• Mr Bigleys

I Am Not Your Therapist



A concerning trend has taken over our nation: People won't stop talking about their mental health. Don't get me wrong: At first, it was great. The people who sought help were finally applauded for taking initiative instead of being shamed by their peers. But, as society will do, we've taken this whole thing a tad too far.


This spike in discussing mental health has caused people's problems to leak into my life. I'm not sure as to exactly why, but the evidence is mounting that I've become a target for these mental midgets. Not in the sense of getting stabbed by someone whose McDonald's order came out wrong. Rather, these people see me as a person who wants to hear about their issues without paying the therapist fees. They see me as 'Therapy Lite' if you will.

I'll admit it, part of this is entirely my fault; I'm a good listener - a narcissistic listener - but a good listener nonetheless. It's arguably the only good trait I have going for me. That, combined with my face, naturally droopy eyes (further enhanced by drugs), and overall demeanor that screams, "this guy probably has issues too," has caused an unfortunate uptick in random people spilling their traumatic guts to me.


In today's climate, it feels as though many of us have lost out on one of life's most important lessons: Nobody (besides those close to you, and even then….) really cares about your problems. I've always lived by the motto that one man's tragedy is another man's blessing. A miscarriage may be the most devastating moment of someone's life right now, but if that happened to me…well, that's just proof that God does read his emails.


Shockingly, no matter how many random strangers decide to tell me about their dreadful lives, it never gets any less challenging to sit there and pretend that I care. The selfish side of me wants to tell these people to stop being poor - using me as the Lite version of the app - and go pay for the actual thing.


"But I don't have the money.

Well, if that's the case, do what your father, and his father, and his father's father did:

  • Keep your mouth shut.

  • Stuff those issues down as if it were a full trash bag that you're too lazy to take out.

  • And hold it all within until the stress either causes you to explode and/or kills you.


"But that's so unhealthy."

Yeah, and so is jumping on a grenade, but when a soldier takes a dive to absorb the explosion to save his platoon from certain death and misery, we view him as a hero. Metaphorically speaking, more people should jump on that grenade…



See, people who openly discuss their depressing lives to complete strangers are inherently selfish. To them, you're nothing more than a professional listener who happens to be in the middle of running on a treadmill. No amount of head nods and "I'm so sorry to hear that's" will ever satisfy these subhumans. Not even masks can block the virus that is their misery. These people don't want solutions; Sound advice won't put out this mess. The only way to get away from these people is to fight fire with fire.

It's important that you don't get in a swinging match with these publicly distressed humans; They're professional bitchers. Going blow for blow with a slightly worse tragedy of your own won't work. That only leads to a battle of one-upping each other.


To win this war, you need to return fire ten, fifteen…one-hundred-fold. You need to say something so despicable, so dispiriting, that even these sad saps look at you as if you're the one who needs professional help. The only solution to these people's problems is knowing that there's someone who they can look down on.

I've learned this through years of experience, meticulously updating my formula following every conversation. It wasn't until just a few months ago that I finally perfected my very own M=MC^2 tragedy equation:


Months back, I was at the gym cleaning off the stationary bike I had just finished using. A man walking by asked if I was finished. I confirmed. He then inquired if I preferred using the bike with or without a back. I thought it was pretty clear since I had just gotten off the bike with a back, but I remained friendly. Maybe he just wanted to hear my expertise. After all, my calves did look impeccable.


When I finished with my explanation, the man, out of nowhere, threw me a calamity curveball, saying, "Yeah, I just got back into taking my health seriously and making sure to go the gym. COVID's been really tough on me and my family. I know eight people who passed from the disease."



I was trapped. It didn't take long for me to start to realize that he didn't care about which stationary bike I preferred at all. This man was a professional trauma hunter. The bike opening was nothing more than an 'in' so that he could tell me about his terrible year; A year, mind you, that I had no interest in hearing about.


I recognized that I had to move fast. I put my headphones in and started to walk away after my disingenuous "I'm sorry to hear that," but he continued speaking straight through my desperate escape attempt. I panicked and told him "I had nine family members pass from COVID this year," as a way of alphaing / one-upping the man, but he kept on speaking about himself as if my nine imaginary family deaths wasn't one misfortune more than his own.


