I sit myself down, avoiding the seat with a nasty brown stain on the fabric. Dr. Something is to my left, and his superior: Dr. Nothing is to my right. We are in a bare room, with an institutional feel to it; containing cheap, fake brown furniture, and not so comfortable chairs. On the battleship grey wall opposite me, hangs the type of picture that you would expect to see in a Mental Health Centre: a view of the sea across sand dunes; and a broken wooden fence, of which I expect symbolises something to a psychiatrist. In the air drifts the smell of sharp disinfectant which should make the place feel clean, but instead makes it seem as though it’s hiding something bad.
We talk for an hour about history. The history of me.
It feels easy to talk to him - just a stranger - about the past and present. He has done this all before though, and I can tell he’s slightly bored; has heard it all from someone else. How many folk have sat and poured their hearts out to Dr. Something in this sterile room. I take a sneaky look at what he’s writing and note that he’s filled two A4 pages with my words, all in red ink. I gaze out of the window and the earlier winter sun has been replaced by snow, a blizzard in fact - or has more time gone past than I thought.
All of a sudden we are finished: Severe depression brought on by low self esteem and feelings of guilt. No medication. Counselling will be needed. Thank you and goodnight.
Dr. Something and Dr. Nothing shake my hand as I leave telling me that our meeting has been ‘very interesting,’ and that they will be in touch soon. ‘No it hasn’t, and no you won’t’ I think to myself as I walk back down the lane to my car, which is now covered in snow, my office shoes letting in icy cold water, and me left none the wiser.
[Originally posted in December 2009.]