Coffee With My Therapist, Part 3

by Bill Brenner on April 14, 2011

I had mixed emotions as I drove to my therapy appointment this morning.

On the one hand, I was pissed that half my morning was getting blown out for the appointment. I wasn’t happy about all the tasks bearing down on me, either. On the other hand, the coffee I got at Starbucks was pretty damn good and the ride allowed me to get my fill of vintage Ozzy and Randy Rhoads.

Mood music:


I walked into his office with my extra-large cup of caffeine, as I always do. He commented on my having brought drugs to the appointment again, so I told him about my delight at discovering a coffee blend recently called Jet Fuel.

Then I unloaded about how Holy Week was very late this year, colliding with the kids’ vacation week and a crap load of Scout activities and various other appointments.

It’s nobody’s fault, I told him. It’s just one of those perfect storms that sometimes downpours all over the calendar.

A few years ago I would have been feeling enormous pressure. I’d be binging my guts out over it. This time I’m just a little cranky. That’s progress. I even stopped to hold the door open for a guy whose arm was in a sling on the way into the building.

I patted myself on the back for remembering to do a good deed in the middle of my crankiness.

The therapist listened patiently, then cut to the question he always asks me:

“So, are you going to try yoga sometime soon?” he asks.

He loves to talk about yoga. It’s his favorite subject.

It’s not mine.

I switch the subject, telling him about the nice cigar I enjoyed with a friend last Sunday.

“I see,” he says.

He takes me through the complete inventory: How’s the medication working? Am I less moody now that the days are getting longer? Am I getting enough alone time with my wife? How’s the blog doing? Did I remember to pack my Prozac before flying back from the last business trip?

Very funny, I respond to the last question. When I came home from San Francisco in February, I forgot the pills in my hotel room.

He asks me what I still want to improve about myself. I tell him I’m still learning to live in the present, instead of drifting between the past and the many different futures before me. I’m also still struggling with the concept of patience. I’m still a badly impatient person, especially toward my youngest son.

It’s not long before the yoga comes up again.

“You know yoga helps keep you in the present and learn techniques for patience, right?” he says with a wide grin. He loves when he scores a point.

“I just can’t see myself ever wanting to do Yoga,” I tell him.

“There was once a time when you couldn’t see yourself not binging or suffering anxiety attacks,” he shoots back.

Those things were different, I respond. I was desperate to deal with those other things. Nothing today makes me feel so desperate that I’m willing to try yoga.

“I see,” he says with that grin, as he always does when he’s not buying my answer.

I tell him I’ll think about it.

Just not today — or this year.

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