Thursday, February 22, 2007

Tell me about your childhood...

Well, I did it.

I sat in the waiting room and I waited and I waited and I waited. I waited for forty five minutes. And I thought more than once about just legging it. But I didn’t. And* the doctor called me through and through I went.

He asked me what he could do for me. I can only assume that, as I stuttered and sobbed and wobbled through the next ten minutes, he rather wished he hadn’t. I got through it, somehow, and he didn’t reach for the phone with a terrified look on his face, or slap me hard and tell me to pull myself together. Neither did he prescribe me any special smarties.

What he did do was listen, and ask intelligent questions, and try and piece together what I thought the real issues might be. Once that was done, he wrote an urgent referral for me to have some counselling.

I might have to wait a few weeks, but I get an initial six sessions. If that doesn’t seem enough, I get a referral to a psychiatrist at the hospital. Wheee! I am officially mental!

I feel slightly dazed today. I talked the practicalities through with my boss this afternoon. One of the advantages of my working environment is that the management team positively welcomes staff seeking help to understand their problems better – it makes for a better interaction with the people we are trying to help. He was slightly too eager to understand just exactly what sort of counselling I will be getting, but I’m prepared to forgive him. My boss is a psych geek. Rather more helpfully, he also offered to talk through any questions that might come up as I go through the process. He also made it clear that he understood that it had taken a lot for me to ask for some help and that he would do as much as possible to accommodate my absences from work.

So. Here we are.

After carrying my secrets for so long, it feels slightly strange not to have any. I’m not fearful of someone finding out who I really am. The Other Half knows everything, and he still loves me. Who knows, it might even all turn out fine in the end.

Bring it on.

* If starting a sentence with a conjunction is good enough for the Prime Minister, it’s good enough for me.


Blogger First Nations chimed in with...

congratulations! it's gonna suck bigtime.
but it won't suck forever.
bear in mind that you already survived this shit once a small child with no experience. you have innate strength.
and now you also have insurance, experience, legal standing, a supportive boss and a partner who loves you!
the 'ah ha!' moments will be incredible and their effects will be permanent, too. that's the payoff. thats the chocolate coated platinum maserati with vibrating seats! (ah shit, i gave away your birthday present.)

22 February, 2007 19:07  
Blogger Teeny chimed in with...

I think I would've lost my nerve and legged it if they'd kept me waiting 45 mins. Good on ya.

22 February, 2007 19:15  
Blogger violetforthemoment chimed in with...

Awesome. Seems you have a good doctor and an understanding boss, not to mention the other half. Awesome again.

So, you're officially mental? The free pen and membership badge you get are very cool. Mine have bananas on and the pen releases prozac when you chew the top. Banana flavour, obviously. Mmm, sanity...

22 February, 2007 19:28  
Blogger MinCat chimed in with...

YAY FOR YOU! Isn't it a delightful feeling? :)

22 February, 2007 20:34  
Blogger Murph chimed in with...

I'll just be happy when the Prime Minister starts his sentence...

(well done on all counts btw)

22 February, 2007 21:39  
Blogger angelfeet chimed in with...

Delurking to say well done. I have my first counselling appointment next week, having recently admitted to myself that I need help. It's all on a spectrum, you know, being mental. But only the enlightened ones know that, everyone else thinks they are sane.

22 February, 2007 22:03  
Anonymous thursday chimed in with...

Nice one Surly. Seriously, bloody, well done you.

22 February, 2007 23:28  
Blogger Arabella chimed in with...

The entrance to the mental club has a revolving door; I'll be sure to wave when I see you.

23 February, 2007 00:23  
Blogger Shell chimed in with...

i'm so proud of you! sounds crazy since i don't really know you, eh? that first commenter had it right. fear of revelation, or even resolution, is often bigger than the journey itself. It's like grabbing the demon of change by the throat and giving it a name ... it can't hide after that but it also can't deceive you any more. You know where it lives ... *muah-ha-ha

yayyy for angelfeet too!

23 February, 2007 00:42  
Blogger Melissa chimed in with...

Isn't it amazing to realize there isn't anything you're holding close, nothing you want to hide? Good for you, and and I'm so pleased you ran across a doctor who knows what he's doing. I'm sure they're used to people hemming and hawing a bit to start out with - really, how could it be any other way? It's extremely hard to go in cold (especially after sitting in the waiting room for so long) and spill it.

