You Never See A Motorcycle Parked Outside of a Psychiatrist’s Office and Other Tall Tales

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!


Rachael is the whimsical writer behind the 20+ year old Girlie Motorcycle Blog. As a freelance blogger, she is on a mission to inspire laughter, self-examination, curiosity, and human connection. Girlie Motorcycle Blog can be found on several Best Motorcycle Blog lists.

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7 Responses

  1. Bob B says:

    My wife and I were recently having a similar discussion. It seems her therapy is cooking and her organic garden, while mine is working on old bikes in the garage and riding. We share the fruits of our therapy in the meals she makes and in the rides we take on our old BMW. Bob

  2. Onion says:

    My Psychopharmacologist (many years ago) began yawning after about my fifth year with him. I was just going there for the Xanax and basically rambling until he wrote me another prescription. At one point I asked if I was boring him and he said I was saying the same things over and over which I was. Yours might be hinting at that or he might actually be tired. Don’t be afraid to call him on it.

  3. David Masse says:

    I admire that you are sharing the process of dealing with a serious challenge like this.

  4. Shybiker says:

    um… ah… did you just say something? Excuse me, I’ve gotta go…

    • Shybiker says:

      Re-reading this post, two things struck me. First, only YOU can make a subject as serious as this funny. Your natural comedic instinct is amazing. Second, I missed the mention first time around about your eyesight. I’m sorry to hear that and hope it isn’t getting worse. I’m going blind in my right eye and it’s scaring the crap outta me.

      • Fuzzygalore says:

        Holy shit, Ally. I’m really sorry to hear that news. Is there anything to be done?

        • Shybiker says:

          My doctor says that when it gets worse (in a year or two from now) he will operate — but surgery on my eye is the last thing I ever want to have. Until then I just wrestle with it. The hardest thing is the emotional effect. EVERY FUCKING DAY I’m reminded of my body’s deterioration when I peer out at the world and struggle to see. Just see. I even have to worry now about being able to renew my driver’s license since I’m unsure if I can pass the eye-test. *sigh*

          Thanks for caring, bud.

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