On Thursday, I went to the doctors for the first time in what feels like forever. I really should have gone last week but as there were no available appointments I had to wait until one was available. Unfortunately as I opted to get an appointment on my day off, it also meant I wasn’t able to see my regular doctor, I had to see a doctor I had never heard of, so naturally I imagined it would be another trainee.
Leading up to the appointment I hadn’t felt good, I had crashed pretty badly and cut myself. When I woke up Thursday morning I had to go to work for 4 hours, I felt terrible. I got to work and it was obvious I wasn’t ok. But I tried to carry on. I was upset anyway, but I felt even worse when I realised that my fellow employees just kind of expected these days from me. I didn’t want sympathy, I just wanted to feel like my illness was taken seriously.
About 2 hours after I started work, I broke down. I cried hysterically and made my assistant manager cry when I told her how much I hate myself and how I know everything is my fault and that no matter what she tries to say to convince me different. I know I am not worth anyone’s time or effort. I didn’t mean to upset anyone. But unfortunately I tend to that when I’m down.
Sometimes I think I should just pretend I’m ok. I don’t want to upset anyone by bringing them down.
I left work and went to my appointment, when the doctor called me in I realised he wasn’t a trainee. He was a little older than I imagined he would be. He talked to me about my depression. He seemed upset about the self-harm, he asked if it was for pain or to see blood. I never really knew the answer to this to be honest, but we decided it was for pain. He suggested I tie an elastic band around my wrist and ping it instead of cutting myself. His theory is that it will hurt me, but the marks it leaves will fade unlike the scars cutting does. It was the first time I felt a doctor took my self-harming seriously and instead of just telling me to stop, tried to help me find an alternative way.
He asked about my family and if my parents were supportive. When I told him they didn’t know he asked why, I explained I didn’t think they were emotionally able to handle it. and he suddenly seemed very sad. He said he would be distraught if he thought his son felt the way I did and was unable to tell him. I understand his point, but, my parents just aren’t ready yet.
He asked if he could measure and weigh me, I was shocked to see I had lost a bit of weight, but also that I was only 5 foot 2 and the 5 foot 4 I have been convinced I was since I was 18.
We talked about my upcoming appointment and I explained that I was a little nervous, he told me not to be. I told him I didn’t feel my pills were working and he said that they may change my medication or add to it but that he couldn’t do anything and it would be for the doctor at my appointment to decide.
I told him I was struggling to sleep because I was so anxious about the appointment and he prescribed me some more zopiclone. He said that, that was it. No more zopiclone after this. he doubled the dose from 3.75mg (which apparently is for children and the elderly) to 7.5mg. I will be trying those on Monday.
He was really nice, and I felt a lot better after my appointment. As I was leaving he shook my hand, then he said “Now get out of here, you have better things to do.” It made me laugh. Because the sad thing is, I don’t. That was the best thing I had to do that day.
The Elephant in the Room