Mentally Ill. No. For Real.
A month or so ago, I needed to see my therapist but she is a rockstar who is very hard to get an appointment with. Especially immediately and at the last minute. There were a lot of feelings I had at the time. Frustration at not being able to get an appointment, doubt about whether I was crazy enough to deserve an appointment, desperation to update her and feel understood by fucking anyone about what I was going through.
In the cloud of these feelings, I emailed her. At the time, I read and reread the email thinking it was the most bonkers thing ever but could not get brain to rewrite it more sanely. So, here is my letter:
Hello, [Redacted] ,
So, hi. How are you? How about this weather we’re having?
Okay. So, I had an appointment to see you on March 29th that I had to cancel because I ended up quitting my job at the restaurant and going to Miami with my kid for 11 days.
And when I got back to reschedule, you have zero openings until May 10th!
And listen, I am cool. I can wait. BUT HOLY SHIT I QUIT MY JOB.
So. If you do happen to have an opening before then and there is not another person who needs you desperately or is crisis (Listen, I get it, you are out here saving lives) I would really like to have that spot.
And, I need you to know that I know I sound crazy in this email but hey, if you cannot be crazy to your therapist, who can you be crazy in front of?
In closing, you rock, you are amazing and I am mostly fine.
She ended up fitting me in and being the amazing therapist she is. She absolutely gets me and I appreciate that I mildly amuse her.
I saw her today and she told me that she spends most of her day assuring people that they are not nearly as crazy as they think they are. She said that she has to remind people that 90% of people have days where they want to primal scream in their cars or would rather stay in bed all day or pack their bags and run away from their families or jobs. That most people have days where they hate their children, want to kill their partners or just want to close the door on their lives and cry all day. It is totally normal.
She told me to think of "normal" like people's weights. What is normal for me and what is normal for her are different things. It can even fluctuate from month to month and change over time. There is no "normal" because we are all different. Also, some people care very deeply what they weigh and other could give a fuck. That is what being normal is like. Some people care about being normal and other people could give a fuck.
It is mental health awareness month. This compels me to say somethings:
- Depression is a liar. You matter. You are loved. If your brain is telling you otherwise, reach out. You are worth the trouble. Trust me.
- You are worth the trouble. That bears repeating.
- I am here for you to compare notes. I suffer bouts of depression, take medication for anxiety and am certifiably, textbook ADHD. Maybe you've got something else fun that you drag around, too. I am here.
- Find yourself a therapist you like and trust. I adore mine. I would be her drinking buddy if that did not mean I would lose her as a therapist.
I plan on writing more extensively about my life and my crazy but in the meantime, be kind to yourself.