Edit: I wrote this about two weeks ago, the day I decided to go to the doctor to speak about my mental health and wellbeing. Since this time, I’ve still had some ups and downs, but I know I am getting better day by day.
I’m feeling cautiously optimistic. As though I’m ready to turn a corner, and once again have faith in the future, and myself. It’s time for me to put away how I’ve been feeling so down lately, and get myself better again. Time to start over. It’s been a harrowing day. A harrowing few months, and a year, if I’m being honest.
Today I went to my Doctor, who incidentally may be the best and most understanding doctor I’ve had yet, and told him that I think I need to get myself back on medication, and start therapy up again.
A part of me is still berating myself.
History, [my own history in this case], is once again repeating itself. For the second time in my life, I have had to open up and ask for help, from a medical professional, as well as my husband. I still feel bad for my husband. I forget who, but someone I met once remarked that living with someone with depression is akin to living with an extra person. Someone else unseen, but still present. I really don’t know how he’s done it. He’s a trooper for putting up with me.
Some three years ago, back home in Australia, I had a breakdown. I came to the realization that maybe it was time to get myself well. To work on myself, and seek help. And now, here I am, doing the same thing all over.
Cycling today over to the hospital near Japan Town, the sun was out; it’s been an uncharacteristically warm day. All I could think was what I would say to the doctor. How I should say it. Do I say straight up I need meds and therapy? Will I sound needy and desperado coming out like that? Do I need to give reasons why I think I need to go back on the meds? Do I downplay everything [which is how I tend to act with regards to everything, maybe its an Australian thing], and then how would the doctor act? I felt like I was wasting this guy’s time. This is a person who worked directly with the pharma company that created Prep to get Prep out there, and has done extensive research in HIV/AIDS treatment.
I felt like a schmuck going in there and having a whinge about how crap I’ve been feeling.
Its funny, how different I’m finding Americans to Australians. General mentality, mannerisms, how people speak. Deeper, there is something vastly different about these two cultures, despite sharing a language. I seem to find that many Australians, myself included, tend to downplay everything as mentioned above, as well as making things less important than they should be, or allowing ourselves any ‘carry-on’, as it were. We don’t allow ourselves what we naturally deserve, I feel.
The concept of ‘carrying-on’ is something some of you may not be aware of. It’s very British and Australian. When one is ‘carrying-on’ it denotes whingeing, complaining or over thinking, in short. Australians don’t seem to have much time for this kind of behaviour. We’re brought up to simply stop with the carry-on and get on with it. We can be a cynical, no-nonsense people who have high expectations of how we’re meant to act.
So, with this, the first thing I told my poor doc is that I felt like I was surely wasting his time. My silly mental problems shouldn’t really have much bearing upon this talented person’s workday, I felt a bit ridiculous saying to him that I’m not doing great and that in fact I’ve relapsed in behaviour, but his reaction was what made my day and made me feel much better. Americans can be so lovely and sweet and accommodating and hospitable. It puts me to shame at times, how unforgiving, dry, sarcastic and cynical I can at times be.
Feeling unworthy of needing help and asking for it has just exacerbated this further. As did my self-flagellation on deciding to not continue with my medication to start with.
Today marks another ‘Day One’ moment. A moment where I have to try again. At my age of 34, I see that we all have these moments of repetition, where we think; ‘Haven’t I been here before?’
The fact that I’ve made it this far makes me somewhat happy and proud of myself. I saw that the same old patterns were beginning to arise yet again, and decided to act on it, as oppose to letting it fester again and having meltdown after meltdown.
So there you have it. History inevitably repeats. But, this time, I know I’ll make a better show of it than I had previously.