We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion.
Max de Pree
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the stupid people as they are, the courage to maintain self-control and the wisdom to know that if I act on it, I will end up in prison.”
My appointment with Dr Barry yesterday was intense. Firstly, at the last minute we switched times. I had to get my monthly injection yesterday as well as seeing Dr Barry so that meant I would have had to go to the hospital twice in one day. Well when I rang the clinic nurse to tell her that I wouldnt be able to do that she said if I came in the morning that Dr Barry would see me because it was quiet and she was free so thats what I did. When Dr Barry called me in and came to get me she seemed concerned. When I got in to her office she said I am very worried, the fact that you arent in college isnt a good sign, you must have had a terrible week. I kinda laughed then and said to her, Dr Barry, dont worry, I’ve been off for 3 days. After that she calmed down and we talked. I told her that I’d had a pretty intense week, the dissociation was still pretty bad, my emotions were all over the place, and my anxiety was still pretty intensive. We talked about therapy and I told her that last week I felt we did not get much work done because we couldnt get our shit together to talk to eileen. The words werent coming. I told her how Eileen had said the process of recovery wasnt linear, and for us to not worry, things will happen when the time is right. I told her I am just impatient and want things to happen faster than they are. Dr Barry said that Eileen is right. She then said she had to ask me a question. She said last week during our appointment, she felt that it was implied by me that I thought she was disappointed with me and my progress and that the fact that one of our meds had to be increased meant that I felt she was disappointed in us. So she asked me if that was true. I said that yes, I felt like I was disappointing her. She said no that wasnt true that I am not. That she doesnt see increasing the med as a set back. That everyone has ups and downs in their recovery, everyone has challenges to face, and with the did I have a lot to cope with. She said that I am still doing great, and even if I wasnt, she would never be disappointed in me. I thanked her for her honesty. We talked about college and I told her about the meeting last Friday. She said I made the right decision in staying and sticking it out and she couldnt believe the manager had given me the option of leaving and coming back in 3 months. She said he possibly got overwhelmed and couldnt cope and that is why he did that. I dont know but I am happy with my decision to stick it out and stay. We talked a little about her upcoming holidays in 3 weeks time. She went to see if Zuliana who is her junior doctor was free, so that we could make introductions and stuff but she had just taken a patient in and so we’ll have to wait until next week to meet. Well, we already know one another but Zuliana doesnt know the ins and outs of our case, and Dr Barry wanted to make her aware of a few things before we meet in 3 weeks. It was a good appointment though overall.
Therapy this week was intense. I did not have much time in the session as someone else inside needed the time so I let them have it. For now that particular insider doesnt want to say her name. She feels uncomfortable with people knowing she is so fragile and I need to respect that. When she’s ready I’m sure she will let us know. She’s not a child part though, she’s an adult. Basically the gist of the session was talking about big feelings, and trying to sit with those feelings. Eileen likened it to a bycycle, she told this insider that a wheel of a bike has a hub, which is the inner part, and a rim which is the outter part. She told her to sit in the hub, and watch things from there, to not go to the outter rim just yet. Then she had the insider describe how she felt from that vantage point. I think that was helpful. We had asked her if we could record the session too but she wasnt sure, saying she didnt know how she felt about that. So we didnt record it. When the insider was done I came out and talked a little to eileen about college, and about advocating for myself and for what I need. I used the word fight a lot, saying how I felt like I had to fight for every little thing. Eileen asked me if there was another word I could use, because fighting makes it sound like I’m in constant conflict. So in the end I used the word advocate. The session went by way too quickly. But eileen said we’d done great work and she felt a lot had been covered.
I didnt go to college today. I am depressed. I’ve been having severe flashbacks. I couldnt face it. But I did see Dr Barry. I knew I had to go to see her to talk about all this. I went in there and sat down heavily and sighed.
Dr Barry: How are you today? How was your week?
Me: Oh dr barry, I feel awful. I’m depressed and suicidal.
She was shocked and concerned. Tell me about it? She said softly and gently. So I did.
I’ve been having awful flashbacks of the assault I suffered a year ago. For those who dont know or who arent aware, I was raped around last April. Basically, some people from my past, abusers, did it. So far no bodys been prosecuted. I told Dr Barry that I feel disgusting, and so worthless. I feel like I am just an object to be used and abused. And I almost cried but was able to hold the tears in. I told dr barry I’d emailed eileen last night. And before I’d left today to go to dr barry eileen had emailed me back and tried to reassure me. I was glad to get her email but I did not feel better even with her gentle and kind reassurances that I am not an object, that we can work through this, that she is here for me, and that I’ll be ok. I just felt flat, low, bla, like I was not able to cope.
Dr Barry listened, before softly telling me that its ok not to be ok. That I am way too hard on myself. That I put way too much pressure on myself to be a model patient. She said sometimes it takes time to deal with things, and its ok if I couldnt all along, I said I wasnt ready, and she reassured me that thats ok. Things only come out when we feel safe, and when we’re ready to share them. I then told her how I’d wanted to tell her months ago about my partner and talk about her illness and how I felt about that with her, but words failed me. I said how I knew she’d put so much into building a relationship with me, dr barry had, and how I felt that I was holding back and withholding information that was important. She said I should give myself a break, I should not try to be a model patient, that I’ve been doing great, but its ok to not do great too. I told her how my family are pressuring me to stay ok, and because they see me coping and being ok and having some good days, they then dont want me to have a bad day. She asked me if I told them that everyone has bad days, we cant all be ok all of the time. I said I had but they still dont seem to grasp it or get it. She said its their inability to understand the challenges I face and that I’ll probably never change them. I sighed and not for the first time wished I could have Dr Barry as my mom.
We talked about possibly adding a medication if the depression doesnt lift. She thought about the options and I was saying how most of the meds dont or havent worked for me. And then there is the added problem of remembering to take them. I was taking sertraline, but I have been off it for a while now. I was also taking lyrica but I no longer take that one either. I do take xeplion and in the end she said she’d increase that one. And she said I could get the next dose a week earlier than I was supposed to. So instead of taking 100 MG I’ll be taking 150 MG of that med starting next week. I hope it does something and is worth while. I was telling her how lately, the last two times I’ve gotten the injection, that I start out feeling good and then two weeks into the cycle I start to feel down, anxious, unstable. She said she hadnt heard anyone else say that but its possible.
She asked me if I wanted to sit down with her and talk about the police report that she was meant to do up after last years assault. I said some time I’d like to as we’ve not given the report to the police yet, and she hasnt fully written it, its just a draft and she wants to get my input as to what I want them to know about our did. So that needs to be done soon too.
Other than that she said Mark had texted her yesterday afternoon after the meeting we had in the morning, and told her it was really positive and I’d done really well advocating for myself and she was really pleased for me. I didnt know Mark was gonna do that. I thought he’d just leave a note in my file.
It was a good appointment though and I feel much better after it.