Steps Into Therapy
It's 2am on my third night of no sleep. I'm tired. I'm done. I just don't want to deal with it all on my own anymore. I pull up my email and shoot off a note to my doctor.
Hit the send button and it's done. I trudge to the living room to watch more boring TV through swollen, tired eyes.
6 hours later
I get a response email asking me to call in and book an appointment. 6 hours after that, I get brave enough to do it.
NEXT DAY, 3pm
My doctor is far too touchy when I am this emotional. She puts her hand on my knee when asking a question. It's not often but enough to make me freeze. Touch in this format is not a bad thing. And in my half a dozen visits with her, it's never bothered me before. Before she can give me a referral, she has to ask some questions first and she wants to relay that this is a safe space.
Most of the questions are on the computer, each answer has a rating and you get a score at the end. The score tells the doctor where you are at emotionally and what level of depression you are in. I already know but she's gotta figure it out. Before we get to the computers questions, she asks if anyone is harming me or if I need a safe place to go. While these questions aren't relevant to me, it's nice to know that they are asked. The computer has the usual suspect of questions - in the last two weeks, have you felt sad? In the last two weeks, how have you been sleeping? In the last two weeks have you felt like harming yourself? The answers - yes, sometimes, no. My score is not quite the highest, I fall into second last category as moderately depressed. Severe depression is when there's self harming and I am not there.
We wrap up the appointment by getting me the referral, printing me off some information, and talking about the option of taking medication. The caveat to medication being that my care team (of two now) and I must decide that it's the right thing for me. I suddenly have a support team that wasn't there before. I am not at all comforted by this fact, but maybe one day I will be. She ends with asking how often I am alone, if we have any guns in the house, and if we have any pets. She's glad to hear we don't have guns, and recommends I get a pet.
And that's it. I go home. Well, first I go to the grocery store and buy a bag of marshmallows, and then I go home. I curl up on the couch to watch more bad TV and munch away on my treat.
NOTE: This is part one of a five part series, posting every Friday in September.