A vignette on the experience of therapy.

Twisting the doorknob suddenly becomes a daunting chore, her hands both as heavy as bricks. The musty smell of the suffocating room attacks as soon as she walks through the door. Her body presents itself much heavier than normal. The couch becomes the focal point, as she drifts sluggishly.The prickly ends of her hair and the couch’s itchy fabric become irritating. The painting to the left of the couch uses only bland colors and always emerges slightly crooked, further intensifying the sense of unease. A quiet atmosphere slowly creeps up, whispering softly as it becomes more apparent. It sneaks behind her and barely grazes the back of her neck. A deafening silence has arrived. She drags her sweaty palms across the tops of her arms, realizing not only the density of her body but of her thoughts.


The discussion begins, the words spilling from the doctor’s mouth like hot water from a faucet, unexpected and unbearable, scorching with every trace. Her voice sounds polite but feels completely empty. The noise begins to feel thick and sounds as if the room has submerged itself underwater. She feels her eyes burn, stinging and watering as she analyzes her professor’s features. “How have you felt recently?” A question asked more times than can be counted, and as she struggles to respond she can taste the bitterness on her lips of the words that will soon escape from them. Many long pauses flood the room, burdened and stained with dishonesty. The room feels dim and grows more hollow as the conversation progresses. Her forehead begins to heat quickly and she can feel the sweat beading, creating an uncomfortable damp sensation throughout her body. She finds herself stiffening, resembling a concrete statue with a facial expression of ceaseless desperation.

She begins to describe the nightmares, picturing them in her mind. Closing her eyes, she can only see red, vivid and vibrant. The emotions demand their presence, increasing in depth. Her body drains itself further with each thought. The doctor questions her anxiety, but she can not make out the words. A constant buzzing can be heard in the air, unnerving and constant, as she scans her mind for an acceptable answer. Her head begins to ache and her palms become icy as she realizes she may never find one. In the moment, she awakes to feelings of complete dissatisfaction, doubt and fear. Her eyes narrow, searching for the glimpse of hope that appears increasingly blurry. Somehow her body shudders underneath even more weight than she held when she first walked in. Her legs tremble and her arms ache dully, gradually becoming too weak to withstand the pressure. Her exhaustion has become exponential. Her chest tightens and swells, bitterly tasting her tears. The only request she will ever have is for the stifling room, crowded with fear and darkness to expand far enough to breathe easily. Her chest never burns more with desire than when recovery is mentioned.

The End

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