Shrinking heads

Sitting in the waiting room at the shrink is a lot like I imagine it is at an STD clinic. You all know why you’re there, but don’t want to acknowledge it.

Sadly, I think it’s probably more socially acceptable to have gonorrhea than depression. At least you’d have had some fun getting the clap.

It’s been designed to be deliberately soothing and non-confrontational. It has the complete opposite effect.

The thing is, you can’t help sizing up the others waiting their turn. On a scale of 1 to bat shit, where do you fall in comparison to the tidy little man in a suit sitting next to you? How many more screws do you have loose than the woman in the corner. Just one or a toolbox full?

And what if you recognise someone?

A hint: You do not acknowledge that recognition with anything more than a discrete head nod and don’t bring it up at the water cooler in the office. Ever. What happens at the shrink stays at the shrink.

Just knowing that someone is about to clinically evaluate my brand of crazy is enough to have my blood pressure going through the roof. Bats of anxiety fleeing the belfry. Most of them ending up stuck in my hair.

My head doctor is very nice. She’s very put together. Very… dare I say it… sane.

The more she looks at me the more I flight the urge to flee. I’ve actually being doing rather well, but you couldn’t tell that from my demeanour.

Every random tic suddenly comes to the surface and I end up twirling my wedding ring, playing with my necklace and tapping my foot at the same time. And then, I realise I’m doing it and try to sit on my hands instead.

I’m practically vibrating like a out of pitch tuning fork.

None of which is convincing her of my ability to be a productive adult.

Sometimes, I think that I rather have head shrunk by some headhunters in Borneo.

Of course, if I ever run into her in the real world, like at the mall, I can guarantee you that it’ll be a day when I haven’t brushed my hair, am wearing yoga pants and can’t decide between chamomile or aloe loo paper.

C’est la vie.

Enough with the smiling through the rain

Be true to yourself

This has got to stop

No-one is happy all the time.

It’s like a unicorn on the hot/crazy matrix.

It doesn’t exist.

So, why is it not okay to not be happy some of the time?

Why do we expend so much energy creating completely fake personas to fool everyone else that we’ve got our shit together and our ducks are waddling off in a neat little row.

We post carefully cropped and filtered pics on Instagram of our beautiful baking that don’t show the icing smeared on the counter, or the eggs we broke.

And while we’re judging ourselves to impossible Kardashian standards we somehow believe everyone else has it made.

Spoiler alert. We don’t.

Not even the most perfectly put together person feels like they’ve cracked the secret of adulting.

Without the contouring and team of stylists, the Kardashians probably don’t either.

So, why can’t the rest of us just be real and drop the rigour mortis smile once in a while and just be real?

It’s okay to be depressed.

It’s okay to feel a little lost.

It’s okay to be happy when you are.

It’s not okay to pretend to be when you’re not.

It’s okay to make a change no matter what your age.

It’s okay to be real with your tribe.

That’s what they’re there for.

Just like you’ll be there for them.

Don’t worry about letting them down by not being a bubbly little ray of sunshine.

They’re probably worrying about why they can’t be more like you.

Everyone has a few little rain clouds pissing down on them and the occasional bolt of lightning that splits the sky.

That’s why we’re human.

I asked a Wise Woman Aged 12 what she thinks the most important thing in life to know is.

“Don’t turn yourself into what you think people want you to be. Turn yourself in to someone you want to be.”

I’m 42 and I don’t have the answer to life, the universe and everything, but my daughter is sure helping me out.