“So, Anna, do you know why you’re here?” she asks.
“Because my mother doesn’t understand the difference between having a plan and planning.” I tell her. I try to be matter-of-fact, I try to match her professionalism, but irritation glimmers at the edge of my voice.
“Hm,” she says. I can tell she isn’t really concerned. She scribbles a few words on her clipboard, looks up at me. “And what makes you feel this way?”
“It’s the cinnamon.” I tell her. She looks at me, raises her eyebrows a little, the universal signal for ‘please continue.’ So I do, “I’m deathly allergic to cinnamon so I make sure to always have some with me. Here,” I reach for my purse, pull out a thin, sealed tube, hand it to her. “I like to keep my options open, see?”
“Anna, if you’re having suicidal thoughts…” she begins, but I cut her off. If you’re planning to kill yourself, you’re having ‘suicidal thoughts.’ If you simply have a plan but no direct intention to follow through, then you’re just thinking about suicide. This is the difference no one seems to understand. She’s looking at me like I’m crazy.
“It’s only about keeping my options open. If I am going to be here, and I have no intention not to be, I want to be here by choice, by my choice, everyday,” I tell her again. “If you’re not in control then you’re the victim.”
More scribbles on the clipboard.