Ah music, the invoker of memories, the inspirer of moods, food of love, understanding comfort in floods of despair…
Music used to be the prevailing background noise in my life but was all too quickly replaced by a louder internal monologue of self loathing so really (not really), I consider myself lucky to spend the amount of time that I do waiting rooms at the moment.
Waiting rooms always have the best music, the kind of stuff that is so ironic it means you have to laugh or you’ll cry.
This place has a newly installed intercom thingy, one of those microphones that means that the receptionist can hear you from the other side of the safety glass as you declare yourself arrived from an appropriate distance because safety first in these offices potentially dangerous mad people.
“Sorry, the microphone isn’t working” she bellows, gesturing at the speakers on her side.
“…not working” she points and then does that mime thing like she’s cutting her throat.
“Did you say 3 o clock?”
It’s 9:55am. I shout back, from my safe distance that “no, I said 10am” – holding up my fingers to indicate ten but at the same time probably looking like I’m showing that I have no concealed weapons.
I sit down and wait to be called while the receptionist resumes her conversation with the man who has come to check the microphone. Through the thick glass. Shouting.
“I’ll put the music on out there and see if I can hear it in here” she yells, annunciating sharply: ‘mew–zick‘.
She pushes some button somewhere in her office behind her glass and the dulcet tones of Now That’s What I Call The Best Mental Health Unit Album In The World Ever Vol.582048 drifts from hidden speakers.
Whut whut, put your rave hats on patients. Psych yourself up for that dreaded psychiatrist appointment as you sob-laugh your way along to Track One.
I mean, I do love this song. I am yet to meet anyone who doesn’t love this song. Thank you Goo Goo Dolls for helping me through some rocky times but there is a time and a place and really, this is neither.
When everything’s made to be broken…
Chuckle chuckle, sob sob, wringing of sweaty palms.
You bleed just to know your aliiiiiive…
Somewhat disappointingly I’m called through before I’m able to find out what the next song is. Gutted.
I had a psychiatrist appointment last week, a private one. No suicide soundtrack in that waiting room and a ninety minute delve into my psyche. That’s a party in itself let me tells ya.
This dude was NHS and therefore not costing me the equilivant of a months rent. But free did unfortunately mean not quite scraping the top layer from all of the layers from the top of the iceberg. It meant a different diagnosis and different advice, all of which I am still processing.
I’m not great in these appointments. They make me nervous and reciting everything makes me hurt and above all the pressure bares down hard because I need this, I need this to get to the next step so that I can get better. My brain chooses these times to go on sabbatical, deciding to recline on a towel on a sandy beach and work on its tan leaving me totally in the lurch. Thanks brain.
I struggle to take in much information on the spot and it’s usually hours and days before it sinks in properly, once my brain is back with its tan lines and holiday photos and has finished unpacking.
It’s not the best sign though when thirty minutes in I find myself thinking I’m going to have to do this all on my own, all over again.
It’s not great when a bombshell is dropped that is so destructive that whoomph this is all you will take away from these forty five minutes of purgatory because everything else is just shrapnel now.
For confidentialities sake I’ll call him Dr Fuckwad* (PHD). Dr Fuckwad with my thick file of notes with my maiden name crossed out in biro and my married named scrawled below in felt tip and all of his questions and the stifling suffocating atmosphere of his office with his name on the door.
I have generalised anxiety disorder he deduces, not depression at all. He is pleased that I am not self harming because, says Dr Fuckwad, it would be much harder to help me if I was so I should keep not doing that please.
Dr F confirmed that the six weeks of hell I endured was indeed withdrawal *ahem* I mean discontinuation effects and that I should stay on the medication because it works and sure, I can’t actually feel emotion or hunger or anything, nor can I poo – I mean like at all. I haven’t had a good poo for over two years and that is exhausting let me tell you – and as a result I have piles that honestly deserve their own names (ideas on a postcard please) and possibly even hand embroidered little outfits.
The bombshell is coming. Wait for it.
Really, I promise it’s worth it.
Now, my reluctance to stay on these meds for any period of time boils down to:
1: all of the points above
2: they numb me and therefore how can I learn how to deal with any emotional issues that arrive once I stop them?
2b: how can I get better from something that I can’t feel?
3: they are not a cure
4: they are not a lifestyle choice but a tool
5: the longer I am on them the more brutal the withdrawal *ahem* I mean discontinuation will be
6: because I said so
I know I need them now. I know that for whatever reason I am a very, very ill person without them. So, Dr Fuckwad, I dutifully swallow one every morning of every day while I endure all of this and while I struggle to get well again. I know that I am not well now, that my life is, and has to be, on hold until I am well again because that is what is right and what is fair and good and proper. For everyone. I’m not happy about it but I’ll do it, deal.
But, the quicker I can get my nervous sweaty mitts onto some other treatment of the non chemical kind, the quicker I will recover thus saving myself and my family a lot of pain and the NHS a lot of time and money and for that matter, the benefit system too.
So, Dr Fuckwad, mate, lets do this shit! Lets be positive and proactive. Be my cheerleader, tell me I can do this and I’ll be OK and we’re going to get me the therapies that I need and it will be tough but it will be worth it because I can get back to life and myself and my baby. Yeah? Yeah!
My life has been on hold enough already, the husband can’t work, we would have had more babies – we wanted more babies by now – if I was well so lets just focus on getting me well. Lets do this thing.
“No more babies for at least six years please” says Dr Fuckwad.
(That’s the bombshell right there *thwack*)
Now I’m not one to shun medical advice, to put people (or babies or already made children or husbands) at risk but nor am I one to be dictated to. I mean fuck, six years! Am I going to be like this for six years, at least six years?
* I can’t even pretend to take credit for this name, twas my muse; a gorgeous vision, an epic writer, a local freakin’ celebrity and reader of my l-o-n-g and garbled text messages of doom.Cheers dude x