It’s been a very long time since I’ve broken up with anyone, and I had forgotten the sturm und drang that comes the decision to end a relationship. I suspect I’m not alone in the feeling that any situation in which there’s a possibility of hurt and/or bitterness is trying territory. And so when, after five years of visiting the same very good doctor, I decided to sever the relationship and switch to someone else, I was kind of freaked out about it.
It was of little comfort to me that my reason for the break-up was not about the doctor herself, nor about her staff—it was based almost entirely on logistics, and what worked best for my life and my situation. That almost made it worse, actually: It wasn’t them, really. It was me. And I’d forgotten that terrible game one plays with oneself in a break-up, the stages one goes through: The Guilt Stage (They’ve been so good to me, so sweet and so reliable!); The Defensive Stage (What, am I supposed to ignore what’s really best for me because I’m nice?); The Procrastination Stage (I’ll call over there for my files tomorrow. Or next week.)