I cried out when you were there; you were there because you're everywhere.


I've been listening to this song from The Adventures of Pete and Pete a lot. (Why is there no better alternative to 'a lot'? 'Often' and 'regularly' and 'frequently' just don't seem to cut it.) I think the song is supposed to be about missing someone you loved, but of course I have to relate it to something else.

I haven't blogged much about my trip to London, just a few photos. It might come as no surprise then that it wasn't all I had dreamed for it to be. There were wonderful moments that made it worth the trip, but I had a hard time. That's what the song makes me think of, that my problems--mentally, emotionally--are everywhere. London isn't a magical place that will make them disappear. And it's easy to say, "Not that I actually thought that, since it's ludicrous and naive!" but I think some part of me wanted to believe it.

So I'm doing what I've been threatening to do for ages: starting therapy again. I've got some referrals to look into. I've put it off for so long...but I think that was OK. My friend Leigh kept saying, "You'll know when you're ready." And I am.

I figured if I was going to start making appointments with people who have medical-ish degrees, I should finally get back to the dentist and doctor as well. The dentist appointment wasn't scary to schedule (I have it on good authority that they let me watch movies while they clean my teeth--WHY DOESN'T EVERY DENTIST DO THIS IN THEIR PRACTICE?). But the doctor appointment was harder to make. I even had to call a friend who has the same doctor to remember her name! It's been that long. Or, I've pushed that information that far away.

Fortunately I had a very sweet receptionist answer the phone. When I told her that anytime this month or next would work for me, she paused and then said sincerely, "Thank you for that." In fact, she was probably the kindest medical receptionist I've ever spoken to. Though I remember any I've interacted with in the past as Life-Devouring Goblins of Unspeakable Cruelty, so my standards might have lowered over the last few years.

Receptionist: "What will the appointment be regarding?"
Me: "Oh, just a standard check-up. It's overdue."
Receptionist: "Will you need a pap smear?"
Me: "...Um, yes? Probably."
Receptionist: "Have you ever had one before?"
Me (OH GOD, HERE COME THE TEARS): "Um, last time I had a physical, we tried to do one and found other issues, so we put it off."
Receptionist: "Well, it's really brave of you to come back, then."

And just like that, I felt so understood and cared for and spoken to with kindness about something she had so little information about. Which NEVER happens with medical receptionists! AND SHE MEANT IT. She wasn't bitchy or rude or even merely polite, I think she really meant to tell me I was brave to come back. And I felt like a million dollars. Until I hung up.

And then I felt really scared and nervous and stupid for making this appointment before finding a new therapist. 'You're doing this in the wrong order! You can't walk into a medical office, much less a hospital (where the clinic is now located--THE BASTARDS), without having been properly examined by a licensed counseling professional! Think of the poor people in that waiting room and exam room--the other patients, the nurses, your sweet doctor--who will have to witness the ungodly Emotional Instability Monster that you have gently sleeping beneath your conscious's surface, waiting for, say, the whiff of hand sanitizer or the sight of a lab coat before it awakes and kills you all in a cavalcade of anger and tears?'

And just--JUST as this thought went through my panicking mind, an e-mail dinged onto my computer screen. It was an Etsy converstation from my friend Bridget. Earlier today I had purchased from her shop a print of her watercolor painting, 'San Juan Mists.' (As you know, I love the San Juan Islands, and I had been itching to buy a print of the painting for ages, but hadn't so I could save money to spend in England. Well, I didn't spend as much money as I had hoped on the trip, so I decided to buy the print for my place today with some of my 'England Money.') Right when I got off the phone, Bridget wrote that she'd decided to give me the original painting, and wanted to know if that was alright.

Her message could not have come at a more perfect time. Now crying with joy, I wrote her back saying it would be an honor, and was she sure she could part with her original creation?

Her response was simply this: "Yes. You deserve wonderful, magical things."


Jennifer said...

You are brave! I know of a therapist (Susan Hall) who works on lower Queen Anne. She's single and cool.

Also...LOVE THE WATERCOLOR!!!!!! It's gorgeous.

Yea for you!

Spiro said...

"I didn't spend as much money as I had hoped"


Maryann said...

I confess I don't know what o.O means...what I meant was that I wished I had indulged myself more.

theresa clare said...

Isn't o.O just supposed to be like, boggly eyes? Or no? I'm clueless?

I really just clicked on 'comment' to say that I'm glad you got the receptionist you did, and that she and Bridget are right.