I’d just stepped out of the shower when I heard one of those sorry-you-were-out -enjoy-your-lengthy-trek-to-collect-your-parcel cards slide through the letterbox. That’s why, when the mental-health-assessment lady arrived for our appointment, I was running after the postman in a towel.
After apologising to the postman and my visitor, I threw on some clothes and then listened as she, somewhat apologetically, explained the reason for our meeting. Restructuring in the local MH services meant that all outpatients were being re-assessed and that meant that, since I was well, I would no longer be automatically seen by a consultant but referred back to my GP and assigned to a care cluster.
And on a beautifully sunny April day, bouncing right back up from a wintery depression, that seemed perfectly reasonable. Besides I’d only seen a psychiatrist a handful of times and one of them had almost nodded off mid-appointment. I suppose when you work with inpatients in crisis I’m a very dull prospect…
…but the trouble is I’m working half the hours I should due to regular episodes so I’m financially screwed. I’ve given up any propect of career progression for the forseeable future. Each episode leaves me on the back foot in every corner of my life, and the bleakness of a crash, especially when it follows a high, is unbearably grim. I’m reasonably good at hanging in there through those times because I know that they have to pass eventually. But the moments of desperation are as frightening as ever, even after 20 years.
And, as if irked by my Spring optimism, the Summer brought with it a protracted slide into miserablism which lasted until December was well underway.
So I’ll soon be sitting in front of another yawning consultant, after a long and winding road of GP visits and re-referrals, to review my medication, which is so far failing to adequately squash my depression.
Ironically I’m well now, and as always I’m rather excited to be alive. And I’m grateful. And, at the same time, ashamed because I know that there are people battling awful things and staying upright whereas I periodically crumble, seemingly for no reason.
So I have to keep trying. Meditation won’t fix me, nor the next thing, but it at least makes me feel that I am doing something. Not to mention the fact that I’ve made some interesting – and weird- discoveries so far 🙂 which might keep me occupied should the black dog return. And if I hit a spike I’ll have a whole raft of ideas to obsess over and then abandon.
With new meds on the horizon I have a nasty feeling that February is going to mean a gym challenge. Plus a reduction in my ice-cream intake. Man I love ice-cream.
*It hasn’t surpassed my notice that this whole post could easily have been nailed in just that last paragraph. Oh well. Why use 50 words when 500 will do.
Here’s to not giving in. Mostly.