Let's take a break from our regularly scheduled program of Ethan-focused cuteness and spend a bit of time talking about me, shall we?? I have a funny story for you.
Due to some recent developments in our world that I am not yet at liberty to discuss (and no, I am not knocked up, so let's not even go there), I have started "seeing someone", which is a pretty little euphemism for "I'm in therapy---again". Let's just say there are some major life changes afoot in the near future and I'm having a fabulously miserable time coping. So, to avoid becoming the frizzy-haired, sweat-suit-wearing mess of a woman in the Cymbalta commercials I've been seeing so much of lately, I decided to nip things in the bud and pay someone to listen to me fret. At the very least, it will make me slap some make up on my face on Friday mornings because I don't want this woman to see what a mess I really am. God forbid your therapist know you need help, right?
If you were listening closely at 9am today, you probably heard the collective sigh of relief from many of my friends who are so glad I now have someone professional to kvetch to. I am a classic over-sharer, which makes me a therapist's dream, but a friend's nightmare. I have made a conscious effort in the past week to start conversations specifically about them, how they are doing, what's new with them, etc.; but inevitably, I end up near tears and requiring all kinds of hugs about my own life. It's not pretty. But to all my wonderful friends who have put up with me in the past week or two: now I will cry between 9-10am on Friday mornings, mkay? You're off the hook; thanks so much for putting up with me up to this point.
Okay, so today I show up to the office of said professional. She apparently works in the same building as some high-security government agency because there are a number of armed police guards outside the building. Awesome. A sad girl with burgeoning anxiety problems loves nothing more than big, stone-faced men toting fire arms when she's on her way to spill her guts for the first time. Cool atmosphere.
The first time you meet with a therapist is like a really awkward blind date. You've been given a referral by either a friend ("she's so compassionate; I really felt comfortable with her"), or the insurance company, which is like the Match.com of the referral world ("she's in your area and she's available. You interested?") I have never been very good at blind dates, either of the romantic or therapeutic kind.
So I walked over to the Starbucks next to the office before passing through the gauntlet of guns and ordered myself a massive (venti, in Stabucksese) chai latte which ended up serving as a security blanket for me through the next hour. I took about 10 sips altogether before it got cold, but having it in my hands made everything easier. (Note to self: next hour, discuss Starbucks addiction).
Throughout the hour, I rambled incessantly and relatively aimlessly about everything in my head from the current situation to having an incompetent cervix (hello, that is so two years ago!). I am not sure exactly how much she caught or how much made sense to her, but she did take copious notes and didn't once nod off (don't laugh; one of the last therapists I saw actually did doze during a session with me once. I stopped going, assuming my problems weren't really that bad if I was putting the therapist to sleep).
I realized half way through the session that she had spoken very little--only one question and one observation. I had to admit to myself that it was most likely because I wasn't really giving her a chance--I was in hyper-blab mode and I couldn't reign myself in. But I was definitely aware of how all over the place I was and on more than one occasion I apologized for rambling and perhaps not making sense. This, funnily enough, was her observation--I loooooove to apologize for things I shouldn't apologize for (which is funny because I am really bad at apologizing for things that actually require an apology).
When the hour ended, I tried my best to wrap it up, but there's no neat, crisp way to tie it up at minute :55. We settled on another appointment next week, same time, but she urged me to see if there was a time sooner than that I could come back. She said it's because the issue at hand is a time-sensitive one; I think it's because she probably wrote in her notes: "full-on lunatic," and is thinking I need a steady stream of therapy, and fast.
My suspicions about my near-manic ramblings were confirmed when I was leaving. I made a fleeting, thoughtless comment about the massive Starbucks cup in my hand and without missing a beat, she pointed to the cup, looked at me and said, "You know, you might want to try decaf."