Just had my first "intake" appointment with the school counselors. It was a bit easier to talk to the guy than I had expected - he was fairly good at just starting out asking random questions to get me talking until I was a bit relaxed. Poly didn't come up; I told him about being stressed last semester, but just told him it would take a lot longer than half an hour to explain, but that I had had a lot of friend drama last semester and that I had lost a really good friend. Mostly we ended up talking about me stressing out over school and having so much to get done.
I took away two things from today. One, although I didn't realize this until I was walking out, I'm going to want to try to focus on something from counseling and make it a task. I don't do general very well. I want something specific that I should try. Not sure if that's what I should be doing, but... I'm going to start this week / over spring break to time myself when I'm on my games / facebook / etc. I probably do spend more time on those than I want to or should. Two, I have a really hard time hearing his suggestions and not taking it personally. He says "we want to get you having more fun" (because I mentioned that I'm having a hard time lately just relaxing without getting anxious about my "to do" list), and I feel "What? Are you saying I'm doing it all wrong? I'm just fine without having fun, thank you very much!"
It's not rational, but it's definitely there. I think it's really hard for me to admit that I might have issues that I could use someone else's help with. It's part of my self identity that I'm independent and I can take care of myself.
In other news... I haven't been pursuing anything really poly, although I'm still doing a quick check of OKC every couple of days. I have been looking into BDSM sorts of things (more dom / sub than sadomasochism - I think I may be a switch, not sure), and I'm considering exploring BDSM role play on forums / chats. Mal and I just started talking about it - he's not sure how comfortable he is with that, so I'm going to give it some time for us to talk things out before I jump in. I've also developed a little bit of a crush on one of the women that I've been having lunch with, although I'm trying to keep it from going further in my head until I know more about whether or not it could possibly work. I don't know her sexual orientation, not sure whether or not she has a current partner, haven't a clue if she's even heard about poly; and I don't feel I've known her long enough to just ask. I like her as a friend and I'd hate to creep her out and ruin a potential friendship just on the off chance that she's bi or lesbian and happens to be ok with poly. Statistically, it's unlikely.
Mal has been functioning, although he still struggles. He's been having issues with memories and bad dreams that are making him depressed and unwilling to sleep (mostly having to do with Beth and Caleb). He finally started talking about it some more, which I think is a good sign. Honestly, I wish he could get counseling; I think he needs to talk through this more than I do. Unfortunately, the only thing the county will pay for is medication, and we're on a tight enough budget that we really can't afford therapy, especially not long-term (which I think would be best for him). Oh well. I may not have a psychiatric degree, but at least I can be there for him. I think he really does appreciate that he can talk to me when he needs to.