I STARTED SEEING my current therapist about a year ago. Talking about my “therapist” makes me feel like kind of an asshole because half of my family are Cuban refugees. My family doesn’t believe in having bad days or being depressed because, hey, at least you don’t live in communism, right? I don’t share my family’s unstoppable work ethic and I’m not afraid to ask for help because I’m lazy and I try to avoid doing things myself whenever I can. I knew I was sad, and not just normal-sad, but the sad that worms its way into your morning coffee and follows you onto the train and sits next to you when you’re out on a date. The sadness sucked, but not as much as the boredom and apathy that came when the sad had been all used up. Why get dressed? I’m not going anywhere. Why get a haircut? I don’t feel like talking to people. Why bother going to the gym? What’s the point? When I started seeing my therapist, I hadn’t brushed my teeth or run a brush through my hair in three days. I didn’t have a job. I didn’t like her. I really didn’t like her.
If you’ve never been to a psychotherapist, you might wonder what it is people talk about during a typical session. Among the topics we’ve covered so far:
- What I should do next with my hair because I’m bored with it.
- How not to get HPV.
- 1950s menstrual products (she’s a former Planned Parenthood nurse with a collection of vintage gynecological equipment and giant-ass old-timey tampons in a drawer in her office.)
- Demi Lovato’s blue hair.
- Breaking Bad.
- Teen Mom.
- Whether or not I should go to grad school.
- A girl I dated briefly who may or may not have a personality disorder.
- The movie Beaches.
The conversation about Demi Lovato’s blue hair was the moment when I finally started coming around.
I brush my teeth like a normal person now, and have a job. I maintain the hours of someone who has things to do besides sit in bed all day with a box of Girl Scout cookies. Not that I don’t occasionally still do that. I think everyone should at least once a week. I’ve been able to return to doing the things that regular, non-depressed people do, and I think that if my therapist weren’t my therapist, we might be totes BFFs. Sometimes she texts me to tell me she’s proud of my life and choices. I don’t know if that’s allowed but I think she means it and I kind of like it. She’s given me a lot of valuable and practical advice that can be applied to nearly anyone in any situation. Here are the more helpful tidbits:
There’s no right way to be gay.
Accutane counteracts birth control pills.*
You can’t change people.
Always have at least $6,000 saved up in case of an emergency.**
Unstable, toxic people come in all sexual orientations and backgrounds.
Try to follow the twelve-date rule before having sex with someone.***
F**k the haters.****
*Rule does not apply to me, just passing it on.