Sorry if you came here after Googling Pink Floyd or Syd Barrett. This is about neither, really. But if you know the song, the rest of this will make sense.
I’ve dreaded this day for a while, the twice a year visit to my shrink to make sure it is the world and not me that is crazy. Presentation is key. Dress. Makeup. Have to look put together, a one hour sit down in front of the mirror, hot irons, foundation, mascara, lipstick, all that. I don’t normally wear all this stuff, but since most people here do, I do it so we don’t waste time talking about hygiene.
Okay, flawless complexion, pressed clothes. Even pass the toothbrush over my diamond ring. Maybe some sparkles will distract him. I’ve decided not to tell him about Shane, my brother who just died. It’ll just hurt to go there, there is nothing that can be done about it and this doc is good, he’ll dig it out of me that Shane had a paranoid schizophrenic episode in the last year. I don’t want him writing on my chart, “keep an eye on her, fam. hx of p. schiz.”
And hell, this doc is super good looking. The most beautiful man in town. If I woke up in a mental ward and he were my doctor, I’d think it was a Barbie Dreamhouse (loudspeaker: Calling Dr. Ken) or that I’m in a soap opera. So, no crying in here, (with three layers of mascara?) Not in front of Dr. Gorgeous.
In the waiting room no one makes eye contact. These are crazy people, right? One guy walks in and tells the receptionist, “I was told I could come here and pick up some samples.” She looks at him dumbfounded. Then he whispers, “Lexapro.” She hands him a bag of drugs and he’s out of there like he’s going to catch something.
Then it’s finally my turn, I flop myself on the comfy sofa and don’t do anything like cross my arms or give off any signs that he can’t poke around in my psyche. He’s got a framed Harvard degree on the wall (would I trust my mind to anything less?). He’s probably a perfect dad, too, his kid’s drawings are all over his desk under a big sheet of glass.
He asks, “What’s been happening in the last few months, dude?” (he’s talks cool too). He relaxes, shoves back in his chair just enough to where I see what’s on the wall to his side. An 8×10 framed up name “Shane” circled in a rainbow of colors.
My hands start shaking and my candy coating cracks off. I ask him if that’s one of his kid’s names and he gets all protective, “Yeah?”
I’m stuck, have to let the cat out of bag or he’ll think I’m some loony after one of his kids.
Good thing I did tell him. He says the drugs probably caused Shane’s psychosis and I don’t have to worry about getting it one day.
I don’t have anything major, just trying to outrun the black dog. There is such a stigma attached to mental illness. People should not have to be ashamed of it. If you or someone you know has it, check out NAMI, an organization that fights this stigma and offers support to those and family members of mental illness.