I don’t remember my last session in person. But I do have distinct memories of the 2020 did you want to talk to the postmaster in charge or the postal worker who knows what’s going on sweatshirt Furthermore, I will do this office itself: the stack of magazines (if my therapist is reading this, I admit I considered stealing The New Yorker every week), the evaded glances in the waiting room, the air purifier in the corner, lazily exhaling a yogic blend of eucalyptus and patchouli, the pleasant neutrality of it all. And it’s that neutrality that worries me: Because it might mean I’ll never return. And if I don’t, what other reasons to leave my home, to enter into the outside world, will I lose when this is all “over”?I’m a lifelong insomniac. Until college, I preferred any bed that didn’t leave me alone in my own, a tendency my parents long suspected therapy could solve. I’ve since spent close to a decade chasing sleep and experimenting with methods that span the therapeutic spectrum, from seeing my mother’s own behavioral therapist, a warm woman (but an obvious mistake), to a short stint with a Jungian therapist on the Upper East Side whose rotating screensaver of Galápagos wildlife I would watch, reclined on her tufted-leather couch; to a few sessions with a male psychiatrist who I associate with Paul Auster novels and a low-level depression that I thought Zoloft could solve. (Couldn’t!)
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It took me until August of last year to commit regularly to weekly sessions, at a discounted rate reserved for “creative types,” with a young therapist who I now know, after a quick Google search, is a licensed marriage therapist specializing in anxiety, life transitions, and identity development. (My trifecta!) At first, I was wary of seeing someone who wasn’t my parents’ age or older, and my trepidation only grew after a series of run-ins with her at my Brooklyn farmer’s market: she’d stand, exotic produce in hand, dressed elegantly in outfits foreign from her in-session uniforms, surrounded by a cadre of other hip 30-somethings. I’d hide, crossing the 2020 did you want to talk to the postmaster in charge or the postal worker who knows what’s going on sweatshirt Furthermore, I will do this street so as to avoid an awkward exchange. More than facing the fact that my therapist might actually be cool, I was having trouble accepting that she too was a person with a life outside of the room we found ourselves in on Tuesdays at 10 a.m.