I have always considered myself as a resilient, stoic individual. Give me a day or two and I bounce back from most things, but on Friday I just found that impossible. The alarm went off at the usual time to rise for the school day, and all I could do was weep into my pillow. I knew that I couldn’t trust myself to drive the 40 minute drive to the school. Mr FD offered support, offered to drive me to and fro, but his words just made me weep more. I could not console myself, nor have anyone console me.
I knew I needed help and so Mr FD drove me back to the city to see my doctor of the past ten years. She listened and I teared up and this is where I wonder about the help people in real need receive. My doctor was understanding and suggested I see a counsellor, and perhaps she could give me something to help me sleep over the next couple of days BUT time restraints meant I had to make a longer appointment at another time, as soon as I could, to do a more complete mental health assessment.
So, if I was deeply, seriously, suicidal how would I have coped? Just gone out and lied down in the traffic?
I am not that deep and I have faith in myself that I will work my way out of this dark spot in a day, or a week, or a month, but what of others who are further down? It is difficult enough to get out of bed and present to someone your feelings and emotions to then experience “your time is up!”
I don’t blame the doctor, and I guess I could have said I needed a longer appointment when I phoned though as I said, I haven’t been thinking all that clearly to plan that well.
To me, it is just a symptom of our dysfunctional society where everything is a commodity that is allotted and priced, and inequities maintained. How do we reach out and support those without resources, without support, without resilience or stoicism or any of the terms we use for “getting a grip” or “bouncing back”? Or is it, now more than ever, a case of “physician heal thy self” – do it alone? Maybe that is why the self-help industry is a billion dollar industry!