This afternoon I went to the psychiatrist that I potentially risked my job to go to. I didn’t tell my boss about the appointment until an hour before I left. I tried to tell her via text, but she hadn’t checked her phone all day (is that a thing people do?) so I had to say words to her face. There was some groveling and some tears, and hints that my mental health status was such that an urgent psych appointment was required. Apologies apologies.
She was annoyed but understood. It’s not really her I’m worried about, it’s what she’s required to report to the corporate office. But I took a risk and convinced myself that I need this, and that what I need is important. So I left work early and went to the doctor for help.
I’m scheduled to leave work at 4:30pm, and my appointment was at 4pm. At 4:45pm I was still sitting in the doctor’s waiting room, having an anxiety attack that they forgot I was there. Again. They’ve done it before and I waited almost 2 hours before saying something. I should mention that I have no balls when I am in this mental state. All the work I do teaching myself that needs are important, and I deserve to get what I need just fly out the window and within seconds I’m screaming in my head, “I was right! I don’t deserve it after all! Other people need this more.”
As I sat in the lobby, a man sitting next to me was having a quiet conversation with his armpit. He spoke mostly in numbers. At one point I cracked my neck and the man turned to me and pointed to my neck. “Was that a 3?”
I looked at him and said, “…It sure felt like a 3. Did it look like a 3?”
He was taken aback briefly and smiled before he faked a coughing fit and turned away from me. Fun unexpected connection.
Just as I was about to start crying and approach the front desk in hopes that I would say something normal to the effect of – it’s been almost an hour, did they forget about me? – the physician’s assistant opened the door and called my name. It was someone I’d never seen before, so I wasn’t sure how much back story to share. I should note that I haven’t seen an actual doctor in that practice in over 2 years.
The entire office is very intimidating. Actually it used to be intimidating, now it’s just irritating and maddening, specifically if you are suffering for an anxiety disorder and have trouble asking for what you need. I sat down in front of her desk, where she faced me but did not look at me or address me for quite a while. She typed on her computer and clicked the mouse like 870 times before she asked me how I was feeling.
I reported my recent anxiety attacks and depressive episodes and told her I’m willing to tweak med doses if needed. She made silent eye contact while I talked, typing on her computer the whole time and not reacting at all. I stopped talking and the mouse clicks started again. After what felt like an hour of silence she said, “Ohmigod! I totally just read that you were here on October 6 of 2014 complaining of the. Same. Symptoms! That’s so crazy!”
I said, “So I probably have some seasonal affective disorder. That’s…should I be the one telling you this?”
She giggled and talked about med dosage tweaking options. We decided on some tweaks, and I checked out, feeling slightly annoyed and settling in to wait weeks before I can tell if the new med doses are working. I’m thankful for Xanax in the meantime.
I climbed into my car, still fighting with myself about whether I just wasted everyone’s time with that appointment and put a black mark on my oddly specific employment record for no reason whatsoever. I settled on shutting that negative bitch down. I know my patterns well. If I leave this alone it will spiral and end with lack of physical hygiene, blood, and pretending from my bed that the rest of the world doesn’t exist. For weeks or more.
So I guess this is preferable. At least there’s still Xanax.