6 Honest Truths I Wish I Could Tell My Psychiatrist
1. I trust you, and that scares me.
It’s your job not to kill me. But that doesn’t faze me nearly as much as the fact that you can only do your job if I confess things I’ve kept secret from the world. You have the power to give up on me at any time, and my own personal insecurities dictate that you will most certainly do so. I hate myself, and you know that. But what is really hard to accept is that you don’t hate me. I don’t know why, and no amount of kind words and gentle explanations will ever change the fact that trusting you scares me so much it hurts.
2. I hate what you must think of me.
How can you possibly think of me as anything but a complete disaster? It’s your job to ask about, and try to deal with, what I consider the worst parts of me. How can you sit there and not wonder what kind of person I am? I worry you think I’m needy, dramatic, weak, pathetic, ridiculous, obnoxious. I could give you a really long list of words I think describe me in your eyes — and yet, you never let on that you think that way.
3. When I get to your office, I forget everything I wanted to say.
Everything. I can spend three months compiling a list of things I am going to say, but I will immediately forget them as soon as you say hi. If I write them down, I will get too embarrassed to read off my five page list of nonsense. Maybe when I’m not there, I am trying my best to help myself. But as soon as I walk in, I let go. I know I’m in the office of one of the only people on planet earth who can potentially decipher my brain and steer me in the proper direction. So try to forgive me when every time you ask how I have been doing, my only answer is, “Fine.”
4. Please just believe that I feel terrible, even if I can’t explain why or how.
When you desperately try to get me to explain how I feel or why I feel the way I feel, believe me, I try; but when I say “I can’t,” I am not being obstinate. I really can’t. I can’t find the words. I don’t understand. I’m trying, but sometimes I just can’t. And it frustrates me just as much as it frustrates you — maybe even more.
5. I try to be the perfect patient, whatever that is.
Some days I just want to walk in and say that everything is great, no problem, perfectly perfect. At this point, I think you know that’s always going to be a little bit of a lie. I want to smile and sit up straight and not curse and have the right answers and do what I’m told. I don’t want to be loud, sarcastic and emotional. I know it’s silly — but it’s because I respect you, and that makes me want to be the best version of myself possible.
6. I want help, but asking for it is almost impossible.
Yes, I’m in your office because I need help. But if you asked, I would say I don’t need help. I’m fine. When things aren’t going well, chances are I’m not going to say anything. I don’t want to complain. But I desperately wish I could tell you how much I want your help — how much I need your help. So please, don’t give up on me yet.
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Thinkstock photo via Chad Baker/Ryan McVay