The Indelible Sulk—part 3


Ahoyhoy™,

I meet the first psychiatrist…

The Indelible Sulk—part 3

While waiting for the psychiatrist to receive me, I had plenty of time to think.

NOTE: Mental health professionals prefer the word "ruminate." Yes, I was ruminating. There, happy now?! *This is the point where they pause, and scribble something down... Coincidentally, this is also where my eyebrows furrow into unibrow... Are the two related? Who knows: I just notice a strong correlation between a therapist writing something down, and my eyebrows furrowing into a unibrow...*

At that point, mental health eluded me as a concept. I didn’t understand how important it was—I didn’t even know it was important! {As far as I knew, mental health problems weren’t my problem—that was something that concerned others. Seeing a psychiatrist wasn’t for me; I knew it wasn’t for me.} That kept looping through my head.

NOTE: Now I know that's definitely untrue. Not only is that untrue, but that incessant loop—the bit I've sandwiched in between curly braces—where my thoughts spam the same message in the background screams OCD. Back then, I didn't know that was abnormal. I thought everyone else was just better at drowning that out; I thought I couldn't deal with it because I just sucked. Now I know there's more to the story, and I deal with it a lot better. Eventually, I want to expand on this in a Shifty Shades of Cray article; for now though, let's return to my meeting with the first psychiatrist...

I wanted to bail, but I promised my family doctor I’d see this through—plus I hate breaking promises.

NOTE: My fervent adherence to promises comes up often. Part of this is a personal quirk, but it mostly screams mental illness... Either that or perhaps I'm a trash-tier genie bound by the same rules as decent genies, but with none of their awesome power... What do you think?

Dr. Dude—the psychiatrist I was waiting for—interrupted my reverie. Thank goodness. I just wanted to get the appointment over with, so I could do something more productive. You know, something like procrastinate on writing my essays, or procrastinate on working on problem sets, or perhaps procrastinate on procrastinating…

Dr. Dude looked like a stereotypical psychatrist—so much so that I felt bad for assuming I’d know what he’d look like.

“Hi, I’m Dr. Dude.” he said as he extended his hand for a handshake. I politely declined using my standard excuse for avoiding handshakes,“Sorry, I have a perspiring palm problem.”

NOTE: I have my reasons for the odd phrasing. It's one of my stock responses—the one I use to avoid handshakes. Before I continue, please note that 4. isn't relevant to the psychiatrist (I hope), but I included it here since it helped build this habit:

  1. I genuinely have a sweaty palm problem (and by extension a sweat problem). At this point, it's another inconvenience that I accept and plan around—it's probably a consequence of my anxiety. This is also (part of) why I always wear long-sleeved shirts and jeans—so I have something to periodically wipe my hands on... It's also why I drink a lot of water, wash my hands more often than most, and spend a lot of time in front of fans/breezes...
  2. I respond poorly to touch. It's complicated. Trust.
  3. Alliteration lightens the mood, and paves the way for a game I play whenever I socialize.
  4. There's a line in Lose Yourself—EMINƎM where he says "palms are sweaty." For some reason people break into song whenever I say something involving the phrase "palms are sweaty."
      Note within a NOTE: The demographic I refer to are (predominantly) the sort that orders pumpkin spice lattes ad nauseam; only eat organic, gluten-free products purely out of principle—not because they're afflicted with Celiac Disease; and are "hardship tourists." I.e. I took a class in uni where they addressed [insert problem affecting a marginalized group here], so I'm an expert on the topic...
    I'd rather not deal with that, hence I use the phrase "perspiring palm problem": that circumvents the issue by eliminating that option. Better yet, sometimes people proceed with the lyrics anyway, realize it's way out of place, and then try to minimize embarrassment by playing it off as a joke—or deflect attention some other way...

NOTE: Please remember, I didn't consciously plan this. It's just a habit: consider it a "factory setting"...

He smiled and welcomed me into his office. I seethed internally—as I still wanted no part in therapy—but returned the smile outwardly; I entered.

NOTE: Don't worry, I'm sure he bought my polite smile. I've been practicing for decades...

Next time, I’ll address the conversation that turned me off therapy…


Thank you for your time,
Roybert S. Henanigans


P.S. 96: I’ve updated my Contact Me page explaining how you can help me if you choose to. This includes a messaging form, my gmail address, my Twitter account, and a donation button to my Ko-Fi page. I’ll update specifics gradually. If there’s one thing I could ask for above all else, I’d ask for two—then I’d use one of those two to say that the best way to help is to share my work with someone.

On a serious note, thank you so much for reading—it truly means the world to me!

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