[insert funny here]

When I was fifteen and suffocating in the depths of suicidal depression, my parents took me to see a psychiatrist. He was a balding, unattractive man in his fifties, and he insisted on beginning every sentence with my name as if I had somehow forgotten it upon stepping into his office.

In less than five minutes it became clear to me that no matter what this man’s training, no matter how many degrees and years of experience he had under his belt, he was painfully incapable of relating to a teenage girl. The insultingly obvious tactics he drew on to try and gain my trust, to convince me he could be a valued confidant, would have been almost comical had I been in any kind of state to remember how to laugh.

As things were, the most I was able to achieve was a sort of wry malevolence.

I couldn’t help myself. I started to toy with him. I pretended to let my guard down slowly, began answering his leading questions exactly how I knew he wanted me to, and watched him smile and nod to himself in satisfaction, thinking we were making progress.

But we weren’t. I found him smug and condescending, his drab neutral-toned office and its dim lighting oppressive, and the session useful only in that it taught me that a) my acting classes were paying off, and b) my path to mental health did not travel through a stuffy room with a small bald man in it. If this is what it takes to be sane, I thought, I’d rather be crazy.

The shrink was surprised and not terribly pleased when I informed him I wouldn’t be coming back. “I strongly believe that would be a mistake. I think we still have important work to do,” he told me sombrely. “You’re obviously in a great deal of emotional pain and confusion, and you need help sorting out those feelings.”

“Yes,” I replied. “But not from you.”


I don’t regret my decision to leave that office and never return, nor do I regret turning down my mother’s offer to try and find another counsellor I might like better. In keeping with my childhood motto of “NO, I DO IT!”, I figured there was no one on this earth who would ever be better acquainted with my own mind better than me, so dammit, I had to be the one to get in there and fix it.

Of course, while I’d like to think I’ve done a fairly decent job of taking back the place and reminding the staff who’s boss in the years since, I soon realized there’s no “fixing” depression. Depression haunts you like a vengeful spirit whose unfinished business is merely to persist in being an asshole. It bides its time in the back corners of your mind emitting a malignant susurrus of lies and manipulations, turning up the volume ever so gradually, ever so imperceptibly, until the white noise of its deception drowns out all else.

Sometimes you manage to catch it before things get to that point, sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you know damn well what it’s up to, but your usual tactics for sneaking the volume control back out of its greedy paws fail, and you fall flat on your ass anyway.

I’m not flat on my ass at the moment, but I have been sort of paused in mid-fall; trying to decide whether to make a last minute mad scramble to regain my footing or just say fuck it and brace for impact.

I’ll be honest, I still don’t know which way things are going to go.

But I just wanted to pop in and say hi anyway, even if all I have to write about is why I haven’t felt like writing about anything lately.

So hi!

Anyway, what’s new with all of you?

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25 thoughts on “[insert funny here]

  1. “[M]y acting classes were paying off…”

    I’m probably a terrible person for laughing at that but I thought, hey, at least unattractive, balding men are good for something. Plus I had a sudden bizarre mental image of you standing over him saying, “And you want to be my latex salesman!”
    That’s brains for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are sooo not alone in your battle. Luckily, I am not staring into the black crevasse that was my world a few years. My doctor informed me that each successive depressive bout would get longer and worse than the last. I just can’t afford to be non-functional ever … again.
    It has been said that depression is merely suppressed anger. So with me keeping that in mind, I have eliminated (or tried) things that cause a depressive state (mainly in the world of work).
    Apologies for a non-funny response – hope that’s helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My bouts tend to be kind of like ocean waves, you’ll have the usual ones lapping here and there varying ever so slightly in size and shape and then WHOOSH – a big one will just come out of nowhere and wash out the entire beach.

      I know my triggers and the warning signs like the back of my hand by now, but being ever vigilant for them is just so bloody exhausting sometimes.

