The Brighter Side: What’s up, Doc? – Part 1

I’ve been in and out of therapist’s offices for most of my life.

As you already know, I have chronic depression. I was 8 years old when I went to a therapist for the first time and since then, I’ve been with two more.

I recently posted another tidbit about my childhood and at the end I mentioned a new feature coming on called the Brighter Side where I will be putting all the happier posts about my life.

So if you need a break from the bad memories and need a shot of happiness (heh..penis), this is where you should come from now on.

The couch was soft. It was made of some kind of supple leather and seemed to swallow your body as you sunk into its grasp. On the walls were metal cut-outs of birds, some perched stoically above her various plaques and commemorations and some where caught in mid-flight, their wings expanding over the golden wallpaper. I imagined them in motion, flitting around the room and tweeting a sweet tune,spreading their metallic wings over a flat sky.

A woman with porcelain skin walked into the room and all the birds grew still. She offered me a disarming smile and sat down in the chair across from me. She was in the late 30’s and it had begun to show around her eyes but she was still a gorgeous women with short, raven hair. I waited for her to speak, I didn’t want to be rude and since she was the professional, I wanted her to go first.

“How are you?” she asked.

I sighed, surrendering to the calm tone of her voice and leaned my head back to stare at the ceiling. It somehow made things easier to talk about.

“Not doing so great, doc.” I replied without looking at her.

“Why?” She leaned forward with a inquisitive look on her face.

I let the floodgates open. I spoke about my parents, my memories of my childhood and my recent emotional turmoil. I even spoke about Her for a while. About her little mannerisms and anecdotes about our time together. I told her about our friendship and the unfortunate way it ended. It was the first time I opened up to someone about my own vainly hidden emotions and the downward spiral that tore a piece of me out with it. I told her things that I never told anyone. By the time I was done, our session was over. She smiled warmly and requested another session with me. I agreed. It felt good to vent my emotions like that.

Humans, as a species, have always naturally feared being different. Ancient humans that were different from their tribe were usually cast out to die alone. Succumbing to peer pressure is a survival mechanism built-in to our instincts. So we wall ourselves off as not to seem weak or fragile. We try to hold it all in because we are afraid to let people see that side of us until finally we either blow up at someone for no reason or we fall into depression and that’s natural. But it can’t work like that anymore.

My therapy, including my writing, helps me because I get to talk to someone and vent all my anxieties and fears and frustration. Being able to talk to someone and be completely honest about your feelings is an invaluable luxury. I call it a luxury because people don’t realize how much it can help them and a lot of people don’t have that.

So before you decide to keep quiet and not say something for the hundredth time, just say it. Be honest with your emotions on the matter and tell people what you think. No one can scorn you for an opinion. I should know. I’m the one in therapy.

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