Monday, March 11, 2013

Another Health Report Update

I called the center this morning and they took my information. I talked to someone about the problem I'm having and have always had to varying degrees. She said the person who makes first-time appointments for new patients was off today, and that that person would call me back tomorrow to make my appointment.

I cried on the phone when the woman I talked to asked me the question "Do you have thoughts of harming yourself or others?" and my answer was "Yes." She asked me to clarify--myself or others--and I said myself. She asked how frequently, and I said the truth: on and off since I was 11. She asked how close I'd ever come, and I told her about some of the stuff in my past. She asked when the last time was that I seriously considered it, and I had to tell her the truth: Saturday night. Because when I'm at my lowest low--where I was Saturday night, for reasons I really can't go into because it involves someone else's privacy--I panic and feel like the only real solution I have to all of my problems is that. I think that made her nervous, because I got a call from someone at the center less than an hour later to tell me the earliest appointment they had was for the morning of March 21 and would I like that? So that's when I go in for my first real psychiatric appointment.

I feel more hopeful now, because I know I'm heading towards something potentially helpful. And because they work with the state DHS and are partially charity-funded, they have a sliding scale for people in my position, which is more or less functionally unemployed, dependent on a spouse, and uninsured. So my appointment will only cost me $10, which is a massive, massive relief. The potential cost is one of the things that's been holding me back from pursuing this for a long time. Not even holding me back, but making me feel resigned to never getting help.

It's taken me a long time to get to this point. When I was a kid, I was made to feel like being depressed or sad was overreacting to things, like mental disorders didn't really exist. So that area felt closed off to me for a long, long time. I felt guilty letting this get to me because I felt like it was something I should be able to handle on my own.

Even now I feel like people think I'm making this up or being overdramatic, but I've taken steps to try and control this thing and it seems like the harder I try, the more I have breakdowns or outbursts. It's happened every day for the last five days now. It hasn't happened yet today, but I'm worried it's only a matter of time. It used to at least be every few days, sometimes even a week or so between incidents.

I was very, very nervous and anxious about even calling these people. Now I'm relieved that I did. I need to really understand what's wrong with me. It feels too big for me to grasp without help. It's long since passed the point of being overwhelmed and feeling like a failure for not being able to deal with it. Now it feels like the thing that's going to kill me if I don't get a handle on it. I need help to do that. I need professional help.

I know it can be done if someone shows me how and helps me make sense of this. Remember that period of time when I couldn't even leave the apartment? Or when I couldn't let anyone drive me anywhere? Or I couldn't go out in inclement weather because it terrified me? And just yesterday, I let my mother (of all people--she's one of the people who made me afraid to ride in cars) drive me in the rain to see a movie. And then I felt nervous before the movie started because there were so many people there. But then I relaxed and enjoyed the movie. In 2010 I refused to even set foot out the door, much less set foot in a movie theater with all of those people around.

So it can get better. I know that.

I'm hoping.


Joe Owen said...

Positive thoughts in your direction man, I hope they can get you the help you need at a price you can afford.

Roger Owen Green said...

First full day of spring; something rather poetic about that. Rebirth, a new season.

Splotchy said...

I care about you very much, and hope only nice things for you, that things get better, that you get relief, happiness, all that stuff.

All the positive vibrations I can muster being sent your way.

Chris said...

Sorry if I hurt your feelings before. I do genuinely want you to feel better.

I got diagnosed with a "never get better." For me, believing that I can get better and the worst diagnosis isn't real and was just stress makes me feel better.

Sam G said...

My positive thoughts go out to you. Hope is a good thing.

Josh said...

I'm right there with you, man. You are not the only person suffering from those thoughts. It's a daily struggle to keep myself in check each day. I want you to know I've been reading your blog for years but never wrote in until now. Let me just say THANKS! for all of your intelligent opinions and humorous observations and all that you've shared. I respect the hell out of you and Becca and look forward to your blog each day.

Autumn said...

Congratulations on taking that step to get some help, I can't imagine how hard this is for you, but I'm sending good thoughts your way. Keep your chin up and good luck!

Matt said...

Again, man, congratulations and best of luck. The only thing better than knowing you're taking these steps and sharing your progress is seeing how it's encouraging people in similiar situations to open up and follow suit.

Glenn Whidden said...

Yeah, I've been in a similar place. It's a terrible thing. But therapy helps. And drugs help. It isn't easy, there might be setbacks, but you are heading in the right direction. I know it has become something of a cliche, but it does get better. It can, does, and will get better. You sound like you've started on the right path. Good on you man.