Warning. Extremely boring and personal post. Read at your own risks!
Last Friday, I had an appointment with my therapist.
Some people are afraid to say those words. I am not. I don’t feel ashamed about seeking help for my medical issues. Do you feel ashamed when you go to your GP when you have the flu? Then why should I hide the fact I see someone who is supposed to help me better understand what I go through and how to improve my life?
Yet, I don’t blame patients who don’t admit seeing someone for their mental health. After all, it is still taboo and our voices, although louder than they were before, are still not covering the stigmas surrounding it. Let’s keep shouting, people!
But today I am not on to talk about generalities about therapy VS no-therapy. Today I am here to say I disagreed with my doctor. And it is okay, too.
I don’t pretend to know better than him what reasons have caused the problems I am dealing with or question his medical abilities (or am I???)
But … I have always been wary of psychiatrists. I saw them as guys in white handing prescriptions and digging into the wrong paths of your life to find a cause to your issues.
Still, when I realized I was drowning in November 2016, I swallowed my pride, my ideas, and laid my life on the table, bare for him to dissect and find how to fix me. It took me months to agree to go under medication, at the lowest dose possible. It helped. I had someone to talk to once every three weeks, I felt my anxiety come back under control. Everything was going well.
Until the talking part started to not be enough.
I did my part. I stepped way out of my comfort zone, with comments like ‘Maybe it’s time for this step, and we’ll see what happens next’. That’s how I got back to university. Massive step. But my fears were just quieter, still hiding in a corner of my brain. So, I took the matter into my hands for good. I went back to my old agoraphobia program, started all over, celebrated victories with silly selfies, trying to ignite positivity everywhere around me. It wasn’t easy, but it worked. I started to lean on less on my doctor. I thought it was a good sign. It actually was. But you can’t measure how much you need something or someone until you’re back in the dark.
The first time I rebelled was for the 2017 London Book Fair. My doctor was affirmative. I was not ready to go, no matter how much I wanted it. Plus, it caused me stress because I needed to plan an accommodation, tickets, and whatever. But I was doing okay. I felt ready. I had this dream at the tip of my fingers. I could almost feel the London rain on my face!!!
In my heart I knew this was a milestone. I could not miss it.
I went. I had the most amazing week of my life. I traveled to the UK for the first time. I cried tears of joy when I landed in London.
He was wrong, but I forgave him. He was only trying to help me do the right thing.
Since that time, I have been going once per month, talking for those short twenty minutes, getting my prescriptions, and getting “How are you?”s; ‘How does this make you feel?”s and other boring movie lines. I will always remember Freaky Friday when I hear those sentences.
If at first, they helped, now it all feels useless.
This week I said I’d had two panic attacks in three days. No reaction. I told him I was feeling down, (way way way down, like with the worms and the ancient bodies from my old cemetery) and that I thought everything was my fault if I couldn’t get a job, that maybe something was wrong with me. He handed me a tissue, and instead of pushing me in another direction, or offering me a different perspective, he actually made it sound like it was my fault.
Now, you don’t know the details, so you can’t have the big picture. But since when is it a therapist’s job to make you feel worse when you leave his office? Making you think? Okay. Making you feel like you’d better hide home. Hell to the no. I looked like a 110-year-old panda when I left the hospital. This is why I haven’t been online for four days. This is why I have been depressed, crying, lying on my bed and thinking none of what I’d achieved meant a thing.
Then I got bored of feeling sorry for myself (finally). I took a bath, as we all know baths are the answer to everything (with tea and candles, obviously), I thought long and hard about what had been said between those white and cold walls.
And I said no.
No, there is nothing wrong with me.
No, I don’t need to change to please his small medical boxes.
No, not growing up without a father has nothing to do with why I couldn’t get a job. (what the actual f*** was this remark, tell me!)
You might argue that he touched a sensitive subject and I am in denial. Trust me, I am not.
This happened before. Not with me, but with other family members or friends. What is it with psychiatrists who want to blame it all on your parents?!
I needed something. But I didn’t find it in therapy.
Today, I’m going to try Ashtanga yoga. I have been meaning to do it for ten years. I’ll also start running with the dogs. I have handed my resignation at the bookshop. I don’t have all the answers to feel better every day, and it’s okay. I’ll take it one day at a time. I’m back on my eternal life-saving anti-anxiety program. I drink juices and vitamins-filled drinks. I pinch myself to remember depression is a liar that makes you think your fatter than you really are. I enrolled in another daily American-accent class with my favorite teacher. And I’ve got a little help from dear friends.
Don’t worry if I didn’t come to you. I hate bothering people with my problems. I feel better when I’m the one you come to.
I will keep going to my appointments for now. But next time I am standing in this office, I will pour my heart again and say “You are wrong.”
Now that I’m reaching my third Word page, I realize this post is way too personal. But it’s necessary for me to write and publish it so I can move forward. If a employer reads it and thinks I’m mad, it’s okay. It’ll only mean they don’t deserve my awesomeness.
How does this make you feel? (Gosh I hate this line!!!!!!)
This post is not meant to make you think therapies are stupid or useless. I truly believe there are good people out there who can help you. I only needed to rant about my personal experience and find my rebound.
Have you had bad experiences? Good ones? Share if you feel like it 🙂