Buddhist Tranquility: Unplugged

Drinking like a ladyI made an appointment with a reputable Manhattan therapist. While I sat in Dr. Andro’s zen-themed waiting room, I listened to the pitter-patter of the electric waterfall and felt at peace. It was the most soothing atmosphere I’d ever stumbled upon. It was a sign. Finally, I was going to be fixed. I daydreamed about what lovely little pills I’d be leaving with that would make me drink less, and maybe even lose weight as well! Oh, what a feminine little lady I was about to become.

Dr. Andro called me into his office and gave me a glance that could be described as “knowing” if only I’d had the ability to understand exactly what he knew. I immediately set off telling him what I was hoping to get out of this session. He cut me off with my least favorite question. “Exactly how much and how often do you drink?”

Even if I’d wanted to be honest, no response would have been truthful. I didn’t know. That was the beauty of drinking as much as I did – I never really had to face the memory of it.

“1-2 glasses of wine a night,” I ventured. He peered at me from under his glasses. He looked me up and down for what felt like an hour. I believe he may have even shaken his head and uttered a “tsk, tsk.”

“Ms. Hand,” Dr. Andro started as he set down his notebook and folded his hands in his lap.

Shit. I knew this talk. Good-bye little pills. Good-bye weight loss. Good-bye lady dreams.

“I cannot treat you, in good conscience, until you can be honest with me. And even then I’d be wary.”

“I don’t understand,” I felt my face get red with rage. “I need help and you’re supposed to help people.”

Buddhist Water Fountain“I cannot help you, dear, until you’ve helped yourself. I will not see you again until you’ve removed all substances from the equation.” This prick. This fucking prick.

“It’s clear to me that you are dependent on substances, and I can only recommend long-term treatment or perhaps giving a 12-step meeting a try.”

I hated him for delaying the now-dying dream of beautiful prescriptions. “Yeah, ok, I’ll go to a meeting tonight. Now, about those prescriptions….”

“Ms. Hand, that will be $20 to cover the visit today, and please let me know how the meetings works out for you.”

I didn’t give him his money. I told him he didn’t do his job, which was to help me, so I didn’t owe him anything. I added that in fact, he hurt me, so he’d be hearing from the lawyer we both knew I didn’t have.

I thumped out of his office, through the passé Buddhist waiting room, unplugging his stupid electric water fountain before I left.


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