I hate this armchair, but I try to settle comfortably. I am paying for this, after all.
"So let's pick up where we stopped last week. Why don't you want to have children?"
I look at him. He's scratching his nose, not looking like an inquisitor at all. I smile.
"I don't want anyone to have my genes."
"What's wrong with your genes?"
"I'm chronically depressed." I wave an airy hand. And all that. I also have really bad blood circulation and asthma. But those don't count. They aren't life-threatening. They don't make you want to die. Or try to die.
"Do you believe depression is genetic?"
"I believe that it is, yes. And even if it's not, how could I bring up someone if I'm sad a lot? Wouldn't it be unfair on the child?"
I was brought up by someone with addiction. I know what it feels when your love is not enough for someone to change, not enough to make them happy. When you are a child, you don't know happiness is something you make for yourself. You think it's your fault.
"Why do you believe it's genetic?"
"I don't want to believe I had a choice in this."
I didn't choose to be alive. A lot of the time I wish I weren't. I'm stuck here for the best and for the worse. And my best is amazing. And my worse is soul-killing.
"I don't want to believe that I chose depression for myself."
"You've been through a lot."
"No, I haven't. And even if I had, it wouldn't change anything to the fact that it's my responsability to go beyond my bad experiences to make something of myself. If it's something wrong in my genome, my stumbles don't make me feel so guilty."
I choose to not be angry; I choose to forgive and forget, I choose to fight for what I care for.
"Maybe everything is a choice."
"Yes it is. You're here. You're choosing to remain alive. You're choosing to see me. You're choosing to get better. Every morning you go running to pump some endorphins in yourself and make yourself happier."
I can't see through my tears.
"Sometimes I feel no one knows what this feels like. How bloody hard it is. That no one cares."
"Don't you think I care?"
"I don't know."
My family cares. My friends care. But in the end, the shrink is right.
I choose this struggle, and I will run again tomorrow, and I'll think of the things I love and am passionate about. I'll see my friends and family. I'll cuddle with the cats and make really stupid jokes.
Whatever is coming, I may not be ready, but I choose to pretend I am. Give it to me, and watch me take it.
I choose to be a grown-up.
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