Wishing you the best.

23 February, 2007 04:40  
Anonymous Anonymous chimed in with...

it's hard to come to the realization that you need help. even worse when you realized someone was there for you. it was for me, anyway. hope you feel better. hugs.

23 February, 2007 04:57  
Blogger Kissing just for practice chimed in with...

Just, well done. I've never been there (which doesn't mean I never will be), but it sounds like you are being tremendously pro-active when others may just plod along... That's amazing.

23 February, 2007 09:02  
Blogger Kissing just for practice chimed in with...

This comment has been removed by the author.

23 February, 2007 09:02  
Anonymous hendrix chimed in with...

Can't really add anything new - the other commenters have got there before me, but...well done for having the guts to go and spill it out. Hang on in there and you'll get through this. There is light at the end of the tunnel and it isn't the front of an oncoming train.

23 February, 2007 10:00  
Blogger zanna chimed in with...

Murph's comment - Pure genius! BTW Well done you x

23 February, 2007 10:44  
Blogger crisiswhatcrisis chimed in with...

I'm officially mental too! Welcome to the mental club. It's not so bad once you've got past the strict membership criteria, is it? Nice facilities and all that.

We're proud of you. All your readers are. (Presumptuous of me to speak for them, but I'm sure I'm right).

It really can only get better from here.

Fucking well done.

23 February, 2007 11:32  
Blogger Stef the engineer chimed in with...

Good luck sg! It's a good first step.

23 February, 2007 12:17  
Blogger clodhopper chimed in with...

*de-cloaks to wish you well*

First saw a shrink when I was 14 or 15 or so. I was scared shitless and too immature to handle it so it didn't help overmuch.

Sounds like you've got the right support set up now though so go for it.

23 February, 2007 12:48  
Blogger realdoc chimed in with...

After my first session on the couch I had to stop the car on the way home and chuck up all over the place. This is a good sign apparently but I just thought I'd warn you.

23 February, 2007 15:05  
Blogger Fussy Bitch chimed in with...

Well done, that first appointment is hell (and that wait was just shitty!). Can I just offer a little suggestion from experience? Don't close your mind completely to a little chemical help - therapy is tough and you don't have to be a hero anymore, remember?

All luck to you, hon. I don't read here for the humour, I read for the humanity.

23 February, 2007 17:04  
Blogger funny thing chimed in with...

Nice one, sg.

And remember, sentences can be started and finished however you want it.

24 February, 2007 12:25  
Blogger garfer chimed in with...

Crikey. I'm in New York. They have lots of psych couches here. Very reasonable rates too.

24 February, 2007 19:43  
Blogger Doris chimed in with...

Well done, you! I had counselling some years back and I found it a positive experience. And being officially mental is wonderfully liberating. I can wear my tin foil hat with pride.

24 February, 2007 22:00  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

i've got a meeting with my boss next week. i am wearing a tinfoil hat. fact.

i can't wait to see his face.

24 February, 2007 22:16  
Blogger First Nations chimed in with...


25 February, 2007 01:02  
Blogger Richard chimed in with...

I really don't come here often enough. Thank you for sharing that with us in such an enlightened way and I hope it all goes well for you. I've never been there myself but I've lived with it and it's taken its toll. Write whatever you want, we'll "listen"

25 February, 2007 02:16  
Blogger belladona chimed in with...

Wahey! Good for you! You're not mental, btw. You are very cool.

25 February, 2007 21:03  
Blogger The Overnight Editor chimed in with...

Loving your nervous-joy.

I imagine the official license card:

STATUS: Mental
CATEGORY: Mostly Harmless
LEVEL: Novice

26 February, 2007 01:10  
Blogger violetforthemoment chimed in with...

I spat tea on vaguely important bits of my laptop at your tinfoil hat, surly. Got a meeting with my boss on Wednesday, I was going to carve 'redrum' into her desk with a stanley to try to get her to take things seriously but I think a shiny shiny hat is less likely to get me arrested.

Pants on head - check.
Pencils up nostrils - check.
Altogether now - "Wibble".

26 February, 2007 21:52  
Blogger JoeinVegas chimed in with...

It was an urgent referral? Are you sure that a nice assortment of Smarties wouldn't be just as good?

26 February, 2007 23:22  

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