Colors of My Life
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anxiety attack at the hospital
I went to a crowded general hospital when I needed to talk to a psychotherapist in a safe, quiet environment. I prepared for this session in my mind for a whole day and felt better about myself for asking for help. However, what awaited me was a place that drove my anxiety levels higher.
We left the apartment at 9:30 AM and went to the hospital by subway. When we got off the subway and were walking to the hospital, I felt people knew I was going to the hospital though I knew they didn't care. I always thought I was comfortable with the idea of therapy but when it was my turn to go to therapy the experience is different.
We arrived around 11 AM and had to register on the first floor. The nurse was confused about my foreign passport. I said the country of my passport and the woman next to me looked at me. After the nurse registered me, we went to pay the fee. My mom asked the nurse a bunch of obvious questions after paying and the nurse became irritated. We rode the elevator to the third floor. When the elevator door opened, I knew something was wrong. The rows of seats were packed and people stood at the door, waiting to go in. I told myself it's okay. Maybe it's not as bad as I thought. We went to the end of the hallway to find a seat. My mom went to the doctor's room while I stood at the end of the hallway. She came back and told me people only talk to the doctor for 5 minutes. I couldn't hold my emotions anymore. I wanted to burst into tears. I couldn't believe this was the therapy I imagined.
My mom went to wait next to the door while I stayed at the end of the hallway. I put on the headphones and tried not to cry. After an hour, she came back and told me to come with her. There were fewer people in front of the door we were waiting for. She told me how people go in with their family and come out after a few minutes. She said it's not what we wanted but let's go see the doctor since we're here. We stopped talking. I said I didn't know what the meaning of this was. She realized I was uncomfortable. She said we could leave. I considered forcing myself into the room because she had paid.
When we got out of the building, I started crying. My mom told me it's okay. She said she didn't know enough about counseling and signed me up for the wrong appointment. She offered we go to a restaurant for lunch. I said no because I had an online meeting at 2 PM. We got in a taxi and went home.
In the taxi, my mom found a counseling center and asked if I was okay with the availability of the therapist. I told her I wanted to choose the therapist on my own. I was uncomfortable my mom was talking about this loudly in front of the taxi driver. When we were almost home, the taxi driver asked my mom how old I was so that I need a tutor. The counselors are called teachers by the center so the taxi driver thought we were talking about getting a tutor.