“Do you have any suicidal tendencies, thoughts? Anything you would ever or have ever acted on?” It’s like she is reading from a script in a play that I would have left half way through if given the chance. She has been constantly finding new ways to rephrase the same question that she is refusing to directly ask, are you insane? I have a feeling she knows the answer, though, by the way her stare is piercing through my fidgeting hands. She’s waiting for a response I don’t want to give — an admittance of a cold truth that I have been fighting for a lifetime.
“No. I mean, yes. I think about it constantly. Contemplating reality more-so than death. It calms me down… but I would never act on it. I promised myself I would live to be one hundred and four years old so that I could live through three centuries; I can’t quit on my goals. I still have eighty-six years to go — well, eighty-five, my birthday is in a month.”
The counsellor is looking at my hands again and they feel like they are burning. I put them under my thighs to break the connection and she is writing something down on her clipboard. She had been using the clipboard throughout the entire session. It’s been getting to me. The clicking sound it makes every time her pen makes contact to it is wearing me down, like a timer counting down the seconds before my inescapable doom. I wonder what she’s writing.
“Do you feel like you are currently, or have recently, been a risk to yourself or others?”
What kind of unnecessary question was that? She can see the distinct lack of marks on my wrist, can she not? She has been staring at my hands long enough to have noticed there’s nothing worth noticing. “No. I mean, yes. I’m volatile but controlled. I feel it in me, but I keep it in me.”
The counsellor has now started to stare at the clipboard, rather than my hands. Unsure of what to write, I assume. When I said I was volatile, I meant that I have ideas of volatility. I have dreams while I am awake; flashes of myself outside of myself. Flashes of memories I long to suppress. I see my hands stabbing Matthew with the knife he used to threaten me. I see myself shattering the hands he had used to hold mine down, and the legs he had used to force mine open.
When I was at my friend’s place the week before meeting with the counsellor, I had woken up from a nightmare in a frenzy. I kept blinking and seeing a face in a tunnel where reality held a bed post and a white wall. It wouldn’t stop and I ended up punching the post beside me and falling off the bed. Even now, while in the counsellor’s office, the clicking of her pen is making me think of how it would look between her ribs. She is annoying me… deeply.
“Do you know what that is, Taylor?”
My ears pick up and my eyes focus and I realize I must have been zoning out, again. It had been the third time that hour. “Do I know what what is?”
“Taylor, where was your mind wandering just now?” The counsellor continues to stare at my hands; they had gravitated to my earrings while my mind was elsewhere. I put one back under my thigh and the other to my mouth. I have always been a nervous nail-biter.
“I guess I was thinking about the stars. I wish I could see them from my residence, but instead I am on the second floor facing the Magic Forest and teenagers that reek of pot and happiness. I guess I envy them.”
“Do you know what Bipolar Disorder is, Taylor?” Her eyes returned the clipboard while mine are bouncing between her’s and the window to my left. She almost looks more nervous than I feel. Not a very good trait for someone who gets paid to reassure people, if you ask me.
My heart is jumping out of my chest, “yes, I have a vague idea.”
“Okay, great. Well, Taylor, I will make an appointment for the resident psychiatrist in the student health services for you. How does the 20th sound? There is a slot available at 3pm and our-,”
“What does this mean?” I can’t breathe. I know what is coming next. Brace yourself, Taylor.
“I think you are Bipolar.”