The couch

So, yeah, I’m seeing a therapist now.

I tried this twice before. Once in college, when my suitemates were being total bitches to me about god-knows-what. But I felt alientated and alone and loved by no one. So I went to one of the free counselors. Little good he did. “Yeah, your friends really do sound like they’re not such nice people.” Well, thanks for taking my side, but I was kind of hoping you could help me figure out how to cope with my feelings, dude.

Scratch that idea.

The second episode hit during that hot, steamy summer of 1995 in my adopted city of Chicago. I’d been there for a year and turned my life upside-down. New city. New job. Expensive studio apartment. New metabolism that bumped my weight up by at least ten pounds. New boyfriend (now husband) who I moved in with that summer but didn’t want anywhere near me because his apartment had no air conditioning and I was dying. Well, no, 700 other people were so I shouldn’t be so selfish. It was crazy hot and I was going crazy myself.

So off to a psychiatrist I went. I proceeded to talk, talk, talk, talk, talk on that fabled couch while she listened and said…nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. Then she asked me how many sessions my insurance covered and proceeded to try to schedule all of them. Without even knowing for sure that I would need them. Talk about personable. I called the next day and cancelled the next appointment and returned to my semi-successful coping mechanism of dumping my problems on my girlfriends.

That strategy only works for so long. I weather life pretty well most times, yes. And my down days had been seeming fairly few for many years. But Scott’s unemployment, the finances, the guilt about being away from Devin so much, the fear about the future, all of it caught up with me. Along with a lifetime of insecurities that I directly attribute to my father. (Yep, you’ve gotta blame someone.) So I decided the third time must be the charm.

And it has been. I had session four with my therapist today and I’m enjoying it so far. It’s nice to have someone tell you that, yes, there is something you can do about your anxiety and insecurities. She listens, but she also talks to me, asks questions and presents coping solutions. So she’s OK. And I’m feeling OK lately too. Except for the fact that I really want to hug the throw pillow during my sessions but feel compelled not to.