7 Steps to Escaping Therapy

So you’ve been forced to undergo psychiatric therapy, and you’re not one bit happy about it. It’s been an unpleasantly warm spring. Can you imagine stewing in a tiny room with that cloying heat? Your disgusting sweaty back sticking to the leather couch? Fuck that noise, I’m here to help you weasel out of this, step by step.

1. Understand your predicament.
The first thing they’ll ask is why you think you’re here, so having an answer prepared will speed up the process. Well, where to start? You’re riddled with neuroses, you brood endlessly about death, and there was that time at the aquarium when you meant to say octopus but accidentally said Oedipus. Nobody heard it but, still, yikes.

The main reason, though, is most likely the substantial – others might say excessive – amount of Lola Bunny fuck-fiction your wife unearthed while looking for the good pair of scissors, even though the other pair works perfectly if you sort of twist the handles slightly clockwise, so she had no reason to be snooping around in your desk. The point is she found them, read them, was horrified. And understandably so. I’ve read most of them myself and the things you have Lola do are abominable. Grisly stuff, no lie.

2. Stay calm.
Ranting and raving will only hurt your case. Relax. We’re going to get out of this. Seek comfort in the knowledge that I’m here for you, and more importantly, I understand you. It’s not like they were recent fuck-fictions. You wrote those years ago. It was the peak of puberty. You were going through a weird thing. It’s natural. You always meant to throw them away, but never got around to it. It happens. Why were they in the top drawer? Why were they so expertly collated? Irrelevant! We’ve all been brainwashed by the Cult of “Why?” Here’s a Why for you: Why can’t we just let life’s mysteries be? Oh! how we clutch and grasp at our pithy explanations!

You don’t have to explain anything to me. I’m on your side. But, for the record, this one here, the intensely graphic one about Lola and Foghorn Leghorn, it really, really looks like an adult’s handwriting, and– okay, okay, fine, fine! I won’t mention it again. Jeez…

3. Act sane.
Let me be clear: I’m not saying you’re insane. When I say you need to “act” sane I mean be overtly sane, exaggerate your sanity, “Turn it up to eleven” (Spinal Tap: The Movie, 1994). Think of your psyche as an old pair of shoes: where others might think “worn out” or “filthy,” you think comfortable. You don’t need a new pair, the laces aren’t that badly frayed, and the gaping hole in the toe shows character.

Here’s the therapist. Approach them. Shake their gender-neutral hand. Okay, that was a fairly hard squeeze, harder than necessary, definitely moved some bones, but I think that’s how people do it nowadays. Now smile. Give ‘em a grin that screams “Assimilation? None for me thanks! I’m full of the stuff!” Fuck, don’t literally scream it. Just smile like a sane person.

Whoa. No. No no no what the hell is that? You hear the phrase “smile like a sane person” and that’s what your face muscles do? Wow. Oh God. Oh my God.

4. Maybe try the therapy?
Let’s say, total hypothetical, that you are insane, and that it’s impossible for you to even fake sanity, because you are, and it clearly is. What harm is there in giving it the good old college try? See those bootstraps? Give ‘em a tug, old sport!

Therapy is sometimes called the talking cure. Navigation of the unconscious through free association of ideas and words. It’s actually not so bad, after all. The seemingly insignificant privilege of having someone listen to your voice softens your muscles, lightens your tongue until the words fall off like so many droplets of dew from a leaf. You wholeheartedly believe you could achieve results with this process if you stick with it long enough.

But, you wonder, how long is “long enough?” A few months of sessions? A year? Ten years? A lifetime? You spend your whole life being cured; what is life, then, but an extended illness? If disease is the only possibility, why waste time pursuing an unattainable ideal of perfect mental health? It’s absurd! Deluded! Downright religious!

You’re still imprisoned in the uncompromising reality of this muggy office, a thick film of sweat coating your thighs. You’ve run the gamut of initial faith to inevitable cynicism in well under ten minutes. Congrats, it took Tony Soprano six seasons. Back to the escape!

5. Outwit the therapist.
Okay, so you’re insane and incurable, but maybe it’s a Lecter-flavoured insanity. Interhuman discourse is a game of chess and you’re a Grandmaster. You can see up to and including a whole four words ahead of everyone else. Use this to your advantage. For example, lure the therapist into accusing you of projecting, and then respond by telling them they’re the one projecting their fear of projection. They’ll need the rest of the afternoon to untangle that one. “Hey, wait a minute,” they’ll say, but it’s too late, you’re already in Mexico.

Did it work? Really? Hmm. Kinda thought that one would work. Looks like we’ll have to…

6. Go Shawshank.
I’m 99% certain you have at least one sharp object on your person. Good. Use it to burrow through the wall. “Look over there!” is a classic misdirectional phrase you can employ to distract the warden and buy a few seconds of digging.

If you’re enjoying this reference, there are other ways to strengthen the homage: refer to the therapist as a warden, hide your escape-hole with a poster of a contemporary actress, drink a beer with Morgan Freeman on the roof. By the by, did you know Freeman’s character was actually an Irishman with red hair in the original book? Ugh, sorry, I don’t mean to be one of those people who can’t discuss a movie without casually mentioning that they “thought the book was better.” I hate those people. It’s like, apples and oranges, bro. Nobody’s impressed that you read books, especially Stephen King books. Oh, the session’s over? That gives me a new plan…

7. Leave.

Haha! You did it! We did it! Sweet freedom, baby!

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