back “In Treatment”

HBO’s “In Treatment” started its second season with two back-to-back episodes showing last night. Each episode equals to one session with Dr. Paul Weston, a psychologist (played by Gabriel Byrne). There’s definitely a bit of voyeurism involved in getting excited over this show. I guess when you’re in therapy, you kind of wonder what other people’s session might be like.

Anyway, as I sat down to catch the first episode, my sister came by and promptly switched the channel to watch the Academy of Country Music Awards (she’s a big Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood fan). She left after seeing my cat Simon, so I got to see most of the second episode. This episode involved a session with an architecture student named April. She was diagnosed with a stage 3 cancer five weeks prior but hasn’t sought treatment or told anyone, including her parents. In order to tell Dr. Weston, she had to take out her little Moleskine pad and write the diagnosis down. Among other stories, April also talked about how she had seen another therapist but stopped seeing her by never calling her back.

I am not in a life-or-death position like she is, but some of her stories had similarities to my anecdotal stories. For instance, I told my parents I had tried to kill myself a week after I got out of the hospital. Actually, I didn’t tell them by speaking to them; I sent a fax. But there were more than just episodic similarities, at least in my opinion. More than anything, it was that cadence in her voice that was so familiar….and that constant use of sarcasm.   And that laughter that’s really not a laugh at all. Though I’m thankful I don’t know what it’s like to be in such a dire situation, I knew the inner struggle of a person that talks in that rhythm with those word choices. Maybe it’s a bit creepy to feel like I relate to this character, but I noticed that something had changed in me since the last season;  My emotional load seems a lot lighter than I remember.  I used to get so wrapped up in emoting with a character(especially Sophie in the last season) that those thoughts would just play in my head well after I watched the show. This time around, I watched “Arrested Development” right afterward and laughed.  I find it a bit odd I’m using a TV show as my emotional barometer, but according to this measuring instrument, I am doing better.

Oh, and one more thing.  I always carry a little Moleskine pad in my bag.

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