Dry September

“I’m terrified of women now,” I said, looking down into my half-empty glass of lukewarm water. Somewhat embarrassed. Mainly sad.
“I see,” my therapist said, after a pause. Grabbed her pencil, but didn’t write anything on her notepad. Just looked at me with a compassion and care I never saw in her before. Like a mother picking up her child from the ground, after he had just fallen from his bike and landed face first on the pavement. “What do you want to do to deal with this process? Have you thought about that?”
“My head is a mess,” I sighed. Looked at her, then stared again into my glass. “But I can’t… Won’t get back to what I did before, after my other breakups,” I replied. “Going out and screwing around like nothing has happened… I just can’t. It’ll only bring me down, harder. I need some time alone.”
“That sounds good. And healthy.”
“It does, right? Specially now. I feel too weak. Drained. Jumping back on Tinder or even just flirting with anyone… it’s scary. I’m so afraid of getting hurt again. I’m not ready for any of that. Not at all.”
“Take all the time you need then. And do what you feel like. Whatever feels good, whatever feels right,” my therapist emphasized.
“I actually made a promise to myself. It’s kind of silly, but I think it’s a start.”
“What is it?” she asked, lifting her pencil again.
“Dry September. And I don’t mean ‘no alcohol’,” I smiled, raising my eyebrows.
“Yeah. I got it,” she replied. No sense of humor there. “As I said: whatever feels right.”
“Nothing feels more right than this,” I said. Proud of myself.

It was painful to revisit the last few days. All the hurt, the helplessness, the doubts, the profound sorrow. Yet, I left her office feeling, somehow, lighter. Going through the details of my breakup and the reasons for it was intense, but cathartic. “One hour and 1,000 kroner well spent,” I thought. Still mournful and beaten up, but, just slightly, better.

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