On Saturday morning at 8:45, the Palinode and I walked to a building where I was to have my first ever appointment with a counsellor. I was warned that there would be no receptionist on a Saturday, so I would have to ring a bell in order to be let inside. We looked all around the two main doors, but there were no doorbells, so I went around to the delivery loading dock in the alley and found a doorbell there.
I was incredibly nervous about the counselling appointment, so it was only after I had rung the bell three or four times and made sure to smile pretty into the video camera that I realized there was no way that a group of therapists would send anxious depressives into downtown alleyways. I had to be at the wrong address.
I was in the mood to see everything as a portentous sign that morning. My brain is wired to weave narratives out of whatever is handy to jamb into my growing story, but when I am freaking out, I tend to move away from the normal stuff that peppers the storyline like dialogue and what people are wearing to the more magical signs and symbols written in clouds and the rhythm of events. Panic puts my urge to make sense of things into overdrive, and the world grows a voice that can be read in its emerging patterns.
We had checked three doors at three times three in the morning and found no entrance, and I wanted this preponderance of threes to be a sign. I wanted to get out of going to counselling. I wanted to believe that I was supposed to just go home and hide in bed for a few more hours. Even a dentist appointment seemed more appealing to me. At least a dentist uses lidocaine.
We gave up and walked back home where I could double-check the address. It turned out that I was right about these therapists. They were not sending anxious depressives into downtown alleyways. We'd blown over $40 worth of my first appointment circumnavigating and peering in the windows of the wrong mental health building.
All the signs in the world were not going to keep me from that appointment, though. The Palinode wouldn't have it. So, off we marched to the right building with a working doorbell and terribly nice people inside. Well, two very nice people. As my counsellor said, the office is like a morgue on Saturday mornings.
And about that counsellor: I felt comfortable with her immediately, which I was not expecting. I managed to lay out a lot of my issues starting from the age of two up until that morning within about half an hour, and then to frost the cake, I gave her the address to this website. I think getting up early in the morning on a Saturday, trying to find doorbells all over downtown, and walking in the cold until my face hurts is sufficiently disorienting to break my usual code of silence. I would make a terrible spy.
Hello, Madame B!
I am a participant in NaBloPoMo 2008, a challenge to write 30 posts in 30 days during the month of November. "National Blog Posting Month is the epicenter of daily blogging!"