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Last week I wore a cute dress and Alannah Hill cardigan (ebay! $20!) to work. It was gorgeous. So springtime and floral and happy. Then after work I went to pick up Tristan from his grandparents’ house and the floral happy springtime turned into a massive thunderstorm and I decided I would rather not drive in the rain that was coming down in sheets. So I stayed at the in-laws’ place for the night. In the morning, I got up, dressed again in my cute dress and Alannah Hill cardigan(!), bundled Mr Teddy Bear into the car and went to my weekly psych appointment. That’s a thing people encourage you to do when your family is going through a trauma like severe injury, or parents with dementia, or cancer, or you’re witness to a crime that tears you up inside.

It’s kind of fun. The psychologist listens to you whine and they aren’t allowed to look bored of it and they have to tell you that you’re doing a great job because they’re meant to make you feel better. Mine has given me such encouragements as “I honestly believe that some people just never get a break. You’re one of those people” and “You seem very calm for someone with anxiety disorder … how do you do that?” (I sound like I’m mocking, but these are some of the greatest things anyone has ever said to me. It’s like my psychologist has a dark sense of humour that perfectly mirrors mine. Either that, or she’s genuine, and I’m fucked.)

Anyway, the other day she commented on my cute dress and Alannah Hill cardigan and asked if I was going to work. I said “No, I wore this to work yesterday.”

And then she wrote a note in her notepad.

About me. And my unwashed clothes and poor hygiene. About how I am in such a bad way that I can’t even be bothered getting undressed each night. Or I just pick up the first thing I find on the floor in the morning. Because I am not coping. I look calm on the outside, but inside I am fluttering about, incapable of even putting on clean clothes.

That’s what she wrote. I am sure of it.

I explained, “I didn’t make it home last night.”

And she nodded. Understandingly. Because she believed that I spent the whole night out drinking until I was so wasted I fell asleep in the gutter, and then when I woke up in the morning I stumbled to my psychologist in my crumpled clothes, which was an obvious cry for help… because it turns out I didn’t even have an appointment. 

That’s how clearly I need help.