"It's been a few weeks," I respond quietly. His expression reveals nothing as he scribbles notes on his notepad. I look down at my hands and try to decide whether I feel proud or ashamed? Part of my mind says "Congrats! It's been a few weeks! Keep going" while the other part screams "Wow, only, a few weeks? You are pathetic." My hands keep fidgeting.

Everything I wanted to say suddenly seems stupid. I feel myself closing up. "Have you ever been suicidal?," his voice brings me back to reality. "No," I automatically reply. My stomach tightens as I ask myself if I am being honest. "Have you ever had suicidal thoughts?," he continues, always looking down at his notepad. Or maybe it is me, I'm always looking down. I rarely find the courage to look into his eyes. "No," I repeat, and again I wonder if I am lying.

"You look capable of reaching out for help by yourself," he concludes. "Use a computer and plug in this information," he adds, while handing me a flyer. I swallow back my fear and smile as I grab the flyer. "Thanks. I will," I politely respond. My mind races but my body feels slow. I feel tired. I am tired. Can't he see that? He smiles and wishes me a great day. In and out in 10-15 minutes, and suddenly I am in charge of finding my own help.

I wrote this in frustration after the school counseling center politely told me I could find my own counselor. It took a lot of energy just to drag my feet into the counseling center. Alas, I will find a counselor on my own time. Anyways, I feel okay. I miss my family dearly but I'm happy to live where I do. Hope everyone is hanging in there!
-A