is going through. I am sending prayers up to heaven.

  • Reply Rachel |

    Great suggestions here…I think the caregiver support group and EAP ideas are awesome and may help tremendously, for free(!)

    You hit the nail on the head with how difficult and stressful the long-term nature of the situation will be. Going through extended stress takes a tremendous toll physically, emotionally, and mentally. Nobody else can understand. I think writing also helps process your thoughts and feelings, whether on a blog or a private journal, just to get things out.

    I can’t bring you a casserole, but I have this easy, super yummy recipe I think your family will love (based on stuff you’ve posted) and will fit with your frugality and need for quick meals. I made it for several people and they all gushed over it and requested the recipe to make soon for their own get-togethers! Eat as soup or with tortillas, chips, rice, etc.

    Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup

    1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (about 15 oz)
    1 can Rotel (about 10-14 oz) tomatoes with green chilies
    1 package frozen corn
    ½ cup onion, chopped
    1 can diced tomatoes
    1 C. chicken broth
    1 can Enchilada sauce (about 10 oz)
    2 chicken breasts, raw (1 to 1 1/2 lbs)
    1 block (8 oz) cream cheese

    Pour black beans, Rotel, corn, onion, tomatoes and chicken broth into crock pot and stir.
    Place chicken breasts (can be frozen) in crock pot (over beans, corn and other ingredients).
    Pour enchilada sauce over the chicken breasts in the crock pot.
    Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
    Remove chicken, shred, return to crock pot and stir.
    Put cream cheese in crock pot while cutting chicken. Allow to melt and stir in.

  • Reply Jan |

    By all means, pursue the therapy or the support group – whichever works best for you. Some people may not be comfortable sharing their individual situation with a bunch of strangers and some people find it easier to share with strangers. Either way, it’s important to deal with the feelings.

    Also, you may want to consider setting aside some money for little luxuries such as a massage every other month or so. After all, if you don’t take care of you, and get that necessary pampered feeling on occasion, how are you going to be able to take care of your family and your dad?

So, what do you think ?