Making that psychiatrist appointment

I did it. It took me, depending how you look at it, either two weeks to do it, or a year. It has been a year since I have been really ok. I’ve been avoiding it, playing with it, messing with dosages and combinations alone, quitting when I get the side effects, starting again.

It was last January that things really started to fall apart. I think that back then I sort of backed off the meds, and then I fell into a depression so deep that…well, that nothing. I kept going to work and doing all the shit I always do. I was in a new department then, but one semi-friend had started there with me. He tried to shield me from as much as possible, took some of the more brutal work for himself, leaving me the easier assignments.  The new bosses, in that brutal jovial way that people who do what we do have of talking about illness, teased me that I should really consider an SSRI.

Then around February-March I was manic, fortunately at the time on a job assignment in New York, far away from where anyone could take notice or care. Blew some cash, but not much more. Managed, by not knowing anyone there, to stay out of drugs and too much trouble. A lonely little mini-breakdown, unwitnessed, except by a few befuddled employers.

Of course, I returned, 20 pounds lighter on a 1.50m frame, and promptly crashed into a two month depression, started taking a full dose again and living by night to keep from burning.

Which is what I have been doing since then. Except that now I’m burning under artificial light, too.  So I can’t even work at night.

And I am starting a new job in April or May, and I need to be sane for that.

So, after one year, or two weeks, I called Old Shrink, the only number that I still had that was working was his home number, because the phone system here added more digits to the phone number system since I was last there.

I was shaking while making the call, though trying to keep my voice neutral. I managed to schedule for sometime next week, but by the end, I had to just get off the phone. I was barely hanging on, barely keeping my voice from cracking, and as I hung up, I just crumpled. Not even tears, just a giving way, giving up.

It’s funny, I can learn to pilot around the world, run the streets of New York as easily as navigate a Sandinista jungle, plunge a knife into a soft abdomen, move countries at the drop of a hat with no difficulty picking up right where I left off, and yet, this brought me to my knees.

And I don’t even know why.



  1. i am really proud of you – i don’t even know you, and yet i know how difficult that call was to make. and i am so impressed with your courage and strength! i feel like i can somewhat relate to you – i also “have it all” – successful academically, professionally, socially; in a profession i love and surrounded by incredibly amazing people. in no way a drain on society. and yet – at times, so very, very broken inside.

    i am so proud of you for making that call. i was not able to force myself to make that call for myself a few months ago, following perhaps 8 months of internal hell, and i wound up in my first ever (and hopefully last!) psychiatric hospitalization.

    if i could do it over again, i think i’d have made the call. so my admiration for your strength and courage is high.

  2. I agree… The call is the hardest. The spilling of the guts (no pun intended) at the beginning, the “what I did until now” is so nearly impossible that it might just be easier to off yourself. But hang on. HANG on for dear life. The light’s on… you’ll see it soon. And the dawn of light will shine bright soon enough.

  3. Hey guys,

    I actually do feel quite a bit better since making the call. As tense as I was about doing it, and then worried that I’d be really tense and worried about it until I actually went, I’ve been able to put it out of my mind and just wait for it. I’ve let up on the obsessing.

    I think I am just not going to go into a lot of detail. This latest slump hasn’t been nearly as bad as how I’ve gone into his office every other time, so that’s one bright point. I’m actually reasonably ok right now. I sort of think he will be shocked to see me NOT totally nuts, as I have been every time I’ve broken down and gone in in the past.

    Anyway, I’m sure I’ll be quite nervous before going in there. But I will actually be able to calmly discuss medication changes, something I’ve never been able to do.

    Wishing you all the best, glad to see someone is reading. And Sarah, let me know if you keep a blog.

  4. Sara, I’m still reading… Let us know what happens. I’m sure it’ll all be good. Especially if the shrink is someone whom you can/have worked with (it’s someone you’ve seen before, no?)


  5. Good for you. Look forward to hearing what happens next.

  6. Well, I sort of failed to work with him before. But – he at least saw the manic stuff, which no other person (shrink or various assorted professionals) saw, so I think it’s better to go back to him for that. I liked him well enough. But he always wanted to talk too much (I really hate talk therapy) and unrepress memories or some such shit (I am probably exaggerating).

    But – I think he’s basically a nice person, is respectful of me, and hit a diagnosis that no one did for years, and also gave me the meds that gave me such a good period of time.

    I had a mini meltdown today, but it has blown over (how’s that for mixing metaphors), and mostly am doing ok, like written on the other blog.

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