You’ve probably come across the popular adage, “you never see a motorcycle parked outside of a psychiatrist’s office.” Well, in my cases? Not so much.
It is true that motorcycling is like a form of therapy for many people. The nature of it forces you to be in the moment, which can be a relief for people who obsessively dwell on the past or feel anxious about the future. When you are only focused on now, your perspective shifts.
My struggles with mental health are something I choose not to be secretive about. For reasons unknown to me, it took me far too long to be willing to help myself. My hope is that someone out there who feels like they might need help too but are scared, embarrassed, or any of the millions of other feelings that keep us from being good to ourselves, sees that there is nothing wrong with getting help with your brain. Nothing.
When I first started working with my therapist, he zeroed in right away on the passion I feel for motorcycles and traveling. It is often used as a discussion tool for examining the positive aspects of my life and the attainment of goals. Though not a rider himself, he seems curious about it and what it does for me.
We have what I would call a good rapport. I feel very comfortable talking with him. He seems at ease with me, too. Though that’s his job, I guess. This is my first experience with talk therapy so I don’t really know, I’m just going with my gut.
Occasionally he will breezily offer some anecdote or detail about his own existence. It might be something innocuous such as a quip about a movie he likes that relates to what we’re discussing. Or, when talking about how my eyesight changed seemingly overnight, he mentioned he had a similar abrupt onset experience with Crohn’s disease.
My appointments are usually in the evenings. It isn’t uncommon for me to see my therapist who sits across from me, struggle to stifle a yawn or two behind a clenched fist covering his mouth. He excuses himself each time it happens.
Over time this yawn suppression has become rather funny to me. You know how screwed up a face looks when trying to stop a yawn. You’re not actually hiding it, you’re calling attention to the struggle to keep it from happening. Might as well let ‘er rip.
The fantasy that I’m putting this guy to sleep with my talking amuses me to no end. The story I write in my mind is one of a poor, tired therapist who had a long day of listening to crackpots on the couch talking about their anxieties. His inner monologue is filled with sarcasm, thoughts about stuff he needs to pickup at Target on the way home, and a lot of Jesus Christ, shut up, alreadies.
This week we shared a new experience. Forty five minutes into my session, my therapist gets an uncomfortable look on his face and stands up. He apologetically excuses himself and walks down the hall to the restroom. Apparently I’ve graduated from putting him to sleep to giving him diarrhea.
Now that, my friends is what you call progress!