Out of Style
I was 13, maybe, when I saw a therapist for the first time. It was family therapy. We drove at least 40 minutes to a shiny office complex and I sat wedged between my parents, unsure of what I was supposed to express in the presence of a stranger. I'm not sure I knew we were going to see a therapist, collectively. Even then, I had learned to just...go with it.
I must have been asked some obvious questions, like, "How does that make you feel?" The guy spoke English. Which was confusing, because how could my parents truly express what they wanted to say in their second language?
We didn't go back.
At 23, I had a lot more to say. Work frustrations, career expectations, family history – by then I had linked enough together to articulate my pain with a self-awareness which took the new counsel by surprise. But she had to refer me to someone local. Someone in Beverly Hills. Driving there and back from Studio City was hell each time, but I had a lot of pride going for me then. I can't say those sessions were fruitful.
At 24, I decided to give my life to God. As a social experiment. I thought, "Well, it can't get worse. And I can always change my mind later."
At 29, healthy and well, I want everyone to have a counselor. Oprah style. I want everyone to experience some type of group therapy at least twice in their lives (because the first one will be weird and sucky and uncomfortably vulnerable). I want everyone to want to have regular tune ups so issues don't fester and become stinks. I want people to want to be better.
Don't wait for a crisis to happen to call the doctor. Spot the weeds and pull them out regularly.
Just do it.