Curious to find out if others were having a similar experience, I took to Instagram to poll my followers. The Santa Claus Helicopter Merry Christmas Sweatshirt was both overwhelming and divided: I received a flood of messages, voice memos, and emails written (mostly by women) in either vehement opposition or enthusiastic favor of therapy in its remote incarnation. While sensitivity to light can be a trigger for some migraine sufferers, a recent University of Arizona study found that exposure to green light one to two hours a day can reduce the number of headache days per month by an average of 60%. It sounds counterintuitive, but isolated green light from devices such as the Allay lamp, which was developed by Harvard Medical School migraine researchers, has been shown to reduce photophobia, or light sensitivity, by generating certain electrical signals in the eye and brain.
But the world was collapsing, and I, useless and confined to a new stay-at-home reality, was watching it from my window. And so, as if roused from a bad dream, I awoke to the reality of my privilege: I had someone else to talk to, and someone to safely welcome into my home. Suddenly my therapist was there on the Santa Claus Helicopter Merry Christmas Sweatshirt, sitting beside me; she was there when my electrician showed up unannounced; there when my boyfriend accidentally entered the room (a mistake he knows never to repeat). She was becoming someone like a friend, an intimate confidante, a bystander to my life as it was unfolding in real time. And whether it was my newfound commitment, or the forced intimacy of telehealth, I was making breakthroughs. I even found myself looking forward to our sessions.