Back On the Couch

There’s a suite of condos down the street and around the corner from my apartment. A simple, short ten minute walk away. I’ve run past that complex even before I started going there. It looks nice, it’s on top of a hill and overlooks the park I usually run through.

Upon entry through the doors that open the completely different from how you’d expect them to, you step into a bright lobby. A right hand turn down a long hallway brings you to the office that greets you with leather chairs and throwback 80s music as you walk through the door. At the desk is the most helpful receptionist I’ve ever met, who remembers me even after just a few appointments and welcoming bowl of DumDums, like you’d see at the bank. Comforting is a great description.

On Wednesdays, usually in the afternoon, that’s where you’ll find me.

I work from home on Wednesdays to make it easier to get to these appointments, and that’s helping me make sure that they remain constant. It’s one of the only things that I really actually do keep constant these days, while everything else is perpetually fluctuating.

Back on the couch. A supple grey leather couch with yellow filigree throw pillows.

Places I never thought I’d be again? The top of the list includes a therapist’s office. Especially after the last time.

But, I’m back on the couch. I don’t have to lay flat, I don’t have to stare at a generic popcorn plaster ceiling, counting the specks like they’re the problems in my life.

I sit in the same spot every week, close to the door but inside, careful and comforted by the fact I’m not told I have to lay down and stare at a ceiling that makes me uncomfortable. (I’m a creature of habit.) I can sit up, face his desk, and talk like we’re old friends. A welcome change.

Of course, I’ve only had three or four appointments with him, but it already feels like we’ve known each other a long time. He reminds me of a good friend. He laughs at my jokes sometimes and doesn’t get upset when I swear and will sometimes swear as well.

He didn’t recoil when I mentioned I was married to a woman rather than a man. He didn’t shy away when I mentioned I’d previously tried to kill myself. It was like he knew he was in for a ride with me. And it was like he’d actually been adequately prepared. I’ve had therapists who weren’t prepared.

Obviously, therapists are meant to be prepared for and ready for people like me, people with the illnesses I have, but it’s not every day you find one that you gel with. One that feels more like a friend than a doctor my insurance company pays.

Therapy to me is like dating and it’s like we’ve had a few dates that have gone well. I’ve opened up a little more and I’ve processed a little more. I’m looking forward to feeling better again. Of course, I haven’t mentioned everything that needs to be mentioned, but there’s plenty of time for that. It’s a long road.

So, I’ll be back on the couch. For the foreseeable future. And I’m happy again.

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