“It’s August… Where Is My Shrink?”

 
Image Courtesy of  Psychology Today

Image Courtesy of Psychology Today

By Cynthia Adler

Ever think about the fact that most Psychiatrists and Psychologists take off the month of August, and if they happen to be in New York, they might head for the Hamptons, or the Berkshires, or wherever?

And sometimes play the “See You In September” song on their answering machines?

Well, that might not be anything you’d ever think of, unless of course, you happen to be a client. Then it’s a whole other story.  You are quite used to that once a week input, where you fly out of the office (or off the phone,) ready to face the challenges of the outer world with positive power and purpose.  Sometimes a hit of adrenaline, sometimes some deep thought, and sometimes a dose of sadness that hopefully melts throughout the day,

But it’s August. And as you walk through the crowded streets and stores now, are you feeling abandonment issues rising in your chest?  Or are you thinking that you’re free at last to act out in any way you want, since you don’t have to answer to anyone. 

While you are being squashed into a subway car or bus, are you looking at other people, wondering what their mental states are at the moment in relation to yours?  Maybe you’re in a big department store buying some summer clothes on sale, and some woman pushes right in front of you in the checkout line, and you immediately snap, “Are you just rude, or just feeling a big sense of entitlement, lady??  I was here first. So get the F in back of me!!”  And you hear, “Whoa…what is your problem, girl? Is your Shrink out of town?!” 

You don’t answer that one.

But when you think about what just happened, truthfully, it just doesn’t make any sense to you.  You know you major over-reacted, and it’s been two weeks since a session.  You were sure you were not that dependent on your weekly visits.  But somewhere inside you, you are starting to question that.  You look around you everywhere you go and wonder if people are looking at you like maybe you are off your daily meds, (even though you don’t take any.)

There is only one solution you suddenly think of.   A little pin with a small piece of paper, covered in see-through plastic, fastened to your collar that says, “My Shrink is out of town for the month.  Cut me a break!”   And then, you can act out or say anything you want to anyone, and everyone will cut you some slack.

In fact, that may work so well you might just want to keep wearing it all the time and maybe decide you don’t even need to see your Shrink anymore.  Not great for him or for her. But who knows.