I don't know why I called them. I wouldn't have under normal circumstances. If Mom hadn't been in the hospital, if Dad and I hadn't fought (but then, we nearly always fight), if I hadn't temporarily run away from home, if I hadn't seemed upset enough for a friend to recommend a place at school I could go to talk to someone. "Yeah, I might need to talk to someone by the time all this stuff is over with." "Why not now? You're going through a lot, it might help." "Yeah, maybe I will..."
And so I made an appointment for a phone interview. I found a semi-quiet place at school for the phone call; I didn't have a 'home' at the time, nowhere that was really private. A lady with a nice voice asked me questions, I answered them. I told her I was upset because my parents were sick, that I fought a lot with my Dad, that I had panic attacks I couldn't control unless I hurt myself to make them end. That I'd been hospitalized for being suicidal when I was 16, but that I wasn't like that anymore; I hurt myself sometimes but I don't want to die anymore.
Our half hour was up. She said there was a waiting list, but that she would try to rush me through a little bit, to expect an in-person appointment in 3 to 4 weeks.
I saw my new doctor for the first time the next day.
I was confused. Why did they want to see me so soon? I'd told them I wasn't suicidal anymore. By that point Mom was finally home from the hospital, Dad was acting as if nothing had ever happened to drive me out, there was a fragile sort of peace in the air and I moved back home. Life had returned to its usual state of somewhere between bad and good. I was starting to wonder why I'd felt like I needed to talk to someone at all, and yet they thought I needed to talk to someone right away. Why?
I kept the appointment. Why? What did I want help with? What did I want to work on, to change, to deal with? I didn't know. I still don't. I don't usually admit I'm not fine, even to myself.
If something hurts, I ignore it. If something hurts so much I think it might break me, I tell myself it happened to someone else. I distract myself from it. I've had a phobia of boredom since I was 15. If I don't have something I need to do, if my mind is quiet instead of racing, then my mind can turn to things I don't want it to think about. So I don't let myself slow down or stop. I keep myself so sleep-deprived that by the time I do sleep, I'm out right away, there's no time for my thoughts to haunt me in the space between waking and sleeping. No quiet time, no boredom, no unwanted thoughts, no pain. I go on.
I've seen the new doctor 5 times; I've cried during 3 of those times. I don't think I cry easily, but there I was, crying about things that weren't even recent and sometimes not even knowing why I was crying. I was angry at myself for being so weak, for wasting time crying, for letting things that happened so long ago still hold power over me.
Maybe I never really dealt with them. Maybe they're what I still run from, in my too-busy, perfection-driven schedule. Maybe they're what catches up to me when I have a panic attack and feel like I'm losing it.
Maybe I need to, somehow, deal with them. Maybe that's why I called.