      Like

  3. I like the ocean waves analogy. It works well for me too. Sigh. The question of how I’m doing is this: “OH MY GOD, I’M DOING MY JOB AND ANOTHER WOMAN’S JOB AND IT’S THE WORST THING EVER”. Seriously. I took a break from doing my two jobs to check Twitter and saw your post. Now I have to get back to “DOING ALL THE THINGS!!!”. Ugh. I don’t have time to work on my own blog, but it was nice to take a break and read yours. Take care, dear Nutty…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. My parent’s first attempt at getting me therapy (not counting when I was still a young child and didn’t understand what therapy was) when I was a teenager went about as well as yours. I was *extremely* resentful of the fact that they clearly thought I was crazy and refused to cooperate. I told the therapist and my parents that I was not going to talk so it would just be a waste of money for them to continue to take me there. I wasn’t ready for help yet, and even after I decided I did need help I’ve never had good luck with therapists. One prescribed a medication, and then kept upping the dosage of said medication until I ended up in the psychiatric ward of a hospital while in my junior year of highschool, because it turns out I have bipolar disorder and shouldn’t be given Zoloft. She then decided that she should no longer see me. I’ve been dealing with my various mental illnesses on my own for over a decade due to lack of insurance and/or money and am much more stable now than ever. I’m hoping that I won’t have to go back into the therapy cycle.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I had depression and anxiety from childhood but was only diagnosed (and thus able to start the process of managing it properly) at age 19. I also just had a weird week with it, but I think I got to the volume switch in time.

    I hope you regain your footing and don’t fall, but if you do my thoughts are with you as you weather it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I saw my first shrink in my late teens, when I was at university. I’d been independently exploring psychology (not studying it but just reading) and had discovered Freud … so when said shrink told me to write down my dreams I suddenly started having the MOST fascinating dreams about trains, railway stations, and various other Freudian sexual symbols. Then I found out he was a Jungian. I hadn’t yet read much about Jung, so my poor bewildered psyche didn’t know what to dream about any more, so I pretty much stopped remembering my dreams long enough to write them down. (They were no longer coherent anyway.)

    I’ve had helpful shrinks since then … but have come to the conclusion that depression, for me, isn’t going to be fixed that way. I mean, I can usually figure out what they’re going to tell me pretty quickly, and then there’s not a lot of point in paying them to say it. So it’s better living through chemistry for this girl. I hate having to depend on drugs, but it beats dragging through the dull misery of one pointless day after the next.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sorry you’re in that place right now, it’s very much poo :/ I really love the way you describe it though. Right now I’m reading “Hyperbole and a Half” and it’s really great when people talk about how it really feels because it makes you not feel lonely and somehow reading about it straight-out makes it a little better. Sort of like looking at it from a place of reason and I always think, “Yeah, I can get past the bullshit times too.” I’m glad you still can write through it (I totally can’t and have entire months where I don’t touch my blog) and hope you get through the bullshit a la Shawshank 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I can understand that, for sure. I suffered a near mental breakdown one summer in undergrad (a LOT was going on at the same time) and despite my better judgment, I decided to go to the mental health center to talk to someone. I sort of rambled for about an hour about everything, saw the resident handling my case look at me sort of bug eyed, and at the end, all she could say was “Uh… wow.” Not very helpful, so I left and never went back either. 😛

    Part of it was just coming from a household where there was a psychiatrist, so I knew how the profession worked (and in some cases, how the doctor is the one who needed the help, hence studying psychology #NotAllPsychiatrists) but yeah… anyway, sorry you’re feeling low. Hopefully it passes. At least the weather has been fairly nice for the last month or so?

    I’m okay, but adjusting to life here has been very slow. And every day is another day of missing Japan, but knowing we can’t really go back. That and being UNABLE to work due to my visa status is making me feel really weird. I’ve always been over-employed or at least full time since I was 14. Now I’m not allowed to work at all and it feels really weird. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I didn’t try therapy until two years ago, and that fuckwad was such a disaster that my counseling sessions resulted in me quitting my meds cold-turkey. And, of course, I ended up suicidal, because, you know, that’s a risk you run when not getting proper treatment for such a deadly disease.
    I wish, wish, wish, wish, wish I had had the maturity/presence of mind to know that I didn’t have to stick with one shitty counselor just because he said I did.
    Eventually (at the urging of my husband), I learned that I can interview therapists and find someone I like.
    Fortunately, I found the world’s best shrink, he got me on the track to recovery, and then… GASP… he decided to retire. I’m sure I had nothing to do with that decision 😉
    Now back to the interviewing drawing board….
    Great post, friend!

    Like

  10. It took me 5 years, and 6 counsellors to find someone who could truly make an impact on me. I go every week, and she continues to help me push myself on making progress. Needless to say, you definitely don’t have to go through it alone! Although I do understand the desire to help yourself more than wanting others to help!

    Like

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