I sat on the soft leather couch, rubbing clammy palms on my thighs. She seemed pleasant enough but I just wanted to get past the formalities to address why I was on this couch, hugging my coat tighter around me.
I had practiced for this moment. I know that sounds weird but sitting on a stranger’s couch to talk about yourself is a bit nerve-wracking. Even if you are f*cked up, you want to show yourself in the best light. Just me? Ok.
I talked myself out of this on many occasions. I was raised in a religious family and when you had problems, you went to church or knelt on your knees to pray. Otherwise, keep your mouth shut because family business is family business. We may have issues but to the outside world, we are f*king perfect.
For the past few months I haven‘t been feeling like myself, I felt farther from myself than I’ve felt in years. Everything was becoming a chore, everything was too much, too heavy, and I worried about how much longer this would go on.
At first I couldn’t find a therapist, not the one I wanted anyway. Someone that looked like me, who shared a familiar background, who wouldn’t look at me like I had two heads.
Enough was enough. I finally picked one; I was running out of excuses not to go except for the large insurance deductible. She looked nothing like me but she looked at me when I spoke. She listened to the halting words pouring out of my mouth and after months of feeling locked in a cage, I felt a tiny bit freer.
I’m not sure if I will go back because while part of me longs to drop my burdens on that leather couch, another part of me feels guilty for having “problems” that I need to share with a professional.
The nagging voice in my head tells me that this is nothing a few days off from work in the sun won’t cure. A few more visits to church with Bible study thrown in the mix will clear my mind.
What if none of those work? What if I am still laying here in the same place?
I have been wearing a million hats (wife, daughter, sister, friend, employee) and have neglected the most important one.