There are things in life that are easy. For most people, that could be anything: deciding what’s for lunch, what movie to see, a simple yes or no. There are things in life that are hard. For most people, that could be what college to go to, who to live with.
“The problem with anxiety is when the easy questions and the hard questions blend in and blur out. The problem is standing at your door and giving yourself a full pat down to make sure you remembered your keys. The problem with anxiety is overthinking every possible thing that could go wrong because you decided to wear a leather jacket today instead of a jean jacket. The problem with anxiety is the fact that you made a wrong turn, so now you must walk around a building and be late for class before you would ever turn around in a sea of people. The problem with anxiety is knowing that everyone is different so whatever experience you have or may have seen in movies means nothing.” She sat in the armchair, back straight and stiff. Already uncomfortable sharing her thoughts, she looked around the room for something to stare at or something to focus on.
“And you've never pursued therapy before?” The man in the armchair across from her asked lifting his chamomile tea up to his lips. He kept the bag in as he lightly burned his tongue, wincing back “too hot,” he smiled.
“No. Never. Didn't’ really want to this time either” She found a poster hung up on the wall with command strips about ‘Understanding Behavior’. She had always found the workings of the mind fascinating. She even considered studying psychology because maybe, just maybe she might get a grip on the people around her enough to know how to act herself, but the problem with anxiety and being an avid reader, movie goer, and television watcher is that one fact will always remain the same. It isn't the mind, and that made the study for her pointless. It’s your mind, his mind, her mind, their mind, my mind.
“And why is that?” He said calmly pursing his lips together as if he was preparing himself for another righteous 20 something year old who thinks their better than therapy. Which, she never thought she was better than therapy. She had no trouble expressing her thoughts and feelings despite what people thought. Contrary to the thoughts and definition of anxiety, she never cared what people thought about how she felt, but that's the problem with anxiety, it is not a solid and constant state. Her’s turned on and off with no cause or reason.
“Therapy helps people, people who need help”
“And you don't think you do?” he raised his hand to his chin
“Therapy is for people who need help to understand. For people who are lost. People who need to cope.”
“And you understand who you are? You don't need help?”
“But your mother thinks so?”
“It would seem so”
“And why is that?”
“She is convinced that this will help”
“Because I'm sure you can psychoanalyze the shit out of me, but I know who I am and what I have issues with. You're telling me what I know is not going to strike up some chord with me and spark a mutiny on my anxiety.” She kept her eyes on the poster explaining psychological focuses and related academic fields, internally thanking the god she didn't believe in that she was not a psychology major.
“Then Why are you here? You are 21, your mother can't force you to come to these anymore”
“She never did”
“Then why now?” he ruffled his eyebrows as she shrugged, She wanted to appease her mother's request for her need to get help. Of course she would have taken the word “help” and gone for some retail therapy, but no, her mother meant real therapy.
“The one that they talked about on TV darling, I’m sure it would help with your nervousness” she could remember her mother on the phone.
“It's called anxiety mom”
“Well you don't know that you've never been to therapy”
“Because therapy is for people who want help with it”
“And you do! It might help”
“Mine isn't bad enough for that”
“But what about how you can't make decisions?”
“I know you're worried but really”
“Please honey, one meeting?”
She sighed and agreed knowing she would call a week later asking if she had gone, which is why she sat in the chair in front of a pasty and wrinkly man, reading another poster about psychology fields.
“I see” the man proposed “Well I do agree that you would benefit from further guidance”
She nodded expecting as much from his dollar store reading glasses.
“And I would love to learn more about you and your struggles with anxiety”
She nodded again turning her head from the poster she had reread again to eye the door. She began to visualize the steps and turns she would need to take to leave the office and get back to her room in the most efficient way.
“So I will be seeing you again soon?” he began to stand and reach to shake her hand.
“I'm not sure it fits into my schedule but I will try to move things if I can” she lied.
“Great! I'll be seeing you!” He opened the door for her as she gripped her backpack and made a quick side step for the door.
“Would you like to make another appointment?” The little old lady at the front desk asked. She held one foot out of the door. She didn't want to make another appointment.
“I have to check my schedule” She backed up and lied again.
“All right see you!”
“See you,” she said under her breath from around the hall. She wouldn't be seeing them. She wouldn't be coming back, because that was their problem with her anxiety, it didn't need to be helped. She didn't need to be helped.