The first time I went to a counselor for my depression was sixth grade. At a loss for how to address my issues, my parents sent me to see Mr. Mac, the counselor at my elementary school. As if I weren’t already misfit enough as a new kid that year with my bowties and Madonna socks and gloves (in addition to calling Mr. Ibbotson, our teacher, “Mama” in front of the entire class), I was taken out of the classroom once a week to talk with Mr. Mac. And everyone knew it—one wall of his second-floor office was all windows, overlooking the school’s common area.
I hated sitting on his orange sofa surrounded by motivational posters, as if I would feel better simply by smiling more often or “hanging in there.” Hanging in there until what? What would change how I felt? And was anyone going to help that kitten hanging off the tree branch?