It all started several months ago, when the questionable work environment, the random, incurable health problems and the drunkaholic younger brother insisted on feeding the hamsters that run my heart rate with line after line of cocaine, until the little rodents became so Lindsay-Lohan-ed that not even the threat of a stint in Promises would force them into time-out. It was bearable at first, the cocaine binges coming in spurts, pushing my chest into a jog-esque state. However, things finally culminated with the decidedly unbearable continuous sprints, pushing my heart muscle into an arena I’m quite sure it’s never seen nor felt, not being the kind of body who runs just for the hell of it.
And that’s what it felt like. Like I was running to or from god only knows what, with my body in slow motion. Move hand to keyboard, try not to panic, smile at passing co-worker, try to not panic, hear about brother’s drunken exploits, try not to panic. Until the ‘trying not to panic’ bit morphed into the sudden and abrupt realization that I wasn’t doing a very good job at the not panicking, especially when I couldn’t conceal the violent leg twitching. Always a dead giveaway.
So I packed up my pride and went to the doctor. I sat in the little sterilized room like any other patient, flipping through some inane magazine about hunting dogs, legs twitching, staring at the diagrams of inner ears and holding myself back from picking up the brochure on erectile dysfunction. I guess it was just a leftover curiosity from my youth- always wondering exactly what went on down there. Much as I’m sure men wonder exactly what a uterus does.
And I was fine sitting in that office, a perfectly normal person visiting the doctor to ask for some pills. I was fine right up until the doctor walked in and asked, in his deep and sympathetic voice, “So, how are you?” and immediately burst into tears. Big, gulping, gut wrenching, complete disregard for the mascara tears. In front of a man I had never met. I should have died of embarrassment, but it was like I had immediately been transported back to the age of six, when I’d been careening down Quail Lane Dr. with my three best friends, taking the hill at enormous speeds, laughing at the pure joy of releasing the handle bars when BAM! I crashed straight into a neighbor’s curb, scraping the skin off both knees and elbows. But me? I jumped right back up, no harm done, right? I was a godamn six-year-old badass and nothing was going to stop me from riding home on my now dinged-up bike. So I did, I rode straight home with nary a tear in sight, not until my momma saw my dirt stained face and blood streaked legs and, again with the soft and sympathetic voice, said “Oh, my sweet baby, are you okay?” Tears. Tears, tears and more tears.
Between my hiccupping and snot-wiping, I finally got it all out. I told a single person my stomach-clawing worries and he just sat there and listened. No smug smile, no move for a hug, just listened. Which is good, because I don’t react well to hugs or touching from strangers and while most people can grasp my non-too-subtle vibe, there are those who ignore it anyway. But he continued nodding until I had completely finished, told me I wasn’t crazy like I kept claiming to be and all I needed were a few of these pills.
Pills! Finally! Relief in sight! Though normally I will eschew even the barest of medications, I couldn’t help but wait greedily for my prescriptions. Anything, whatever it takes, just make the coked up hamsters go away.
But there was a catch- he was only a family practitioner, and he wasn’t in the habit of treating mental thingamabobs on a regular basis. So, deep breath, I had to see a psychiatrist. At that moment I wouldn’t have cared if he’d said I needed to have my ear lobes shortened and my pinkie toe removed- I’m an adult, and a reasonably intelligent one at that. I can handle a pyschobabbleist. Just as long as they keep the pills a-coming. I already had my trial tablets in hand with a prescription for a mighty heavy tranquilizer, so I was keen to roll my chubby ass out of the office and straight into Wal-Greens, promising I’d visit his recommended pyschobubble the very next Thursday.
That visit, the one with the pyschotherapydollhead, was quite the adventure.