Every time I ring up a new psychiatrist’s office or start a new course of therapy, I promise myself that this will be the last time. This will be the last time I google new therapy ideas, the last time I pick up the phone, the last time I will need to ask for help. Because this time it is not only going to work, it’s going to last.
I’m lying. I’ve been at this game for the past five or so years now, longer if you count the years I let my anxiety get the better of me and go undetected. Depression. Anxiety. Rape. Abuse. They’re all just words. They’re labels. They’re experiences. And yet it doesn’t matter quite how many times you try to say them; they always require an almost-spit, leaving the sourest of tastes in your mouth. I don’t want them. I want to laugh in the face of people who tell me they don’t exist; that I have an agenda; that I’m one of “those” girls, out for attention, out for all she can get. How any of this could be considered “enjoyable” is beyond me.
Or perhaps that’s in my head. Perhaps that’s why I spit the sentences out: “I want to get over being raped. I want to get over having a laptop flung at my head. I want to be able to lock my bedroom door at night without fearing it being broken down. I want to stop the nightmares. I want to trust men again. I want to believe people can be good. I want to believe not all those with a penis are bad.” Oh yeah, and I am naturally more anxious than is considered the norm. Can you wave your magic wand now please?
They say that mental illness as a whole notion may not exist in itself: that it is a concept formed for societal rule, to keep us all in check and give us a “norm” to aspire to. It’s a notion which gives us emotions to be embarrassed of, experiences to blame ourselves for, somewhere to place the injustice the universe likes to fling at us from time to time. I once sat in a group therapy lesson listening to people trying to explain why they felt so morose. Why aren’t we allowed to just feel morose? Why must there be a reason, a justification for everything?
Perhaps next week shall not be the last time I start a new session of therapy. Perhaps it shall not be the last google search I make for new kinds of therapy in my area, or the last time I sit through a retelling of all the “experiences” that have made me unhappy. It shall certainly not be the last time I bandy the words Depression, Anxiety, Rape and Abuse around in a few sentences. But it might be the last time I hate myself for doing so. It might be the last time I take the blame for it, or the last time I hate myself for my choice of conversation. It might be the last time I feel like “one of those girls”; the kind the media created: a supposed “attention-grabbing-idiotic-whore who suddenly decided she wanted to make a bloke’s life miserable and had the voice to call him on it.” It might be.
Here goes something.