“So, what brings you here today?”
Psychiatrists ask a lot of questions.
And check a lot of boxes on paper.
I told The Husband I felt like with every scale she was checking the score on the bottom to see if she needed to pick up the phone and call to have someone committed.
That’s probably not the case, but…
I promised myself that I wouldn’t cry. I mean, what was I crying for? There’s no shame in going to see a psychiatrist. I’ve been in therapy since 2005 and I feel like if talk therapy was enough to “fix” me, it would’ve happened already. (I cried anyway. You can always count on me for tears)
I guess I should rephrase that. I wasn’t looking to be fixed. I was looking for help.
I told her that I work out, I eat sort of well, I go to therapy and use all of the skills that my therapist has given me for my anxiety and depression, but right now- at this point in my life- it’s not enough.
I need help.
“Do you have trouble sleeping?”
I haven’t actually slept in about one month. I am up multiple times per night just lying there. Heart racing. Thoughts flowing. Sleep? Not happening.
A few weeks ago my therapist asked me to try and keep track of my anxiety levels on a scale of 1 to 10. As I flip through my journal right now I see numbers like 10, 5, 11, 3, and one seemingly amazing day that was 0.
“Do you have feelings that something bad might happen?”
Um. All of the time? I can’t take my kids to the pool. I am a complete basket case at the pool- my anxiety shoots to 25 (on a scale of 1 to 10) and I just can’t even deal. So my husband takes them. Because clearly MY KIDS WILL DROWN OMFG. So… no. I don’t do pools with them.
This is just one of my many irrational fears.
Going to the splashpad is cool, though. Ain’t nobody drowning here. (I think)
“So tell me about your childhood.”
Tell me about your mom.
And your dad?
Do you have siblings?
Yes. The best siblings.
Did you experience any significant trauma?
There it is. I always cringe when I hear anything like that.
What do you mean? Like an accident or physical injury? Or….
Or… abuse. Physical, emotional…
I came here for drugs. Not to rehash the things that I talk about with my therapist.
^^That’s what I was thinking.
But in my heart I knew that she was only trying to get a clear picture of what she was dealing with in order to give me the right medication.
So I told her.
And she listened.
And pulled out a scale.
And asked some more questions.
And checked some more boxes.
“Has your therapist ever mentioned PTSD to you?”
Followed by “well. I’m glad that you’re here.“
And so starts my journey.
The reality of it is that admitting that you need help. Telling yourself (and others) that you’ve exhausted all of your options and you’ve battled to try and do it by yourself, but right now you need something more? It’s hard. It’s a tough pill to swallow (no pun intended) because we all want to be “normal.” We all want to feel like we are in control of our lives.
I believe in God, though, so I’ve never truly felt in control. He is.
So, knowing this, moving forward-
My prayer is that I don’t have the same experience that I’ve had in the past with medication. This doctor seems smart and capable. I know that I can call her if things go left.
My prayer is for peace. In my heart. I know that I won’t be cured, but I’m tired of thinking “I wonder if normal people feel like this.”
My prayer is that this can help me manage my diagnoses in a manner that allows me to function well each day. To help me be mom, wife, me.