“You are full of nightmares, ” Vivienne tells me, with having been my therapist for over a year I find this an odd remark. Of course I’m full of nightmares Viv, what else do you think I’m paying you for.
Every Wednesday at 3:30 pm I arrive at ‘Vivienne Canterbury’s Counselling Consultancy’, I park in the same spot, 3rd from the end to avoid parking under the large overhanging oak tree. I sit in the same uncomfortable chair in the same white-walled waiting room, I read the same battered magazine, I order the same drink from the ancient coffee machine and I wonder the same thing. Why am I here?
That’s how I ended up here. Although my sister and I have always shared a strong relationship, she has a special knack for interfering, ‘Andrew, I have this friend that I think can help you’ she explained casually, knowing after 26 years that she can strong arm me into almost anything. Amy and I are twins, always have been. Unfortunately for myself, I arrived in 2nd place, a fact that Amy delightedly reminds me of on a regular basis.
I’m not scared of going to sleep, I’m not bitter to awaken each morning, I’m not depressed, anxious, bipolar, schizophrenic, unipolar or any other apparently self-diagnosable disorder from Google. I’m fed up. It’s not a crime unless of course, you’re asking Amy. I don’t wallow in self-pity, I don’t lock myself away in the dark and I don’t take my anger out on locals at the pub. But, here I am, staring at a piece of Vivienne’s ginger bobbed hair which has stuck to her carefully painted matching red lips for past 5 minutes, is that not annoying? I thought.
She goes on to explain ‘our’ best course of action, whilst handing me the journal which, over the course of the following month, I’ll be filling with thoughts and feelings from deep within. Obviously.