Dear John Letters

My therapist’s name is John. It’s funny that Dear John letters are breakup letters. He has been my therapist since 9/11 or 9/12 2016. I wrote this email today at 2pm. My therapy session was this morning at 10:45. I used to write a lot of emails between therapy sessions. Some weekends I bombarded him with 5 plus crazy emails.

The last email was in February. Then I found this one in January, the day before my birthday:

I am staying home from work
I couldn’t leave to go to the office felt too weak
After a phone session with a client in a lot of relationship pain which caused me to think, I decided I should just be kind at least 80 % of the time at home
Act as though the world is ending soon and that’s the top priority
If I just focus on that one thing and fuck the mess and plans for future and al the rest at least it should be easy
It’s easier to try to be kind than fix any of these problems I complain about and all the stuff I say I want to change about myself since I’m so mentally exhausted as well as physical
Isn’t that the point all the spiritual practices talk about?

Most of these emails were written in moments of torment and despair or in very excited inspired moods. What I found weird was how I said I wanted to act as though the world was ending and focus on kindness. I was having one of those night before birthday pity parties. Little did I know the pandemic was coming to test us all in terms of our humanity and daily compassion.

So today I wrote

Dear John,

I know I had this idea a long time ago and then forgot about it but I could give my writing the structure that I’m writing you letters. It would be about the therapeutic relationship and being a therapist. It may be another manic thing but I’m going to try it out with my daily writing. Not sure I want to go backwards and rewrite them or just start it now like reality- it’s taken me 47 days to figure out my writing project that I’m doing right now… Natasha

That’s the first email I’ve sent him since Covid began. Over the past 6 weeks I’ve had moments I would have written but couldn’t summon the energy or didn’t want to bother him.

The story of our therapy starts with 9/11 and now we are in Covid. I was following you from office to office at the beginning and felt like the girl in the famous painting, Cristina’s World. She’s in the grass crawling towards a house.

Now I’m in my bunker and you’re at home with the sun coming through the window and two dogs and two cats.

Last session I couldn’t stop crying. I’ve been crying a lot for no reason. Maybe it’s the lack of movement, fresh air and sun. And no dog. I haven’t wanted a dog this bad in a long time.

We talked about writing and I told you about more about my daily writing. You don’t write but you wrote a Haiku about baking bread for some publication. It inspired me to send my poem to a Quaranzine call for submissions.

I made up this story about a person living alone in Covid 19 and she has been inside so long she taped up her windows. Today I had a moment of thinking what if outside wasn’t real anymore and was mire like a Zoom video background. The alone part of me that is what often talks to you in therapy is the crazy one.

I need to go to bed. The later it is the badder and more crazy making this situation is.

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