TheraPee

Conversations with myself.

Lance Arthur
Lance’s “Conversations With Myself”

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This is my brain on drugs. As an egg. On drugs.

“You’ve been in therapy twice.”

“Right.”

“Once when you were trying to overcome some….”

“Sexual hang-ups. Right.”

“And a second time when….”

“I was contemplating killing myself. Right.”

“And both times were successful.”

“Well, I’m alive and I’ve had some sex, so I guess they could be considered at least partially successful.”

“’Some sex’?”

“Occasionally good sex. On rare occasion great sex. Like…twice. Maybe. At least from my perspective.”

“And you’re not suicidal anymore?”

“Like experiencing good sex, I am also occasionally suicidal. It is generally related to something that has or hasn’t occurred in my life. It’s probably also related to having been diagnosed as having clinical depression, but like I said the feeling that I want to end it all happens less frequently now than when I went to see a therapist about those feelings.”

“And he helped.”

“Some ways yes, some ways no. He defined for me why I was…am…depressed. How it manifests, what its likely root cause is, how I’ve had it since I was a small child.”

“Some ways no?”

“Defining its cause also made me start to understand why I felt this way and sort of…made it okay to be depressed. So I stopped trying to find a way out, because it made sense to be depressed based on those reasons, which were and are good, logical reasons.”

“Do you want to go into…?”

“Not especially, no. Suffice it to say that a combination of things that happened to me when I was very young, coupled with being gay in a time that the world didn’t particularly appreciate people being gay, frosted with a delicious layer of verbal abuse and a lack of emotional support lead to me deciding that emotions are horrible so I’d rather just not have any, thanks. So I actually started feeling worse about myself instead of better, and things have continued to progress in…a non-progressive manner.”

“You’re no longer in therapy.”

“I’m not.”

“But you probably still need some help.”

“I suppose so, but I haven’t been able to talk myself into it, yet.”

“So you enjoy being depressed and…what about the sex?”

“What sex?”

“That’s sort of my point.”

“It’s not important.”

“It sort of is. I mean, I’m just basing this on the amount of sex that other people seem to be having.”

“How do you know other people are having sex? Are people constantly talking about the sex they’re having? Because if that’s happening at work or with friends or whatever I’ve been missing out on those terribly interesting conversations.”

“I think it’s a safe assumption that everyone else is having more sex.”

“Since you’re having…”

“No sex.”

“Yeah, probably a safe bet. Do you think this is all related?”

“Being depressed and not having sex?”

“Plus the death stuff.”

“Pro? Bab? Ly? I’m not a therapist, though.”

“And they never gave you any fun drugs to take to try to stabilize your brain and make you less deathy?”

“And more sexy?”

“In a nutshell.”

“Ha. I get that.”

“No drugs?”

“No drugs. I don’t trust them.”

“Why not?”

“I don’t like being out of control. I don’t like the idea that I could take something that changes my brain. I mean, how else is it changing my brain? And you see those ads on TV about the dangers of all these prescription drugs….”

“Often sounds more dangerous to try to fix your problems than not to.”

“’Tell your doctor if you experience bleeding from eyes, tongue blistering, or you grow another foot.’”

“’In some cases, patients on Garbldigook may experience rapid heartbeat, excessive sweating, loose stool, flatulence, or death.’”

“Tell your doctor if you experience death.”

“So I didn’t go the drug route.”

“But things aren’t particularly better than they were to begin with.”

“Well, I mean if you’re measuring my sex life by the non-existent sex I’m having….”

“On the other hand, you’re suicidal tendencies have yet to manifest in actual suicide.”

“Silver lining!”

“You said you were having sex though. After your first round of therapy.”

“I was. I even managed to somehow have two relationships before I fucked those up.”

“By not fucking enough.”

“I’m pretty confident that played a large part in those break-ups, yes.”

“Did your partners understand what you were going through?”

“I still don’t entirely understand it, so how was I supposed to explain it to them. My first boyfriend and I attended therapy together when we started having some problems to salvage that relationship, but it didn’t really help. I pulled farther and farther away from my second boyfriend to save him from me — or that’s kind of what I told myself. That I was a terrible person and unworthy and he would be better off with anyone else.”

“But you didn’t break it off, he did.”

“I loved him.”

“That is fucked up.”

“Hi, pot! I’m kettle!”

“Fair enough. So what’s next?”

“In what context?”

“Are you ever going to go back to therapy? Or start taking some drugs? Or do anything to steer you towards the warm waters of mental health?”

“…”

“That’s not an answer. Just staring at me looking worried isn’t an answer.”

“Do I look worried? I thought I looked scared.”

“It’s hard to tell when you’ve buried your emotions so deeply.”

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