Talking to my Therapist about Climate Anxiety

by Nadia Lines

So we sit, as we do
every Tuesday, in chairs that are somehow
too deep, with the six feet
of professional distance
spread out on the rug before us.

How was your week?

Not great – I wring my hands – not great
I am not working as hard as I could be and
my sister won’t talk to me
and my mum has a cold and I’m terrified she’ll die
and I can’t sleep at night because I’m up at night tumbling into terror about our approaching climate catastrophe.

Usually, my therapist replies by listening quietly,
watching – not
saying much
until the inevitable twenty-minute deconstruction of my suffering at the end of the hour,
and sometimes,
if I am crying,
she will tell me that
nobody is going to die.
This time, she simply nods.