A month after the diagnosis fell, Double-Click contacted a specialist in “motivational disorders” who goes by the name of Mona. Coined at a time when the word “suffering” was persona non grata, the term was trending in psychiatric circles to indicate depressive tendencies. Feeling quite uneasy but knowing he had to open up, he first quoted Steve Jobs: “Sometimes life’s going to hit you in the head with a brick.” She nodded without saying a word. Her job is precisely to speak with those who got hit in the head with a brick – or worse. Enough to compel some to wallup.
She takes few notes but Double-Click invariably feels she is listening attentively, whether he talks about his travels, his concerns for his children, his mother, his marriage, his job.
She is an accomplished practitioner who knows exactly when Double-Click tries to sidestep the harsh and unsightly reality, the insidiously unsettling truth.
A therapy well worth a little poem.
My birthday was yesterday.
Today is another day…
The day they name my oppressor,
Like a time-warp usurper…
An old folks’ condition affecting the younger
To get back at junior for targeting senior?
My kingdom for a shrink.
Turns out it’s a she-shrink.
I speak, I unravel!
She listens as if I were a marvel.
Her smile is the pill.
Mona loves her job. She finds the human psyche fascinating and considers soul and spirit as one.
She has been Double-Click’s therapist for a few years now. He comes to see her at the fancy of his moods. Mona recalls their first session.
He was one of her first patients, after she graduated. She felt a little intimidated, but he was far too troubled to notice. He quoted Steve Jobs as if to make it easier on her. He had just found out about his disease, and the diagnosis had upended his outlook – overnight. He who was usually so confident, so proud of his success, saw what he had taken for an invincible armor protecting him come undone like a soap bubble. He poured out all his fears, natural daughters born of his forced union with his disease. They had grown, hidden away, feeding on dark thoughts that Double-Click could no longer dispel. Mona was used to it. She pacified him while helping him face his fears.
The sessions succeeded one another. He learned to overcome his reserve and open up. He often walks into her office with a calm demeanor, pretending all is fine. But she senses something is not quite right, and a few minutes later, his words no longer hide his trouble. Confiding brings comfort. Only a few stubborn thoughts won’t come out – they are simply too painful. The magic of his earnest self-mockery keeps them at bay.
Sometimes she doesn’t hear from him for weeks. It probably means that he’s fine, but you never know… He could at least