It was at this point that I finally had enough. Plan A and B had failed. I was hesitant to pull out the drastic plan C, but I couldn't hold my tongue any longer. After bringing up his grandma's passing, I knew I found my avenue: Relate grandmas to grandmas.


I quickly cut him off to explain how I was currently being investigated for life insurance fraud after I wrapped my grandmother's head in a plastic bag attempting to keep her from getting COVID. His shocked face only encouraged me to continue, "What people don't like to admit about masks, and especially these plastic bags, is that they're not good for your respiratory system, particularly for people my grandma's age. You're breathing back in a lot of carbon monoxide. I found her sitting in the same spot a week later with the bag still over her head. The hospital attributed her death to COVID, but State Farm had the audacity to ignore their duty to pay me my rightful sum of life insurance money over some petty dispute questioning her death."



Reenactment

Silence. I had finally depressed the depressor. All he could come back with was, "I'm sorry to hear that," as he climbed on the bike and began his workout. This was the moment….this was the moment I perfected the formula.


Since then, I've used this proven method to stop numerous God-forsaken conversations before they even have a chance to get rolling. In January, for example, I tripped into another verbal molestation by a man who felt the need to speak on his daddy issues regarding how his father left him at a young age.


For women, I'll sit around and listen, hoping that maybe in 2-3 hours I can get a dry, over-the-pants hand job. But with my refusal to admit that I'm gay, listening to a man's daddy issues shows no immediate benefit for me. For this reason, I took an understanding but demeaning approach.


I started by sympathizing with the father, explaining how I had recently dropped my cell phone in that crack between the driver seat and door following a three day drinking binge. I told him, "I was so fucked up I didn't even think about going back and getting it. Left it there for three full days. I gotta imagine he was feeling something similar, you know?"

It was clear that this statement alone was enough to end the conversation, but I had just popped an Addy, and the effects were in full effect. I continued, "Listen, man, I understand how it feels to hate your parents. When I was younger, I grabbed the steering wheel as my father was driving and turned it into ongoing traffic. I survived, but both my mother and father passed. When I woke up in the hospital, I lied to the cops and told them that my parents were functioning alcoholics and had fallen asleep at the wheel. This is actually the first time I've ever told someone that. Feels good to finally get it off my chest in a confidential, safe space."


I followed up by showing him my screensaver; Something I had been waiting to use for months:



I even took my show on the road as recent as 2 weeks ago before boarding a plane to Atlanta. I was sitting in the lobby, waiting for the plane to begin boarding, when this asshole chose to sit right next to me. The sitting area was at no more than 25% capacity, so I knew I had another situation on my hands.


Predictably, the guy broke into a conversation with me. It would eventually devolve into him speaking on his devout Christianity. Things took a dark turn, though, when he started telling me about his sex addiction. He said it was ruining his relationship with his girlfriend and creating a divide between him and his faith.


Let me note that religious people are a different sort of animal to deal with when it comes to situations like these. A mental illness that science attributes to a chemical imbalance are simply 'demons' to these people. To get out of this verbal crucifixion, I knew I would have to bring out my best stuff yet.

I went into a bit I had been developing in my head for months. I explained to the man how I, too, was religious and about how I could understand how it feels to be tested by the lord our savior, Jesus Christ. I told him that growing up, I was picked on for my devout Christian attitude. To make things worse, my teeth were completely shifted. It forced me to wear headgear for seven months during middle school. The kids around me were relentless, but one in particular - Sean - made my life a living hell.


He would spread rumors that I was gay and would only refer to me as "headgear Jesus." I told the man, "But you know what I did? I followed that little voice in my head. You know the one: The Holy Spirit. Best decision I ever made."


He asked what I meant by that. I told him, "Let's just say I pulled a Genesis 22 on Sean...except, unlike Abraham, I actually went through with it. I'd recommend you follow that voice too."



The guy surprisingly took what I said pretty well, but it still managed to halt the conversation. It was my best work to date.




No way! How’d you find him?


...oh…OH...…Oh boy....I mean....my method did get him to stop talking to me....and to be fair, the media is telling me it was a race thing..so...not on me!

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...can't help but feel bad for his cellmate....

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Edit: ....AND THE VICTIMS! Goddamnit, I really fucked this one up.

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