Lessons Only Therapy Can Teach You

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Therapy bows her head as you enter the white walls with taped roses; you stare.
You count how many problems it took for you to end up here, comprising the strength of silence with fear of vulnerability. Therapy has a contagious laugh. It always ends on a cliffhanger and the silence is fatal. But the first lesson you learned is that silence and reflection are necessary when you don't know how to swim. You remember the pool-drenched days spent floating with your eyes closed even though the sun made your black world orange. You never thought of how you had spent your days floating until you sunk, until the schoolwork, until your race, until your relationships all crashed and burned. No one can hear you screaming underwater.

The second lesson you learned is that it's okay to scream. To cry. To shatter. To mold. The radio static between thoughts will grip onto a signal and you will be drenched with clarity once again. The first thought will be a habit repeating until it echoes to all the darkest corners of your brain:“This is a normal response to abnormal situations.” It doesn't matter what type of psychiatrists you have, or if they look at you and see a missing prescription. It doesn't matter how many bad guidance counselors you have had--the ones that bruised your trauma until all you could see is black and blue.

You are told by one person who could change your life forever, “This is a normal response to abnormal situations.” You are not crazy. You are not head split with a decomposing body rattling inside, bugs crawling all over. You are not glass half empty of promises. You are not crossed out words after a first draft. You are not abnormal. Therapy cocks her head to the side and watches the revelation inside of you burn. Your eyes widen. She just taught you something.

By Natalia Mercedes Rodriguez

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